Most of you know that I have been pretty distracted this season as we work toward getting the new airport fuel facility up and running. This weekend, we did just that! We’re officially functional and we sold our first AVGAS!
This project has been 4 years in the making. The main reason for the delays has been the financing. No traditional banks were willing or interested in funding the project, no matter how promising it is as a business because of the remote location and poopy economy. Add the usual slow pace of getting anything done in Yakutat and we’re 4 years behind schedule.
Our electrician came into town (again) about 2 weeks ago and went to work pulling the final wires and getting everything connected. We discovered some extra wiring problems with the hangar in the process, but those have also been remedied now, till we find something else to worry about. I can not say enough wonderful things about Smokey Point Electric. They have been such a pleasure to work with. Also, our local power company guys were a huge help in getting things hooked up and functioning too.
The tech guy from Mascott Equipment arrived last Wednesday night to do the final hook-up and system testing. He discovered some of the pipes had been hooked up backwards on the AVGAS dispenser, so it was a bit of a challenge to get that fixed with Yakutat’s limited access to parts. He was able to piece it all together and get it running. We are still operating manually though because the credit card system is having some challenges connecting through our limited phone system. Hopefully that’ll be solved today though, so people can swipe and fuel without me having to be there the whole time.
Our first customer was the perfect guy! A non-local who comes through a couple times a year. He has been pestering me for two years every time he passes through about getting AVGAS and we finally had the ability to meet his needs! We’re far from done though. Signs should be arriving this week and in the spring, we will landscape around the pumps to make it all look nice.
All the profits from the fuel facility will go to finishing the hangar renovation and to buying artifacts and aircraft for the museum. It’ll take us a little time to recover financially, but once we do, the museum will grow pretty dramatically over the next couple years. Nice to finally see some real progress on something!