GA groups request funding for avgas transition

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and four other groups representing general aviation have written to House and Senate subcommittee leaders to request continued, full funding for a government-industry effort to qualify and certify the safety of unleaded avgas for use in piston-powered aircraft.

The groups asked for funding that meets or exceeds the $5.571 million budget request submitted by the Obama administration for the fiscal 2014 budget, noting that this would, “enable government and industry to begin implementation of the recommendations made by the FAA’s Unleaded Avgas Transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee.”

The letter — sent to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies — was signed by NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen; Mark Baker, president and CEO of the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association; Jack Pelton, chairman of the Experimental Aircraft Association; Peter Bunce, president and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, and; Tom Hendricks, president and CEO of the National Air Transportation Association.

In their message, the aviation groups said funding is merited as it “transitions the [government-industry] program from an initial phase to one focused on coordinating and facilitating the fleet-wide evaluation, certification and deployment of an unleaded fuel in piston-engine aircraft.”

In thanking the subcommittee leaders for their past support of the government and industry initiative to produce an unleaded avgas replacement for the 100-octane low-lead fuel currently in use in piston aircraft, the associations said, “The support of your subcommittee now and in the future will be essential for ensuring that the transition effectively balances environmental improvement with aviation safety, technical challenges, and economic impact.”

Review the letter to Sen. Patty Murray, chairwoman, Subcommittee on Transportation, HUD, and Related Agencies.

Review the letter to Rep. Tom Latham, chairman, Subcommittee on Transportation, HUD, and Related Agencies.

Review the letter to Sen. Susan Collins, ranking member, Subcommittee on Transportation, HUD, and Related Agencies.

Review the letter to Rep. Ed Pastor, ranking member, Subcommittee on Transportation, HUD, and Related Agencies.



  1. Gene says

    When will the airlines, the lobbyists stop putting their hands in the pockets of the American people. Enough already……when you have over $ 1.8 Million in an EIS that never took place at ORD – yet remains MIA. We have the most corrupt airport in the country here as fully documented as the ” Daley Store ” in the 175 page report by the former Aviation Integrity Project.

    ORD has the only six layered commissioner [ air side ] group that all report to each other.
    They, the Chicago city slickers thought that they were going to win the 2016′ Games….but the impacted residents of Park Ridge took care of that. The underground letter writing
    campaign also helped to pull back the shadowy curtain and helped exposed the Daley machine at work.

    Yes – enough of these lobbyists on the Hill who believe that the current slobbering love affair with the air lines is the right path to take with the already bloated air route system that we have today.

    70,000 flights at any given time and then some…..threatens our air safety.
    If fliers have rights and citizens have rights….then where are the rights
    for those impacted ?

    Finally, we firmly believe that the Carbon Calculator does work.
    Heavy Rail [ Surface Transportation ] is the key.
    One heavy rail train can cut 150 trucks off of our roads.
    One heavy rail train can eliminate over 40 jet cargo planes
    from our night time departure schedules over our community
    here at ORD.

    Thank you.
    Lt. Gene Spanos
    CAPP of Park Ridge

  2. says

    I hope the funding passes because now it appears that the stumbling block, or rate determining step to getting a non-leaded 100 octane avgas to market is the calendar time that the FAA Testing Center will take to winnow down the submitted fuels to the two the current plan endorses. The companies with viable unleaded 100 octane avgas have until July 2014 to submit their fuels to the FAA. Then these fuels will be tested. I believe the testing will be to determine if the fuels conform to ASTM standards.
    It’s already determined that there is no way that any “new” avgas will conform to the old 100LL ASTM spec.
    The time line for the approval extends out four years after the close of the July 2014 submission date. This plan suggests that by 2018 the formulations (ASTM Specs) will be approved. It doesn’t necessarily mean that fuel will flow in 2018.
    In an interview with Shell I was told that their fuel is ready to go. It’s been tested and Shell wants to bring it to market as soon as possible. Shell wants its fuel to be fast tracked to the market.
    GAMI’s G100UL unleaded fuel is also a serious contender and would also like its fuel to be fast tracked to production. GAMI has been testing G100UL for a long time and the results are very promising.
    Swift Fuels continue to test.
    Then there’s the problem of how do we get the new fuels approved for use in each airframe and each engine in the fleet. Does anyone think the FAA will issue an across the board airframe and engine approval? If the OEMs take on the approval task, who is going to approve the orphan airplanes out there?
    There are still a lot of hurdles to jump, but at least the industry has realized that none of the “new” fuels will ever be a drop in fuel that complies with the old ASTM standard for leaded avgas.
    Kent–my Piper Comanche 180, which theoretically should be a good candidate for the mogas solution you write and talk about, was never approved by Petersen for a car gas STC. According to Petersen, it and Mooneys with the carbureted 180 Lycoming engines were so tightly cowled that under-cowling temperatures were high enough to cause fuel flow interruptions. So I and more than a few others need an unleaded 100 octane fuel to keep flying.

  3. Kent Misegades says

    For $5.5 million one could purchase 110 self-service fuel systems at $50,000 each. Fill these with mogas and we’d double the number of airports in the country offering an affordable, lead-free, FAA-approved aviation fuel that can power today well over 80% of the entire piston engine fleet, and is the fuel of choice for nearly all next-gen piston aviation engines. Spend the same amount of money on yet more research into a mythical drop-in replacement and it is simply throwing good money after bad.

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