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Bits and Pieces

Do You Pump Your Own Avgas?

By Ian Brown, Editor – Bits and Pieces, EAA 657159

Pumping gas

Apparently not all Canadian provinces are equal when it comes to fuelling your aircraft. I found a delightful surprise at Edenvale, Ontario (CNV8). This beautiful airport, formerly of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, has recently been revitalised with a new runway surface, new hangars, and a very nice restaurant. Not only do they have mogas at the pumps, but you can pump your own, using your regular credit card. Why aren’t they all like this?

The system works supremely well. Instead of just asking for your credit card, the screen prompts you to ensure the aircraft is grounded, and then select which pump, making sure each step of the way that you’re acting safely.

Most airports seem to resist allowing pilots to pump their own gas, but owner pilots would be more patient and avoid spills if it was their own paintwork that was getting stained. Speaking with pilots in Quebec the other day, I found they believe that provincial regulations prevented a pilot from fuelling his own plane because of the lack of surveillance by airport staff.

The whole idea of pilots filling up by themselves is to avoid the necessity for surveillance, especially after hours. If you have information on this issue or would like to know more, e-mail me and maybe we can get a few more airports to open up to self-fuelling, especially with mogas.

Since airports are in federal jurisdiction, are all on-site aspects considered federal? What about fire regulations, sewage, electrical codes, and fuel storage and delivery? We already have a greater level of security around avgas pumps than you would see at the average gas station, where we don’t think twice about pumping fuel right next to the other guy slopping the extra on the ground. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to fill up conveniently, especially if we could get mogas without worrying about ethanol?

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