Southern Maine Aviation adds autogas, Legislature says no to ethanol

The GAfuels Blog is written by two private pilots: Dean Billing, Sisters, Ore., an expert on autogas and ethanol, and Kent Misegades, Cary, N.C., an aerospace engineer, aviation sales rep for U-Fuel, and president of EAA1114.

GA pilots in the state of Maine have reason for optimism: The cost of flying there is dropping.  Southern Maine Aviation, the FBO at the Sanford Regional Airport (SFM), now offers 91 AKI octane lead-free, ethanol-free autogas at the price of $4.95/gallon, more than a dollar less than the current average price of avgas in New England of $6.01.

It joins the Norridgewock airport (OWK) in providing autogas as an option to pilots in Maine. According to our contacts in the state, several other airports will be joining these two airports soon.

By coincidence, the Maine legislature last week passed a Joint Resolve, calling on the federal government to exempt Maine from ethanol mandates. A story at WABI.tv notes: “A joint resolve introduced by Rep. Beth O’Connor, of Berwick, won final Senate approval on Wednesday after winning House approval last week. Connor characterized corn ethanol as ‘a colossal waste’ that’s subsidized by billions of dollars from U.S. taxpayers.”

If it’s possible to find suppliers of ethanol-free autogas for airports in New England, where the fuel has all but disappeared from retail gas stations and there are relatively few airplanes, it should be possible to repeat this anywhere in the country, providing pilots and airport management work together to make it happen.

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