In the past month, the average price of automotive fuel has dropped almost 13 cents a gallon, according to MissouriGasPrices.com. However, the same price plunge has not been seen when it comes to aviation fuel, according to Robin Carroll, fixed base operator at Hannibal Regional Airport.
“Car gas is going down and I haven’t seen any drop in the aviation fuel rate. It just doesn’t seem to make any difference,” she said, referring to patterns in fuel price trends.
While some local motorists may grouse about the fact that fuel in America’s Hometown is $2.99 a gallon, that price pales in comparison to what their aviation counterparts are paying. As of Friday, pilots landing in Hannibal were paying $5.79 a gallon for 100 Low Lead (100LL) fuel. The cost of Jet A fuel was $4.95.
The thought of paying that much for a gallon of fuel might make the average motorist weak in the knees, those are actually good prices, according to Carroll.
“People stop here all the time because we have the lowest fuel prices around,” she said, noting its not uncommon for area prices to run around $6 a gallon for 100LL. Carroll recently saw where 100LL in California was selling for $8 a gallon.
According to 100lowlead.com, a pilot information service Web site, in the south central region, which includes Missouri, the average price for 100LL Friday was $5.83. All five other regions in the U.S. had an average price above $6 a gallon for the same fuel. As for Jet A, the south central region’s average price of $5.39 a gallon was also the cheapest in the nation.
Carroll says a conscious effort is made to keep Hannibal’s aviation fuel prices low.
“We try to keep watching the fuel prices and when we order we order a full load so we can get it at an even better deal. We just try to get it at the lowest price we can. Some times it’s just a big gamble, but that’s all you can do,” she said.
Keeping fuel prices as low as possible helps promote Hannibal, according to Carroll.
“The important part is to get people to come to our town and to have people know this is a great little place to stop for good food, shopping and a nice airport with a beautiful, new terminal. I think it is working because we’re getting more people to stop,” she said.
Although aviation fuel prices in Hannibal are low, Carroll noted during Wednesday’s Airport Advisory Board meeting that fuel sales are down right now.
“December, January and February will be the lowest times of the year and then they’ll pick up again. In the spring people get itching to get out of the house and go somewhere. People don’t fly as much in the winter,” she said.