Shell revealed today that it has developed a lead-free replacement for 100LL. The lead-free formulation, which comes after 10 years of “exhaustive R&D, as well as successful initial testing” by two OEMs, will now begin a strict regulatory approvals process, according to company officials.
Dating back to 2009 when I created the FlyUnleaded.com website to publish those airports that offer mogas, I have monitored the AirNav avgas statistics and published them in a table at the bottom of the Airports With Mogas page on my website. Back in July 2009 AirNav reported that there were approximately 132 airports that claimed to have mogas service on the airport. Now this figure has to be taken with a grain of salt because AirNav counts any airport that has mogas in the FAA Airport Directory Airport Services section. Some of these listings are obsolete.
Avgas is the lifeblood of general aviation and must remain available while the industry develops a safe, affordable alternative, officials with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) told members of the Senate General Aviation Caucus during a Nov. 21 briefing. “There’s uncertainty related to the future of avgas right now, and that’s affecting people’s decisions from purchasing aircraft, making upgrades, and developing new products,” Rob Hackman, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs, is quoted in a report at AOPA.org.
100SF, an unleaded fuel created as a replacement for 100LL, has received ASTM approval. Swift Fuels, the Indiana firm that has worked for years developing an unleaded alternative to 100LL, is ready to ramp up production of 100SF, CEO Chris D’Acosta is quoted in a story at AOPA.org. It remains to be seen whether that will happen model-by-model, or on a fleet scale. D’Acosta told AOPA he remains confident that 100SF will be distributed on a large scale within one to three years.
Every fall I help local farmers haul grain to the elevator. This year we had a very good harvest and the lines at the elevator were long. To pass the time, I brought along magazines from this summer to read and reread. I noted that every magazine had at least one article about the future of aviation gasoline. Since my byline in General Aviation News says I am an aviation fuels expert, I thought maybe I should address the subject and shed some light on it.
World Fuel Services reports that the Air Elite Network is continuing to grow with the addition of Concord Regional Airport (KJQF), located in Concord, N.C., and Quintessentially Aviation Handling, located at Shannon Airport (EINN) in Shannon, Co. Clare, Ireland.
Owned and operated by the city of Concord, Concord Regional Airport’s 24-hour FBO is located 15 minutes northeast of Charlotte’s central business district. Concord Regional Airport boasts a 7,400-foot runway and a control tower that operates from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m daily (with extended hours during peak events).
The FBO offers Phillips 66 Aviation branded fuel, hangar space and ramp parking, along with all of the other ground services for business and general aviation customers, including flight planning room and a renovated pilots lounge featuring satellite TV and high-speed internet workstations. Concierge services, free wireless internet access, and meeting spaces are available for passengers.
Quintessentially Aviation Handling (QA FBO), officially launching their new FBO at NBAA 2013, has begun operating at Shannon Airport, a popular gateway airport for European, Russian and Middle Eastern business aviation flights destined for the United States. The 24/7/365 operations, clear weather records, 3,200 meter runway, and the fact that it hosts the only pre-customs clearance facility outside of the Americas makes the airport an attractive technical stop for transatlantic flights to the USA, according to company officials.
Though the FBO is operational and providing full ground services to aircraft, the construction of the terminal facilities is ongoing and slated for completion in December. The 1,750-square-foot passenger and crew facilities will include a flight planning center, crew rest area, showers, WiFi, satellite TV and a passenger lounge.
With the addition of Concord Regional Airport and Quintessentially Aviation Handling, the Air Elite Network now includes 32 locations worldwide. The network was established in late 2011 and each FBO must meet a number of airport, facility and service quality standards to qualify for membership
Sheltair, which has 14 FBOs located across Georgia, New York and Florida, has joined Avfuel’s branded FBO network.