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Sat, Feb 05, 2011

FAA Announces New Unleaded Avgas Rulemaking Committee

Letter Groups Applaud The Committee's Formation

The FAA has formed an aviation rulemaking committee to provide recommendations to further the development and deployment of an unleaded avgas with the least impact on the existing piston-engine aircraft fleet. The Unleaded Avgas Transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee (UAT-ARC) will be a collaborative industry-government task force that will bring together key stakeholders representing aircraft and engine manufacturers, fuel producers and distributors, operator groups, aviation associations, the FAA and the EPA to develop a comprehensive avgas program.

"The FAA has an essential role to play in assessing and approving any potential replacement unleaded fuel," said Pete Bunce, GAMA's president and CEO. "The formation of this group is a critically important step in moving forward with identifying and prioritizing specific tasks necessary to resolve the issues related to the transition to an unleaded avgas for our industry and finding the best solution for the piston aviation community. We applaud Administrator Babbitt and his leadership team for this initiative."

"Last fall, the GA Avgas Coalition called on the FAA to take a leadership role in the industry efforts to develop and deploy an unleaded avgas," said Bunce. "The formation of the UAT-ARC shows that the FAA is stepping up in this role and should give owners and operators added confidence that the industry is on the right path to a solution."

 

GAMA members that manufacture airplanes and piston engines will serve key roles on the UAT-ARC and provide valuable recommendations to address issues regarding the assessment and qualification of potentially viable replacement fuels and the transition to an unleaded avgas.

“This is a much needed step in the process that will ultimately determine how the aviation industry reaches an unleaded fuel solution,” said Rob Hackman, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs and liaison to the GA Avgas Coalition. “While the move toward an unleaded aviation fuel has been spurred by an Environmental Protection Agency action, it is the FAA that must approve new fuels, ensuring they provide adequate safety. Essentially, while the EPA can regulate what comes out of the tail pipe, the FAA has to regulate what goes in the fill pipe.”

“This is a significant step in the process toward an unleaded future for general aviation,” said Doug Macnair, EAA vice president of government relations. “We have consistently urged that all concerned parties needed to come together in a coordinated fashion under a federal umbrella including both the FAA and the Environmental Protection Agency, who have a shared role in regulating aircraft emissions, fuel, and safety. Twenty years of work has shown us that no single entity can solve the high-octane unleaded avgas issue in a vacuum.”

This action responds to recommendations of the General Aviation (GA) Avgas Coalition which includes the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the American Petroleum Institute (API), the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), and the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA).

FMI: www.faa.gov, www.gama.aero, www.eaa.org, www.aopa.org

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