Jet fuel prices hurt local businesses and airports - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Jet fuel prices hurt local businesses and airports

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June 6, 2008

Dawson -- Most of the planes at Dawson's Municipal Airport are grounded. "We have seen a lot less flights now than we had a year ago," said airport manager, Willie Garner.

A problem that isn't just in Southwest Georgia. "It's all over the state and all over the country with the prices of fuel a day," said Garner.

And it's those fuel prices that now makes up 20 percent of this AG pilot's gross income. "We burn a gallon a minute from flying, so it gets pretty expensive. The increase is costing us 60 dollars an hour," said J.D. Scarborough.

Increases he has had to pass on to his customers. "Everyone seems to understand. They seem to be going through the same crisis with the fuel for their farm equipment and irrigation systems. Privately we've had no increase in wages to off set our cost in operations. And it hurts," said Scarborough.

And that is what has lead this flight instructor to quit. "I used to teach four or five at a time, but that has diminished to two to three a year. Right now I only have two students, and when I am finished with them I intend to be finished instructing," said Roy Young. 

And though he enjoys spreading his love for the skies, it came down to the bottom line. "A lot of people learn to fly for pleasure, but when you have to pay 40 to 50 dollars an hour just for fuel, 40 to 50 is not very much fun," said Young.

A feeling shared by those being hit hard with higher aviation gas prices. Aviation fuel is now between five and seven dollars a gallon.

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