Iqaluit airport out of aviation gas

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The Iqaluit airport has run out of aviation gasoline, which means some adventure pilots may have to change their flight plans.

Aviation gasoline, also known as av gas, is the type of fuel often used by private aircraft such as small propeller planes. Commercial airlines use jet fuel and therefore are not affected.

The aviation gasoline shortage does affect pilots of small planes that had planned to stop in Iqaluit en route to Europe.

“Iqaluit is certainly a place where we stop to refuel and enjoy the destination,” Thierry Pouille, president of Florida-based Air Journey, told CBC News on Wednesday.

Pouille, whose company guides pilots flying their own airplanes on extended trips to exotic locations, had planned to lead a group of seven planes to Iqaluit for an overnight refuelling stop as part of their trip to Iceland in June.

Instead, Pouille said they might have to stop in Kuujjuaq, Que., then on to Greenland.

“If there’s no av gas available then indeed, we have to look for plan B,” he said.

Aviation gas is shipped to Nunavut on the annual sealift resupply. Officials with the Nunavut government say there is minimal demand for the fuel and it’s available only at a handful of the territory’s airports.

But Uqsuq Corp., the aviation gas supplier in Iqaluit, says 2009 was an exceptional year for aviation gas sales.

In an email to CBC News, Uqsuq general manager Chris Coté said aerial survey operations based out of Iqaluit unexpectedly used up Uqsuq’s annual supply of aviation gas.

Cote said a fuel resupply is expected to arrive by ship in early to mid-July.

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