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The Community of Flying

Steve Blonstein, General Manager WVFC

Fuel Service by WVFC

The WVFC Board of Directors and management team want to inform the membership about an exciting development for the club.  We have entered into an agreement with our landlords, Roy Aero, to manage the Palo Alto Fuel Service business (Phillips 66 brand).  We will be operating the business end to end, i.e. from the time the fuel tanker delivers a load of fuel to the fuel farm, until the fuel is delivered to individual planes and everything in between. 

Why we are choosing to do this, and how can the club and membership benefit?  The management team and the Board of Directors spent many hours discussing the possibilities and came to the unanimous conclusion that this was a great opportunity for the club and one we should pursue.

Improved service.  WVFC already consumes about 40%-50% of the fuel sold by Palo Alto Fuel Service, so much of the fuel employee time is spent at or around WVFC planes.  We want to leverage this time and provide a better level of service to these planes whether it is windshield washing, checking tire inflation, verifying oil supplies etc.  Also, fuel service is provided over extended hours from 7AM to 7PM during the summer months.  We will be able to leverage that extra time over our normal 9AM-5PM hours and have club staff be available for a greater amount of time during the day.

Economics.  While the fuel business is a low margin business (not that our regular business is high margin), there should be some opportunities available to offer fuel discounts to owners and club members with their own planes.  Until we get a better handle on the economics of the fuel business, it’s too early to tell how much and how often these discounts can and will be offered.  We’re still a not for profit flying club, so any financial gain recognized from running the fuel service will be returned to the membership in one form or another.

Security of Supply.   By operating the Palo Alto Fuel Service, we are able to better control access and delivery of Avgas to our fleet.  The avgas business is very niche, with only a couple of refineries making the fuel, and a limited number of distributors handling it.  As long as fuel is flowing at the refinery and to the distributor then we are next in line for supply i.e. our fleet has better security of supply than it did before.

The planned date of transfer of the operation is October 1, 2013.  The existing Palo Alto Fuel Service employees (there are 3 of them) will become WVFC employees. They will report to the Member Service Team, headed by Ashley Porath.  Please welcome them and make them feel a part of our club.  We’re confident that the synergies between the two operations are great, so we can further improve the overall experience for all members at the club.

Fly Safe.