LGB air quality to be studied, autogas cited as partial solution

According to an article in the Long Beach Business Journal, the air quality at Long Beach Airport (LGB) in Southern California will soon be the subject of a major study.

As cited in the article, “A regional air pollution control agency in Southern California, in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is planning a first-ever comprehensive study of the air quality levels of Long Beach Airport, according to a spokesperson for the government agency. The Business Journal learned last week that the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) is proposing to conduct a “special study” within the next 12 months, sampling the emission levels of lead, ultra-fine particles and black carbon, an indicator of diesel exhaust, from commercial jets and piston-engine aircraft during idling, taking off and cruising.”

[Long Beach Councilman James] “Johnson added that the item is a timely matter. “I think it’s important that communities that are impacted by pollution, such as Long Beach, have a seat at the table to say, ‘If you’re looking at this, don’t forget about the residents that are impacted,’” he said. “Everyone agrees we’re not going to do anything that compromises safety…But, clearly, there are ways to move forward with fuels that are just as safe, are greener and are not necessarily expensive.”

The article also mentioned the role that autogas could play to quickly and significantly reduce the volume of leaded avgas burned by aircraft operating from Long Beach: “John Lyon, president of a nonprofit group that runs a small airport in Riverside known as Flabob Airport, said he has been pushing for more availability for a transition from avgas to automobile gas for piston-engine airplanes, primarily for mogas being cheaper and more available in the long term.”

Your bloggers have offered their assistance in recent months to numerous airports in California, including the famous Flabob Airport (home to EAA Chapter 1),  in their search for ethanol-free autogas, low-cost storage solutions and insurance to cover autogas fueling operations. They have also been contacted by officials from the Center for Environmental Health and the Friends of the Earth to learn about the long history of autogas as a safe, FAA-approved unleaded aviation fuel and how it can be used to replace leaded avgas for the majority of piston-engine aircraft.

The GAfuels Blog is written by two private pilots concerned about the future availability of fuels for piston-engine aircraft: Dean Billing, Sisters, Ore., a pilot, homebuilder and expert on autogas and ethanol, and Kent Misegades, Cary, N.C., an aerospace engineer, aviation sales rep for U-Fuel, and president of EAA1114.


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