On June 10, 2013, FAA issued a request for candidate fuel producers to submit unleaded fuel formulations to be evaluated as replacements for 100LL (https://faaco.faa.gov). This announcement is a significant milestone in a government/industry collaborative effort to find an unleaded replacement fuel for the general aviation industry. The request for candidate fuels kicks off a multi-year R&D program that will help select the best unleaded fuel(s) with least impact on the general aviation fleet.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has established the Fuels Program Office to help meet the agency's goal of making an unleaded fuel available for the general aviation (GA) fleet. The FAA is working with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and key stakeholders to replace 100 octane low-lead (100LL) fuel by 2018. The FAA created the Fuels Program Office, headed by Peter White, based upon recommendations from the Unleaded Avgas Transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee (UAT ARC) report.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is committed to developing a fiscally responsible action plan to meet the agency's goal of making an unleaded fuel available for most of the general aviation fleet to replace 100 octane low-lead (100LL) by 2018. The Unleaded Avgas Transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee (UAT ARC) submitted a final report to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) which recommended options on how the agency can better understand the challenges of transitioning the piston engine-powered aircraft fleet to unleaded avgas. The FAA is now considering the recommendations.
On February 17, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) received the final report of the Unleaded Avgas Transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee (UAT ARC). The FAA welcomes the UAT ARC's completion of its assigned task to recommend a transition plan for the development and deployment of an unleaded avgas. The final report provides a comprehensive overview of technical, economic, regulatory and environmental issues relating to avgas that are shaping the current General Aviation climate. The final report will be made available to the public upon completion of this review.
Since our last report in May, the Unleaded Avgas Transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee (UAT-ARC) has held four more meetings and participated in the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Aviation Summit in mid-September 2011. The meetings were three-day sessions held in July, September, October and November. The committee members have been diligently working on refining their recommendations for an industry-government collaborative approach to facilitating and advancing the approval and deployment of a replacement unleaded aviation gasoline.
The Unleaded Avgas Transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee (UAT-ARC) met for the second time on May 17 - 19, 2011, in Washington D.C. As with the first meeting in March, 20 members of the committee from FAA, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), equipment manufacturers, fuel producers, fuel distributors, and owners/operators attended. Key stakeholders from the general aviation and avgas community are using this forum to take the initial steps towards finding alternatives to leaded avgas.
The first meeting of the Unleaded Avgas Transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) was held on March 16 - 17, 2011 in Washington D.C. It was attended by the 20 members of the committee comprised of representatives from FAA, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), equipment manufacturers, fuel producers, fuel distributors, and owners/operators. This ARC provides key stakeholders in the general aviation and avgas community with a forum to work toward a suitable unleaded avgas.
Randy Babbitt, FAA Administrator, signed the Unleaded Aviation Gasoline Transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) charter on January 31 in Washington, D.C., and the membership has been finalized. The newly-selected ARC is tasked to investigate the current issues relating to the transition to an unleaded fuel, and recommend the tasks necessary to investigate and resolve these issues. The finalized committee will produce an industry-government framework and implementation plan intended to guide the GA community towards deployment of unleaded aviation gasoline as an alternative to 100 Low-Lead.
Randy Babbitt, the FAA Administrator, signed the Unleaded Aviation Gasoline Transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) charter (PDF) on Jan. 31 in Washington, D.C. The signing was a significant step towards bringing the General Aviation (GA) community together to plan for the transition to unleaded aviation gasoline. "It's our goal to bring together all the industry stakeholders to be able to achieve the goal of a suitable fuel in a timely fashion," said Babbitt.
January 2011: Making Progress with a Collaborative Approach
Aviation fuel stakeholders from industry, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the military met at the semi-annual ASTM International aviation fuel subcommittee meeting in Jacksonville, FL recently to review current and proposed aviation fuel specifications and standards. The members of this subcommittee have worked together over the past six months to develop a specification for the 100VLL (Very Low Lead) grade of aviation gasoline (avgas). The subcommittee approved the addition of 100VLL to the current avgas specification, D910. It is expected that the updated version of the D910 specification will be issued in late spring.
The FAA is collaborating very closely with the aviation industry and two leading unleaded fuel developers, General Aviation Modifications Inc. (GAMI) and Swift Enterprises, to develop policies, methods, and specifications to facilitate the introduction of alternative aviation fuels using the ASTM International specification development process. ASTM International, originally known as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), is an organization that develops standards and specifications for many industrial and engineering products, including aviation fuels. The FAA is also focusing significant resources on an alternative to this consensus-based process.
September 2010: Getting the Lead Out
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) shares the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) concerns about lead emissions from small aircraft. Owners and operators of more than 200,000 piston-engine aircraft operating in the United States rely on aviation gasoline (avgas) to power their aircraft. Avgas is the only remaining lead-containing transportation fuel. Lead in avgas prevents damaging engine knock, or detonation, that can result in a sudden engine failure. Since lead is a toxic substance that can be inhaled or absorbed in the bloodstream, environmental organizations have petitioned EPA to remove it from avgas. Avgas emissions have become the largest contributor to the relatively low levels of lead emissions produced in this country.