gas - Tomer Appelbaum - February 11 2011
The gas pump. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
Text size

The contaminated jet fuel that halted flights from Ben-Gurion International Airport in May may have been brought in at the Ashdod Port, putting of Paz Gas Company at fault for the crisis, according to the findings of a report from a team commissioned by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The IATA team finished collecting evidence from the contaminated fuel episode at Ben-Gurion two weeks ago, after which they carried out independent research for three days. The team then followed up on their findings, meeting with the head of the airport, Shmuel Kandel, as well as members of his staff, to discuss the incident.

The expert team even visited the fuel depots at Bilu and Glilot junctions, after which they inspected the fuel facilities at Ben-Gurion Airport.

The international team was approved by both the Transportation Ministry as well as other institutions dealing with the follow-up on the contaminated jet fuel that disrupted flights out of Israel for over a week two months ago.

The National Infrastructure Ministry has conducted its own research into the matter, and published its interim conclusions. However, they were unable to discern the source of the contamination.

This is not the first time that the IATA has deemed research on contaminated fuel conducted נy Israel insufficient. In fact, foreign airlines continued to bring their own gas, even after Transportation Minister Israel Katz declared the fuel at Ben-Gurion Airport fit for use.

After the jet fuel crisis, IATA sent in a fuel expert from a conference in Singapore to conduct independent tests to ensure the fuel at Ben-Gurion was fit for use.
IATA had no comment on the matter.

The Israel Airports Authority, that is responsible for commissioning Paz to supply fuel for Ben-Gurion Airport planes, said that “The government report on the matter has not been published yet. The IAA has not received the report from the IATA nor has it received its findings.”

Paz responded to the allegations that the contaminated fuel was under their jurisdiction, saying “we still have not received a final report from the IATA and as far as the company knows thus far, there is no evidence of the reason or cause responsible for the fuel incident at Ben-Gurion Airport.”