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Washington, DC, June 10, 2013 – The General Aviation Avgas Coalition praised the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) announcement today to formally request sample unleaded fuels for testing as possible replacements to the 100 low-lead (100LL) aviation gasoline (avgas) that general aviation aircraft use today.
The General Aviation Avgas Coalition, comprised of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), American Petroleum Institute (API), Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), National Air Transportation Association (NATA) and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), noted that the FAA’s move to begin reviewing possible fuels is a significant step in the search for an unleaded aviation gasoline that will perform adequately in all types of general aviation aircraft.
“The general aviation community supports a deliberative, science-based exploration of aviation-fuel alternatives to 100 low-lead gasoline that focuses on preserving the safety, cost-effectiveness and feasibility of use for substitute fuel, among other considerations,” said NBAA Chief Operating Officer Steve Brown. “We welcome the FAA’s announcement, because we believe it is an appropriate next step in the conduct of an informed exploration for an aviation-fuel alternative to the avgas currently in use today.”
While the aviation industry has long acknowledged that an unleaded avgas is desirable, finding a workable unleaded replacement has proven difficult. Most significant is the realization that a replacement fuel will not be a “drop-in” solution, thus requiring the recertification of the entire fleet of existing aircraft. As a result, the FAA program will assess the viability of candidate fuels in terms of impact upon the existing fleet, production and distribution infrastructure, environment and toxicology, and economic considerations.
In 2012, an industry-government committee called the Unleaded Avgas Transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee (UAT ARC) developed a “Fuel Development Roadmap” to structure the search for a suitable replacement to 100LL. One of the recommendations called for an FAA Fuels Program Office, which was established in 2012.
The Fuels Program Office is leading the effort to produce fuel property and performance data that will be used by the fuel industry and regulatory agencies to evaluate unleaded gas replacement for eventual fleet-wide deployment.
Additionally, the fiscal year 2014 FAA budget includes $5.6 million in funding to centralize avgas alternative assessment and testing. The work will be conducted at the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center and determine standardized qualification and certification data for candidate unleaded fuels to ensure the safety of the existing aircraft fleet.
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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 9,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.
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