Uh Oh: Orlando Airport Running Out Of Jet Fuel

Uh Oh: Orlando Airport Running Out Of Jet Fuel

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If you’re traveling through Orlando International Airport (MCO) in the next couple of days, be ready for some operational disruptions.

Orlando Airport will run out of fuel on Sunday

As noted by @xJonNYC, there’s a bit of a fuel crisis at Orlando International Airport, and it’s going to get even worse later today. Specifically, per a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM), Orlando Airport is expected to not have any fuel from Sunday evening until Tuesday morning.

https://twitter.com/xJonNYC/status/1601782603891150849

The issue was caused by bad weather along the Gulf Coast, which has presented reserve supply delivery to Florida via ships.

While the airport hasn’t yet run out of fuel, it has already started to be rationed, so airlines have been tankering in as much fuel as possible for the past day or so. This means they’ve been flying to Orlando with additional fuel, so that they don’t need to refuel (or need to refuel significantly less) when departing the airport.

Admittedly this poses its own challenges. Even if a plane has the capacity to carry enough fuel for the return trip, it might not be able to land in Orlando with it. Planes have higher maximum takeoff weights than maximum landing weights.

So this isn’t a big issue for an Orlando to Miami flight, for example, but it is obviously a much bigger issue for an Orlando to Seattle or Orlando to London flight.

How are airlines handling this?

While tankering has already been happening without passengers knowing, the situation will get worse on Sunday evening, when there is expected to be no jet fuel left. Airlines are starting to publish their plans. Of the “big three” US carriers, it seems that United has already made the most proactive schedule changes.

For example, United’s first Orlando to San Francisco flight today is diverting to Dallas, while United’s later Orland to San Francisco flight is diverting to Fort Myers.

United Airlines Orlando refueling stop
United Airlines Orlando refueling stop

Meanwhile United’s Orlando to Los Angeles flight is diverting to New Orleans.

United Airlines Orlando refueling stop

British Airways’ Orlando to London Gatwick flight will be stopping in Miami to refuel.

British Airways Orlando refueling stop

While American hasn’t yet published schedule changes, the plan is to refuel in Miami for westbound flights, and to refuel in Atlanta, Charlotte, or Jacksonville, for northbound flights.

We’ll also likely see some flight cancelations as a result of this. After all, fuel stops can significantly increase travel time, and in some cases this might cause crews to “time out,” working more than their contractual limits.

Bottom line

Orlando Airport is expected to run out of fuel on Sunday evening. While airlines have already been tankering in fuel as much as possible, operations will be impacted significantly more as of today, with many flights making refueling stops.

This shouldn’t have a major impact for short haul flights (like to Atlanta or Miami), but if you’re on a longer flight out of Orlando, you can expect you will have an extra stop, or might see flights canceled altogether.

Are any OMAAT readers impacted by this Orlando fuel situation?

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  1. iamhere Guest

    Seems like although people have been inconvenienced it has been relatively well sorted.

  2. Eskimo Guest

    Any updates if it actually happened?

    Or it's just another WMD hunt.

  3. Kent Guest

    Absolutely hilarious! Maybe they should follow BYOG policy - bring your own gas.

  4. Steve M Guest

    Some of these contributors are sounding like Gary Lefftovers.
    VFTW has some tragic followers.

  5. Azamaraal Diamond

    You should ask Uncle Joe Biden about Keystone XL. The US is now turning to Venezuela and Saudi to get the heavy oil needed for the Gulf Refineries rather than get clean and ethical heavy oil from your partners to the North (at cheap prices to book). Let's support dictators and murderers - can't possibly build (gasp) a pipeline that would ensure that the US has sufficient energy for the next century from a friendly...

    You should ask Uncle Joe Biden about Keystone XL. The US is now turning to Venezuela and Saudi to get the heavy oil needed for the Gulf Refineries rather than get clean and ethical heavy oil from your partners to the North (at cheap prices to book). Let's support dictators and murderers - can't possibly build (gasp) a pipeline that would ensure that the US has sufficient energy for the next century from a friendly clean source.
    The Canadian side of XL is complete. Instead of supporting dictators the US side could be completed as approved in less than a year.
    No more fuel shortages. No more propping up dictators.

