Airlines are being encouraged to make alternative jet fuel delivery arrangements with suppliers, after fuel shortages at Melbourne Airport affected international flights.
Melbourne Airport said the Joint User Hydrant Installation (JUHI) Joint Venture was currently managing an issue with the upstream supply of jet fuel at ports and refineries.
The issue is impacting the amount of fuel being transported to Melbourne Airport. As a result, temporary fuel rationing measures had been implemented by the JUHI.
Jet fuel supply contracts are negotiated directly between airlines and fuel suppliers. JUHI management has confirmed that there is no problem with fuel infrastructure at the airport and the facility is functioning normally.
Melbourne Airport said airlines were managing potential impacts and that there had been limited impact on airline schedules at this stage.
Melbourne Airport said it encouraged the JUHI to consider prioritising the allocation of available fuel to those airlines most in need and with limited alternatives to manage the disruption, such as long haul international carriers.
Melbourne Airport called on all fuel suppliers to exert every possible effort to meet their commitments to airlines flying from Melbourne Airport. Melbourne Airport will continue to work closely with all airlines to accommodate any changes in their operational plans.
Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, said she had previously written to all four suppliers of jet fuel and to Melbourne Airport seeking assurances around continuity of jet fuel supply.
Ms D’Ambrosio said she also wrote to the Commonwealth Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, to seek his immediate intervention on 17 October 2016.
While Melbourne Airport falls under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth, Ms D’Ambrosio said the state government was willing to provide any assistance it could to ensure a prompt resolution.
Ms D’Ambrosio contacted Mr Chester to discuss the development of a plan for greater storage capacity and the need for competition among fuel suppliers.
Sydney Airport’s fuel storage capacity is more than double that of Melbourne Airport.