Boise Airport Executive Director Rebecca Hupp said there were two reasons for commissioning a full analysis of the facility's aviation fuel supply structure. The first was the ongoing process of updating the airport master plan for the next two or three decades. The second reason was something else altogether.
"We've heard discussions about a private entity perhaps building a fuel pipeline to the Boise Airport," said Hupp. "We've heard that it's an Idaho entity, and we've also recently received word from one of our major airlines that they would support such a pipeline."
The fuel supply analysis was unveiled before the Boise City Council during an April 4 workshop session, and it will be a point of discussion at the Boise Airport Commission meeting Thursday, April 6.
The timing of the analysis is critical: BOI annual aviation fuel demand has climbed to 20 million gallons annually, an increase of 42 percent since 2014.
"There are a number of reasons for that: more frequency of flights and larger aircraft," said Hupp. "Plus, keep in mind that we've had a lot of firefighting activity recently, and aircraft require a lot of fuel."
Hupp was quick to point out that the airport's current fuel supply is working, but said, "We've got to be ready to explore options, and that might include a pipeline."
According to the analysis, the current market value of aviation fuel consumed at BOI is in excess of $50 million annually, and having "an efficient supply of jet fuel that will meet future growth is vital to maintain a competitive posture."
Hupp was reluctant to name the Idaho entity eyeing a possible airport pipeline.
"But if it were to happen, they might lease space from the airport and sell fuel directly to the airlines and other tenants," she added. "We need to be ready to say what we need when and if the pipeline proposal becomes reality."