Acsa: Enough jet fuel for 2010

2009-09-01 16:01

Cape Town - The Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa) assured MPs on Tuesday there would be sufficient jet fuel stocks at the country's major airports for next year's Soccer World Cup.

"We do have a plan for ensuring that... airports are fully stocked. We cannot afford an interruption of fuel supply to any of [them]," Acsa operations director Bongani Maseko told members of Parliament's tourism portfolio committee.

The assurance comes after jet fuel stocks at the country's busiest airport, OR Tambo International, fell to just two days supply last month, sparking concerns that flights could be delayed or grounded.

Maseko said Acsa had carried out a fuel storage capacity analysis at each of the nine airports it manages.

He also revealed a plan to ensure there was extra jet fuel available during the tournament.

"One of the considerations... is to actually have a ship docked in Port Elizabeth or Durban that is stocked with [jet] fuel, that will supply mainly Gauteng...," he said.

'Splash and dash'

MPs later heard that South Africa's jet fuel storage capacity is 47 million litres, while daily usage is about 12 million litres. Consumption is expected to more than double during the 2010 event.

Briefing members, South African Airways 2010 project manager Ian Cruikshank said the national carrier would "effectively be tripling our operations" over the period of the World Cup, in June and July next year.

It was known that certain small airports, such as Pilanesberg and Nelspruit, did not have the equipment to speedily refuel flights.

"We're investigating a 'splash and dash' concept," he said.

This meant the aircraft would make a quick trip to the closest larger airport to take on fuel, before returning to the small airport.