In the ongoing debate the elimination of 100LL, a statistic that’s often thrown around is that 70% to 80% of the existing fleet could operate on existing fuels, while only 20% to 30% of the fleet require 100 octane fuels. But what GA needs to remember is that those 20-30% buy a majority of the fuel, says Tim Roehl, co-owner of General Aviation Modifications Inc. (GAMI), developer of G100UL, a would-be replacement for 100LL.
“We’ve got to have that 20-30% contributing their dollars to fuel, maintenance, sales and parts for GA to survive,” he says. “We dare not do anything to challenge that.”
That’s because if that portion of the fleet is grounded, the rest of GA will also be grounded, he says. “We will lose the infrastructure.”
Another thing that GA needs to realize is that while avgas is a very small percentage of transportation fuel — some estimates place it at less than 1%, deeming it a “boutique” fuel — it also is a fuel that refineries “make a healthier than average margin on,” according to Roehl.