ADVERSE EFFECTS OF THE JET FUEL BAN
From October 2007 to May 2008, a committee of the Torrance Airport Commission examined the effects of the city's ban on the
sale of jet fuel at the Torrance Airport. Although they had very limited resources, the committee found strong evidence
that the ban has been detrimental to both the airport and to the surrounding community. They found that, in reality, the
policy does not restrict or discourage jet aircraft from using the Torrance Airport and that removing the ban will not attract
any more jet aircraft to the airport than would normally use the airport anyway. They also found that nearly 30% of the
jet-fueled flights from Torrance are currently made to neighboring airports just to refuel and thus could be eliminated if the
fuel were available on the field.
As a result of the study, the Commission recommended that the ban on the sale of jet fuel at the Torrance Airport should be
ended for the following reasons:
- Increased Safety: If jet fuel were available at our airport, departures with low fuel reserves or using emergency
measures would be eliminated and safety margins will be increased.
- Reduced flight operations: If jet fuel were available at Torrance, extra round-trip flights from Torrance just to
refuel at neighboring airports would be eliminated--decreasing the total number of jet flights from the airport by nearly 30%.
- Increased Revenue: The fuel flowage fees for an estimated 10,000 gal/month of jet fuel now goes to surrounding cities.
Airport businesses at those airports benefit from these sales, but the extra flights occur at Torrance.
If jet fuel were available at our airport, those flowage fees and taxes will be captured by the City of Torrance and
local businesses will benefit from the sales.
- Reduced Future Operations Growth: The use of general aviation as a more attractive and convenient alternative to
commercial airlines will cause more aircraft of all types to use our airport in the future. New technology diesel engines, which
use jet fuel, will replace gasoline piston power in many existing and new aircraft. If jet fuel is available, the increasing
number of extra flights just to refuel at neighboring airports that result from this growth will be eliminated.
- Support for Emergency Operations: The Torrance alternate emergency operations center is located at the Torrance Airport.
In the event of a serious area emergency, that center would become a hub of activity for the entire South Bay.
Aircraft and helicopters responding to that emergency will use the airport as a center of activity, and many of them
will require jet fuel.
In June 2008, the committee reported to the entire Commission, which approved the report and recommended
that the City Council fund a qualified consultant to validate or refute the findings of the study.
On December 9, 2008, the City Council voted to "accept and file" the report, but took no further action, claiming that the city could
not afford to hire a qualified consultant. Airport Fund revenues exceeded airport expenses by over $3 million during the budget year 2009-2010.
As a result, the community continues to endure the unnecessary refueling flights.