Fuming About Gas Prices

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Alaskan Prices Highest In Country...

The one state likely doing the highest percentage of general aviation flying per resident is also paying the most for general aviation fuel. "With the gas prices, oh, man, it's a sore subject," Matt Smith, of Anchorage's Aero Tech Flight Services, told The Anchorage Daily News. As often seems to be the case, Alaskans have been hit harder by gas-price increases than just about anyone. Aero Tech is currently charging about $3 a gallon for 100LL, up from about $2.50 in early May. However, while FBOs in populated areas of the state can expect the prices to fluctuate with world oil prices, bush pilots in outlying areas are bracing for a year of high fuel costs, possibly up to $4 a gallon. In many remote areas, fuel is barged in during the very window in July and August when the rivers are free of ice. That means the barges are being filled now, while prices are at their peak, and that will set the rates until the barge arrives next summer. Tack on the freight costs and companies like Hageland Aviation in Kotzebue expect fuel prices to reach $4 a gallon. Some companies are raising charter rates, partly because of the gas-price increases but insurance, maintenance and other costs are also factors.