By Chris Dancy, Media Relations Director, AOPA
A recent GAfuels blog post in General Aviation News mischaracterized the position of several GA Avgas Coalition members with regard to automotive gasoline, or mogas.
The aviation members of the GA Avgas Coalition have never been opposed to having mogas available as an alternative to aircraft owners and pilots for whom it’s appropriate. EAA has long maintained one of the supplemental type certificates for mogas use. AOPA and EAA have lobbied state legislatures when state blending requirements have been proposed to allow for the non-blending of premium mogas with ethanol for aviation and other uses. In recent months EAA has also been working on Capitol Hill seeking support for national availability of premium ethanol-free mogas.
What the coalition does not support is a nationwide two-fuel mandate from the government, requiring that airport operators must make multiple grades, or both leaded and unleaded fuels available on all airports. This method was used in phasing out leaded automotive fuels, and was discussed by environmental petitioners of the EPA. The coalition believes the two-fuel mandate would leave the industry in an untenable financial position. This is not to say the coalition members oppose auto fuel. It has been approved by the FAA in many aircraft and continues to be an option for those who can find supplies which have not been blended with ethanol. If an airport operator can make a business case for doing so, then, as they have always been able to do, they have the option of making both fuels available. But for many operators, the economics simply do not support making both fuels available.
The GA Coalition is seeking the best replacement for leaded avgas that minimizes the impact on the existing fleet of piston-engine aircraft. Although mogas is an acceptable fuel, it is not a replacement for 100LL.