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Fuel prices

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:57 am
by joefremont
Something i have been thinking about recently is our fuel prices at the various airports. Right now they are essentially random, but I have been thinking about a way to calculate them and have gathered some data to come up with a formula that will calculate how much the fuel price should be at any given airports. Here are some of the factors I have though of that may be used in figuring out a fairer price system.

1) Oil production/consumption - The higher the percentage of the nations oil that is imported, the higher the fuel price, the more oil they export the lower there price.
2) Distance to oil producers - For oil importers the further away major exporters are the more it costs.
3) Population close to the airport - The number of people who live in the area of the airport can indicate how remote the airport is and therefore how expensive it is to transport fuel to the airport.
4) Relative wealth of the country - In countries with a high GDP per person, they generally have more infrastructural, lower corruption, lower taxes and an easier time buying fuel on the open market, all these things make make fuel less expensive.

Let the complaining begin.

Re: Fuel prices

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:08 am
by CAPFlyer
Well, the only one I'd have a problem with is #4 because if you look at the EU and US, both have high per-person GDP's but similarly have high fuel taxation rates for aviation fuel (not to mention road fuels).

Re: Fuel prices

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:10 pm
by afqr2007
i also like the sound of an updated fuel price. And whilst on the subject i would like to say that i think it would be a good idea if airlines could buy vast amounts of fuel cheaper, like some do in real life (BA for example), instead of per flight

Re: Fuel prices

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:16 am
by flightsimer
Im going to say no because airlines will charge higher fares to offset the higher costs of fuel, so unless you do the same for regions with varying fare prices, you dont gain anything from it in the game.

1) ok
2) not sure about this
3)this doesnt really have any truth to it. I fly out of Beaver County airport which is just north of Pittsburgh intl and has a considerably big population within 15-20 miles out (actually, it shares Pittsburgh Intl's catchment area from Northwest all the way towards Youngstown to the Northeast/east into the neighboring county). Yet it has the highest fuel prices for Jet A and 100LL of any airport within 100nm of me.
4) cap already said some issues with that.

Re: Fuel prices

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:14 pm
by MMattyK
I'm curious as to what are the thoughts behind this idea? If it's to add realism, the information is (fairly) easy to obtain from various websites on the net, and to be honest, I'm not really fussed, BUT It also calls into question just how realistic do you want the environment to be?
If' its realism that you're after, just stop flights at more than single speed, or divide the distances/pax/cargo/payload and flights by the time multiplier when putting them in the database for awards for example as a first step, or limit the number of hours a pilot can 'fly' in any one 24 hour period, taking the multiplier into account.

Re: Fuel prices

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:42 pm
by CAPFlyer
Matt, while you can go and look at those websites, it's another altogether to then get that information into the system, especially since most of the smaller airports have no way to update their fuel prices. Thus, even if you could get fuel prices on a regular basis and upload them into the database, you still need to be able to "fill in the blanks"

Tyler, yes, you are correct that some smaller airports will have higher prices. However, that's not necessarily the norm. It may be that your location has a harder time getting fuel due to volume of sales or terrain between it and the fuel depot. Additionally, are there extra local taxes added on? Most people aren't aware of it, but the airport authority can levy a tax on aviation fuel in addition to those levied by the federal government.

I would suggest to Joe that to resolve the issue of high prices in airports close to a major population area is that the fuel price at a small airport in close proximity to a large population have some sort of "premium" put on it if it's the only small airport in the area or it is the largest of the small airports (i.e. non-commercial) airports within the population area.

Re: Fuel prices

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:17 pm
by joefremont
This thing started from me because a pilot who's home base was in a central asian country that was a big oil exporter and the fuel cost at the main airport in the capitol city was a fairly high 1.7v$/L. I agreed that did not make sence and adjusted it in the airport editor. But that started me thinking as how to calculate fuel prices at an airport and started trying to gather some data that would be useful on doing that. If we could just download and import the actuall prices that would be cool, but as Cap said, there are just many of them, plus there are lots of airports being added that are either historic or so small there is no information for them. As for some of the reasons and thoughs I have add on the points:

As for distance, I figure that Jordan which imports 99.9% of its oil will have a lower cost to import that New Zealand, which has to import about the same amount of oil, but has it has to go a much farther distance.

As for fuel taxes, from what I have read, in most EU countries there is no tax on jet fuel used for international flights, but some tax domestic flights, others don't. Most do tax private flights. In the US, jet fuel for corporate (i.e airline) flights is a very low 0.04$/gallon but private flights are 0.21$/galon, and AVGas is taxed at 0.194 $/gallon. Since most of our flights are internatinal flights by airlines direct national fuel taxes are not really a factor in those areas. Local taxes and fees are another matter. But I am not seeing any patterns where you can say poor contries have a higher or lower rate than rich countries so I may leave off that part.

For the population in the local area, I was thinking that in places with low local population would be the more remote and therefore harder to get fuel to. I was thinking of remote airports in alaska or canada or airports on islands.

Tyler the point you made about the small airport in the busy area is a good one. It seams in my reading that small infrequently used airports are expensive because they have only a few flights to pay there expenses, and as they get busier the cost can goes down until they start reaching there capacity, when the price shoots up again because they don't have to worry as much about driving away potential customers. We could periodically recalculate the price based on the traffic in the last week based on the size of the airport.

There will always be exceptions where they lower prices to bring in more business or raise prices to reduce traffic.