Fuel Depot

In the early days of planning during the later half of the 1980's the concept of having a a fuel depot on the airfield available 24/7 and payment being automatic by credit card would have seemed like an impossible dream. Just having a fuel depot seemed out of reach.

In the late 1990's Gus De Laat, the airfield association President took up a lease over a site allocated for the construction of a fuel depot. Gus spent $35.000 establishing the fuel depot, Gus stated "An airfield without its own fuel depot won't flourish, I know I won't make money from the depot but at least it will be there.". He wanted not only to have AVGAS available, but MOGAS as well and he envisioned a small building from which an operator sold oil suitable for use in aeroplanes along with pilot supplies.

Gus's depot wasn't as fancy as what is there today, however it did establish the fuel depot and get it up and running.. Items such as the underground tank that Gus had installed are still still in use in 2010. Gus had the foresight to establish what is now a vital element for the continuing development of Watts Bridge.

Photo below (June 2006) - the original fuel depot built by Gus De Laat in the very early 2000's

In about 2009, the association obtained the fuel depot lease and spent approx $65,000 making the above-ground improvements shown in the photo below. Because this is a self serve facility, patronage of the facility has gradually increased. This is a vast improvement over Gus's bowzer (which was operated by having your own key and a keyed account), however the Gus's dream hasn't yet been fully realised because no oil is available.

Photo Below (August 2010): The largest aircraft to use the refueling facility so far was the Grumman Avenger.

To provide further information, corrections or feedback please email: Historian@wattsbridgehistory.com