SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Surging crude oil prices are contributing to an increase in the cost of gasoline. As drivers contend with $5 a gallon gasoline prices nationwide, the cost of fueling aircraft is also rising.
Just as the aviation industry hits its stride after the long shellacking by the COVID-19 pandemic, another crisis looms—airline fuel prices.
As gas prices rise nationwide, they continue to fall in Onondaga County and Syracuse Hancock International Airport is feeling relief.
Officials at the airport said they do not need to adjust their budget this year.
“Every year we do an estimate of how expensive it’s going to be to do a variety of things at the airport, whether that’s mowing the lawn, whether that’s clearing snow; and if gas prices are going up, we have to increase that budget, and we have to find the money within our overall airport system,” said Matthew Szwejbka, communications specialist at Syracuse Hancock International Airport
“Compared to last year, the average fare of public transportation services to has beetle airport decreased two to five dollars,” Szwejbka said. “A relief for most Central New Yorkers since Syracuse Hancock is the first airport choice for most of them.”
According to Szwejbka, airport officials work with other transportation services who provide transportation to the airport.
“So, that includes buses, Uber and Lyft (rides),” Szwejbka said. “We also work with local taxi companies. They pay us a small fee so that they can sit outside and wait for customers.”
Officials at the airport will keep a wary eye on gas prices. If they were to go up again, that will burden airport services especially ground vehicle services.
“As prices start to slowly go back up again, that does increase our costs,” Szwejbka said. “For example, for the vehicles that we own. Our snow plows you see out here clearing the snow field, the tractors used to mow the lawn, that would cost more. ”
And the result of higher costs to the airport would directly impact the ticket prices over time.
“If the cost to keep the airfield clear, both for mowing and for snow plowing purposes, if those costs go up, those costs do get passed along to the airlines as they operate at our airport,” Szwejbka said.
However, compared to airfare prices six months ago, there has been a 20% deduction in each airline ticket sold at Syracuse Hancock. The reason: gasoline prices leveled or dropped, in the Syracuse area, even below the price of gasoline throughout New York State.
“Because there is some fear of a recession, those oil prices are going down,” Puma said. “And that’s why we’re seeing lower prices here in the United States right now.”
At the same time, the low price at the pump reflects a reduced demand for gasoline. According to Puma, gas prices follow supply and demand and there is less demand today than a year ago.
“So, the companies that make it and the petroleum exporting countries, they have to put the prices up,” Puma said. “And during the summer, the gasoline blend is more expensive to make.”
Puma continued: “Now that we’re entering the fall season, we’re using the winter blend, which is a little bit cheaper, and fewer people are traveling just because students have gone back to school.” So, demand is down.
Puma believes that gasoline prices are still unstable; she calls them “sliding.” There are many factors involved: How many people are filling up, what is happening in other countries.
“But in the far future, we’ll just have to wait and see,” Puma said.
“It will show you a map of all of the different gas stations near you and you can even put in an address and look at the gas stations nearby,” Puma said. “Then you can compare those prices and decide where you want to gas up before you even leave the house.”