Olive Branch airport receives funds for self-serve fuel system

The City of Olive Branch Airport has been awarded funds in the amount of $238,718 for an Aviation Gas Self-Serve fuel system.  The total project cost is estimated to be $248,665 with the City of Olive Branch contributing $9,947.

The proposed project consists of installation of an above-ground 2,000 gallon double wall Aviation Gas tank system with self service capabilities.  The project includes the following: a double wall tank, off-loading dispenser; piping; filtering; tubing; fittings; pumps; accessories; supply lines; return lines; vent lines; fueling lines; 24-hour self-serve fuel management system, card reader system and all training required to operate the system and all other components.

The Olive Branch Airport currently only has full serve fuel, for both Jet-A and AV-Gas, hence aircraft cannot be fueled outside of regular airport operating hours.  Installing a self-serve tank will increase the number of hours that fuel is available at the Olive Branch Airport and allow for 24 hour AV Gas service.

“This self-service aviation gas system will allow Olive Branch Aviation and the Olive Branch Airport to continue to grow,” said Olive Branch Mayor Ken Adams. “We are fortunate as a City to operate the second busiest general aviation airport in the State and we will continue to enhance our services to the aviation community.  Self-service fueling of aircraft is as common to pilots as automobile gas stations are to the rest of us when we fuel our cars at local gas stations.” 

The self-serve system will improve aircraft traffic, separating smaller aircraft primarily served in the north of the airfield from larger aircraft served in the south side of the airfield.  The airport will install a 2,000-gallon tank that will be consistent with their operations.  Airport personnel can inspect and refill the tank daily with their fueling trucks, and fuel delivery trucks will not need to access the airfield.

There will be several advantages coming from the project, officials said, involving operational safety, revenue increase, and local benefit.  

Currently, the main fueling apron is the terminal apron.  Installation of a self-serve AV-Gas tank will segregate small aircraft from larger private and corporate-business aircraft, hence improving the safety of operations.  It will also reduce the need of fueling trucks on airfield pavement.  Installation of the proposed self-serve fuel tank will provide 24-hour Aviation Gas fuel.

Self-serve fuel capabilities will increase fuel sales at the airport after hours serving pilots that cannot be served now.  This will attract new clients that are now limited by the schedule restrictions.  

The airport will also be able to offer more competitive prices for self-serve fuel.  The lower prices and the flexible fueling schedule will attract new pilots to the area.  

The industrial activity in Olive Branch and DeSoto County is constantly growing.  The new capabilities at the airport will make the area more attractive for new industries.  

Olive Branch Airport. (Bob Bakken/DeSoto County News)

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