Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Banner
Welcome to our forums

AVGAS availability in Sicily?

Hi,

I’m planning a trip t Sicily, but I’m kind of baffled by the lack of availability of AVGAS at most of the airports there. Especially as I’m planning to arrive from Croatia, I need to go to an airport with a customs / border control office, and these airport don’t seem to carry any AVGAS. I was looking at Birgi (LICT) and Catania (LICC), but neither seems to carry AVGAS

I wonder how GA people fly around there, where do they stop to refuel, etc?

Akos

Simply siad, there is not so much (Avgas engine powered) flying there any more. Sicilian pilots (like anywhere else in Italy) have mostly moved to flying ultralights (or Rotax-powered certified aircraft) from strips using their own petrol from the fuel station.

Visitors from abroad indeed get irritated, but in the end, they have to cope with it. But a fact is that for the major airports, it is a huge nuisance to carry Avgas (and all the associated cost) when the amount of fuel sold is so low. What’s interesting is that in theory, ENAC (the italian CAA) males it a requirement for airports to carry all sorts of fuel (both Jet and Avgas) in order to receive their license. But in reality, they get away with it somehow. One case is the new airport in Sicily, Comiso (LICB). They have tanks for Jet, 100LL and even mogas98. When they opened (end of May last year) they filled them all once, but since the first supply of Avgas and mogas was gone, they never replenished and just issue a NOTAM

Cuurently, there three places in Sicily where you can get Avgas 100LL: Palermo-Boccadifalco (inofficially, from Aeroclub Palermo), Catania (again, inofficially, from Aeroclub Catania) and at a small dirt strip called Salemi (between Palermo and Trapani. That’s it. No fuel at all at Birgi and, as I mentioned, not currently at Comiso. Eremo della Giubiliana once had a suppy of Avgas on site, but no more.

An alternative outside Italy is Malta (1,90€/l). Coming from Hungary, you also might want to refuel to the brim at Tivat in Montenegro (1,65€/l)

You may want to read more here and here.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 21 Aug 06:06
Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

This is some time ago but the folk at Aeroclub Catania were very helpful. You just need to pre book with them to check availability.

Enstone (EGTN), Oxford (EGTK)

Cuurently, there three places in Sicily where you can get Avgas 100LL: Palermo-Boccadifalco (inofficially, from Aeroclub Palermo), Catania (again, inofficially, from Aeroclub Catania) and at a small dirt strip called Salemi (between Palermo and Trapani.

What is the “unofficial” procedure?

What I have come across is that the club (which operates under some sort of tax concession – one Italian pilot explained this to me but I don’t recall the details) is not allowed to sell the fuel to visitors, so they have to pretend they are filling up a club aircraft. The degree to which a visitor can negotiate that is likely to depend on one’s Italian language competence, and may involve a backhander (a bribe). IMHO, a non Italian speaker is likely to get precisely nowhere. I recall some hilarious scenes where people just smiled at me mysteriously, and I didn’t think it was because I was good looking

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

There’s similar thread on the board here

Flying from Croatia, I made a customs stop at Bari (LIBD) and then flew to Boccadifalco (LICP operated by Palermo aeroclub) and did the same on the way back. When going there making break at Bari was planned but on a way back I wanted to avoid it but somewhere I had to clear border because it wasn’t possible at LICP.

For Bari (and any other big Italian airport) you have to arrange handling wich you have to put in field 18 in flight plan under RMK/. I used Delta Aerotaxi and had positive experience – the price was some €60.

AVGAS at LICP is €3 per liter and landing and parking for few days was some €100. You can find contacts at aeroclub’s web page

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

What is the “unofficial” procedure?

No procedure there. They can not officially sell the fuel to third parties, so they don’t advertise it and don’t put it in writing.

What I have come across is that the club (which operates under some sort of tax concession – one Italian pilot explained this to me but I don’t recall the details) is not allowed to sell the fuel to visitors, so they have to pretend they are filling up a club aircraft.

Yes. However, it is not only due to tax reasons. It’s also about licenses (virtually every activity in Italy requires a license). Almost no club has a license to trade fuels.

The degree to which a visitor can negotiate that is likely to depend on one’s Italian language competence, and may involve a backhander (a bribe).

On more time, a much too materialistic view on things…

It has zero to do with bribing. It’s not Mauritania.

It’s merely about helping out each other among pilots. It’s about friendly communication about what “can be done”. Obviously without soliciting “written confirmations” (which they usually don’t want to give) and other stuff like that.

IMHO, a non Italian speaker is likely to get precisely nowhere.

Depends entirely on if the people speak English. Those who don’t reply to English inquiries don’t don’t do it to be mean, but just because many people simply don’t speak sufficient English.

I recall some hilarious scenes where people just smiled at me mysteriously.

Could be, but these most certainly weren’t aeroclub people or passionate pilots, but rather some underpaid airport personell that doesn’t want to lose its job.

Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

That all makes sense, but the problem is that if you land somewhere, and you don’t have enough in the tanks to go to the next place which definitely sells avgas to visitors, and you can’t speak Italian, and nobody speaks English, you have a problem…

I was in that situation once and had just enough fuel to fly over the Alps to Germany. We could have gone back to say Slovenia but the weather was closing in in a big way. I know people take the p*ss out of me for preferring a relatively good degree of pre-flight “certainty” but I will never want to put myself into such a situation again, because it created pretty big issues with the rest of the trip (versus weather).

Any discussion like this can be interpreted as a criticism of Italy, which it isn’t, but it would be good to know what one can do (apart from learning Italian).

From what I see, the big Italian airports (those that have Customs and ILS etc) sell avgas OK, and aren’t too expensive for the occasional visit.

Last Edited by Peter at 21 Aug 09:44
Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

From what I see, the big Italian airports (those that have Customs and ILS etc) sell avgas OK, and aren’t too expensive for the occasional visit.

Unfortunately, entirely not the case. See my first post. Most of the major airports (70%) don’t bother.

Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

Akos,
Refueling in Malta is not a bad idea. It’s a big airport, with decent fees, has AVGAS and everyone speaks good English. It’s a great place to eat fish too :)

Peter wrote:

What I have come across is that the club (which operates under some sort of tax concession – one Italian pilot explained this to me but I don’t recall the details) is not allowed to sell the fuel to visitors, so they have to pretend they are filling up a club aircraft. The degree to which a visitor can negotiate that is likely to depend on one’s Italian language competence, and may involve a backhander (a bribe). IMHO, a non Italian speaker is likely to get precisely nowhere. I recall some hilarious scenes where people just smiled at me mysteriously, and I didn’t think it was because I was good looking

My experience in Italy has been that even without Italian and landing at clubs without English, that somehow miraculously the issue has always been solved. I must be more charismatic than you! And BTW absolutely no bribes involved.

Last Edited by WhiskeyPapa at 27 Mar 08:44
Tököl LHTL
19 Posts
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top