The FAA is about to begin the next step in its search for an unleaded general aviation fuel through the Piston Aviation Fuels Initiative (PAFI). The FAA announced today it has received nine replacement fuel proposals from producers Afton Chemical Company, Avgas LLC, Shell, Swift Fuels and a consortium of BP, TOTAL and Hjelmco, for further evaluation in the PAFI, an industry-government initiative designed to help the general aviation industry transition to an unleaded aviation gasoline. The FAA will now assess the viability of the candidate fuels to determine which fuels may be part of the first phase of laboratory testing at the FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center. The goal is for government and industry to work together to have a new unleaded fuel by 2018.
It is very disappointing to read the questionable results of the lead monitoring at San Carlos Airport. Although the EPA and the Bay Area Air Quality Officials were advised in advance against placing the monitors in the aircraft preflight run-up area, they chose to ignore the warnings and to no one’s surprise came up with the faulty results they published.
EPA: San Carlos Airport has high levels of lead fuel emissions - SAN CARLOS -- A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study of 17 small airports across the country found that San Carlos Airport had the highest concentration of airborne lead particles, measured at a level that exceeds tough new federal standards. (CalPilots Editor's Note: Even though the EPA was advised that the findings would be inappropriate due to the run-up area monitor location, they continued to use the faulty monitor location - why?).
WASHINGTON – The Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today asked the world’s fuel producers to submit proposals for fuel options that would help the general aviation industry make a transition to an unleaded fuel. The FAA is committed to the development a new unleaded fuel by 2018 that would minimize the impact of replacing 100 octane low-lead fuel for most of the general aviation fleet.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia court has dismissed a lawsuit by environmentalist group Friends of the Earth pushing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to decide whether lead emissions from general aviation aircraft endanger public health and welfare. The court said the issue is not one that it can take up under a ... Read in browser » (CalPilots Editor's Note: The California based lawsuit continues despite this national decision)
The aviation industry is slowly headed toward development of an unleaded replacement fuel for avgas-burning piston-powered aircraft, and a recent move by the FAA is an encouraging sign that progress will continue. The FAA recently agreed to open a new Fuels Program Office, according to NATA, that will provide "technical expertise and strategic direction in the planning, management and coordination of activities related to aviation fuels." Read more
Some California FBOs are imposing a nickel-per-gallon surcharge on 100LL fuel sales to fund a legal defense and a counter lawsuit filed against an environmental group that's trying to restrict leaded avgas from the California market.
A just-released report from the Unleaded Avgas Transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee concludes that a drop-in replacement for leaded 100LL is not available, adding that an additional six years is needed to assess possible replacements.
The future of leaded Avgas in the State of California is up for debate, at least according to certain environmental organizations. And, California airports, fixed base operators and pilots are taking note. For example, Sonoma Jet Center in Santa Rosa recently began offering unleaded aviation fuel (mogas) to its customers.
Although it hasn't released the final report to the public, the FAA's unleaded avgas transition rulemaking committee (UAT-ARC), will recommend a fuel approvals process stretching out as long as 11 years and will be asking Congress for at least $60 million to fund the project, plus as much as $13 million from the industry.