FAA Receives Unleaded Fuels Proposals
The Federal Aviation Administration announced today it has received ten replacement fuel proposals from producers Afton Chemical Company, Avgas LLC, Shell, Swift Fuels and a consortium of BP, TOTAL and Hjelmco, for further evaluation in the Piston Aviation Fuels Initiative (PAFI). The industry-government initiative is designed to help the general aviation industry transition to an unleaded aviation gasoline. The FAA will be assessing the viability of the candidate fuels to determine which fuels may be part of the first phase of laboratory testing at the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center.
The goal is to have a new unleaded fuel by 2018.
“We’re committed to getting harmful lead out of general aviation fuel,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This work will benefit the environment and provide a safe and available fuel for our general aviation community.”
The 167,000 general aviation aircraft in the US that rely on 100 low lead aviation gasoline for safe operation are running on the only remaining transportation fuel in the United States that contains the addition of lead.
Commercial planes have never used leaded gas.
Congress authorized $6 million for the fiscal year 2014 budget to support the PAFI test program at the FAA Technical Center. PAFI was established to facilitate the development and deployment of a new unleaded aviation gasoline with the least impact on the existing piston-engine aircraft fleet.
The FAA asked fuel producers on June 10, 2013 to submit proposals for replacement fuels by July 1, 2014. The goal is to identify, select, and provide fleetwide certification for fuels determined to have the lowest impact on the general aviation fleet.
The FAA will analyze the candidate fuels in terms of their impact on the existing fleet, the production and distribution infrastructure, their impact on the environment, their toxicology and the cost of aircraft operations.