    1. Koggerj Guest

      Sir you're dodging the question.

  6. Brizone Gold

    Really top-notch community you built in the comments section Ben.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      This top-notch community brings a lot of ad revenue.

    2. GLCTraveler Gold

      You included Brizone...............? If you don't like it lump it and don't read!! Not Ben's doing who reads and comments. It is a travel worthy article that while has limited impact still impacts a Major airport in the US!

  7. Stan Guest

    Swimbikefly > would you care to explain how providing tax credits for solar panels is causing storms to make for a temporary delay in getting fuel into one specific airport in the US?

    Oh right. It doesn't, you are just a full of s$#t partisan hack. Gotcha.

    1. SwimBikeFly Guest

      It is well documented that we are not refining enough oil right now. It is also well documented that Solar Panels don't help airplanes.

      Also, and this is anecdotal, liberals always resort to name calling. Why?

    2. kels2003 Guest

      Capitalism at work baby. Refineries are privately owned. Oil prices are down, but refineries are using inflation as an excuse to jack up the prices and still can't keep up with supply. The US government doesn't own any oil refineries.

  8. Eskimo Guest

    Oil problem?
    Big brother has you back.
    We embargo them, have a proxy war with them, and when things still doesn't go our way, we put a $60 cap on it (against the judgement of $30 from Kermit the frog).

    Problem solved.

  9. Lune Guest

    I don't get it. This isn't an isolated island nation like New Zealand. Why not truck fuel in from Tampa or Miami? Whatever the cost, transporting by road must be far cheaper than tankering via aircraft.

    1. MCOFuelMan Guest

      Unfortunately, truck volume isn't enough to keep up with the massive fuel demand that is required to keep MCO running smoothly. MCO's main supply chain relies on vessel deliveries into the port of Tampa from various refineries across the Gulf of Mexico. When fog sets in at these load ports the vessels can not sail.

    2. Lune Gold

      Thanks for taking the time to reply! If you don't mind a few additional questions: From the port of Tampa, is the fuel delivered via pipeline? Also, if MCO gets its fuel from Tampa, how is Tampa airport not affected by this weather? Do they have larger reserves?

  10. SwimBikeFly Guest

    Weather issue lol

    Howabout an administration that is forcing our country into green energy without thinking through the consequences first issue?

    1. KK13 Gold

      How about add some IQ when you post next time?
      This isn't a national issue, only Orlando or state of FL issue. So, ask our amazing (FL) Gov how this happened, since you're on it.

    2. JP Guest

      LMAO! TOOOOOO-SHAAAAAAY

    3. hartd8 Member

      Ask Joe remember we are to use electric vs gas... green up garbage via joe and his party

    4. hartd8 Member

      What is your liberal problem!!!

    5. ORD_Is_My_Second_Home Member

      My problem as a liberal with your lot is that you're a bunch of Jesus Freak grammar-school drop-out rednecks who in reality worship an orange man with small hands.

    6. koggerj Guest

      Lefties base their entire ideology on emotion rather than logic and reason.

    7. Lune Gold

      Global warming from burning fossil fuels leads to more severe weather patterns. Which leads to increases in all sorts of things like, oh, I don't know, shipping of jet fuel. The consequences of going green would be less severe weather, so yeah, you're right. It's great to have an administration which has thought through the consequences of transitioning to green energy. Only people who don't like living in the reality-based world seem to have a...

      Global warming from burning fossil fuels leads to more severe weather patterns. Which leads to increases in all sorts of things like, oh, I don't know, shipping of jet fuel. The consequences of going green would be less severe weather, so yeah, you're right. It's great to have an administration which has thought through the consequences of transitioning to green energy. Only people who don't like living in the reality-based world seem to have a problem with it.

      Also, transitioning more surface transportation to electrics, thereby reducing demand for gasoline and diesel would allow refineries to produce more jet fuel, which would also help the aviation industry.

      But please, keep watching Fox News and make sure to stay outraged at whatever their corporate sponsors want you to stay outraged at.

