Aspen, CO May Lay Claim To Ignominious Title
How much is 100LL at
your airport? If you live in Aspen, CO, the answer is $6.17 a
gallon, which could very well be the highest-priced avgas in
America... and it's sending a lot of pilots elsewhere in search of
"I seldom buy from [Aspen],” said local pilot John
McBride, who said he buys gas at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport (ASE)
only when he flies in with empty tanks.
The Aspen Times reports even pilots who park at Aspen... who get
a dollar off the posted fuel price... are still flying elsewhere to
fuel up whenever they can.
Take Glenwood Springs, for instance. Located 27
miles northwest of Aspen, the price of avgas is just $3.50 a
gallon according to the Times.
Why is that? Randall Kempton, director of operations for Premier
Aviation at GWS, says pilots believe they're being gouged at
"It’s just Aspen. Everything’s higher up there," he
said. "They probably get it cheaper than what we get it for, they
buy it bulk. We get it for $2.78 or $2.82. We don’t make a
big profit on it. I'm sure they get it cheaper than that."
That's an assertion Chad Farischon -- manager of the FBO at
Aspen, which is run by Trajen -- is false. He says the idea that
Aspen gets its fuel at cheaper prices than anyone else in the area
is a myth, and that the higher prices at ASE have to do with the
higher cost of living in that community.
He also speculated Glenwood Springs and other nearby airports
may have lower prices because they might be selling older fuel.
Aspen is so busy that it runs through its fuel quicker, Farischon
Farischon wouldn't say how much profit his FBO makes for a
gallon of avgas. "That’s private information," he said.
But the Aspen Times reports locals are convinced they're being
gouged... and there's now talk of starting up another FBO to battle
the high and rising cost of go-juice.
"There is room for another FBO there, so maybe competition would
push those prices down," said Bruce Gordon with the nonrofit
environmental organization, EcoFlight. "There’s talk around.
I haven’t heard anything too serious. But when prices get to
this point we need to take some action."