  11. JB Guest

    I have a friend flying from Orlando to Dubai on Emirates tonight. I wonder where that flight will stop, especially since it typically flies directly east after takeoff over the Atlantic towards Europe. Maybe JAX? Or TPA, since I don't know if JAX can handle a 773. Or maybe MIA.

  12. Never In Doubt Guest

    New Zealand comes to Orlando!

  13. Leo Liang Guest

    As a Chinese, I would expect airport fuel lines to be interconnected like the TSN-PKX fuel line or be connected via freight train, is this not true in the US?

    1. Icarus Guest

      Yes. They are, at least at major airports.

    2. Never In Doubt Guest

      It was weather related problems with the ships delivering the fuel, not the pipelines.

      From @MCO Twitter:

      “Ops Update: Weather issues along the Gulf Coast had prevented reserve supply delivery of jet fuel at MCO. The weather has lifted and ships have departed.”

    3. LEGALIZE ALL DRUGS Guest

      Never say “as a Chinese”. That’s highly racist and offensive. Always say “as a Chinese person.”

    4. Just wondering Guest

      Are you a Chinese person? I sure hope you are since you are correcting a Chinese person on how to self-identify.

  14. Harry Guest

    @Rob: I'm confused since when does Russia get its refined products from us? I think they have their own. And I would think there is an embargo (the war) stopping the transfer even if its exist which I obviously do not. If you want to stick with that thinking, then go Inside the Beltway. Remember the current administration shut down the pipeline from Canada even though they just rail it across. Lastly, I would think...

    @Rob: I'm confused since when does Russia get its refined products from us? I think they have their own. And I would think there is an embargo (the war) stopping the transfer even if its exist which I obviously do not. If you want to stick with that thinking, then go Inside the Beltway. Remember the current administration shut down the pipeline from Canada even though they just rail it across. Lastly, I would think it's a pipeline issue. Jet fuel by truck @ 6,800 gallons. How far would that go in a modern jet?

    1. Rob Guest

      @Harry. The supply disruptions, price caps, embargos, stockpiling for winter in Europe, as well as market games being played with US releasing the SPR to try to impact price, then Saudi cutting production to offset that action, then US making a deal with Venez to try to offset the offset, have all led to bastardized pricing that is unfavorable to jetfuel.

      Think of it like the chip shortage during the pandemic... Auto's cancelled chip...

      @Harry. The supply disruptions, price caps, embargos, stockpiling for winter in Europe, as well as market games being played with US releasing the SPR to try to impact price, then Saudi cutting production to offset that action, then US making a deal with Venez to try to offset the offset, have all led to bastardized pricing that is unfavorable to jetfuel.

      Think of it like the chip shortage during the pandemic... Auto's cancelled chip contracts thinking the economy was going to crash, but then it didn't and when they tried to get the forward contracts back, the capacity was already sold to computers and stay at home device companies that bought them up, leading to shortages of chips for cars.

  15. Rob Guest

    The broader issue is that the Russia/Ukraine war has led to refining capacity shifting toward diesel and away from jet fuel. Yes, this particular delay may be "delivery" related, but the root cause doesn't seem easy to reverse.

  16. Tom Guest

    NOTAM is a Notice to Air Missions, no longer Air Men for obvious reasons…… pretty basic, Ben

    1. koggerj Guest

      Obvious reasons is that lefties are fragile snowflakes.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Stan Guest

Swimbikefly > would you care to explain how providing tax credits for solar panels is causing storms to make for a temporary delay in getting fuel into one specific airport in the US? Oh right. It doesn't, you are just a full of s$#t partisan hack. Gotcha.

5
KK13 Gold

How about add some IQ when you post next time? This isn't a national issue, only Orlando or state of FL issue. So, ask our amazing (FL) Gov how this happened, since you're on it.

3
MCOFuelMan Guest

Unfortunately, truck volume isn't enough to keep up with the massive fuel demand that is required to keep MCO running smoothly. MCO's main supply chain relies on vessel deliveries into the port of Tampa from various refineries across the Gulf of Mexico. When fog sets in at these load ports the vessels can not sail.

3
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