EAA Government Advocacy
All Ideas Welcome: Innovation is key to 100LL replacement - For four decades, 100LL has been the mainstay of the general aviation (GA) fuel supply. The blue-tinged aviation gasoline is commonplace at even the smallest airport with a fuel pump. Aircraft companies and engine manufacturers have developed their products based on its well-known performance specifications.
With the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement earlier this year that it is beginning the process toward a rule eliminating lead in aviation fuel, that’s going to change. And that news has touched off a flurry of comments and debate not often seen in the GA community. Any change can be disconcerting, but change that threatens the ability of pilots to keep flying their aircraft is most disturbing. Read More
On our Radar
The long-awaited guidance for letters of deviation authority (LODAs) will, most likely, be released sometime yet this summer. These LODAs are needed to allow for primary training in low-mass/high-drag experimental light-sport aircraft, gyroplanes, and transition training in experimental aircraft. EAA continues to stress the need for this guidance to be issued.
A General Aviation Safety Awareness Month, to be held annually, may kick off next spring. The month of April would be dedicated to promoting safety awareness as pilots prepare for the flying season. EAA, AOPA, and the FAA Safety Team are developing the program. Regardless of aircraft type, safety needs to be the focus of a pilot’s preparation. EAA will provide more details on this important event as they are finalized.
EAA in Action
Installing a GM Corvette engine in a Cessna 172 is a project Fred P. Clark, EAA 260092 is working on, along with gaining primary certification from FAA. This particular engine has many advantages over traditional aircraft engines. It operates on lead-free, low-grade auto fuel, with or without alcohol additives. It cuts fuel consumption by at least one-third, is much quieter than traditional aircraft engines, and is much more efficient and environmentally friendlier. The program is a follow-on to an earlier supplemental type certificate (STC) that was approved by both the Small Airplane Directorate and the Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office in 2001.
During the EAA/FAA Winter Meeting, EAA brought this project to the attention of the FAA Small Airplane Directorate manager, who assured EAA this issue was being addressed. Clark reports he has since received approval to continue working toward a supplemental type certificate for installation of the engine and propeller assembly on Cessna 172 models I, K, and M.
Terrafugia Inc., developer of the Transition roadable aircraft, or “flying car,” received a partial exemption from the FAA to allow the vehicle to certify with a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 1,430 pounds, or 110 pounds over the 1,320-pound MTOW allowed for aircraft not intended for operation on water. The additional weight will accommodate the structure and equipment necessary for compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. EAA supported Terrafugia’s application and filed a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation, urging the agency to grant the exemption request.
Innovation, Advocacy, and Terrafugia - Recently the FAA granted Terrafugia an exemption from the definition of a light-sport aircraft (LSA) allowing its aircraft to weigh as much as an amphibious LSA, 1430 pounds. This was a great achievement for the team at Terrafugia and points out how regulations are often just as much of a barrier to innovation as technical challenges. The need to have the skills to overcome regulatory barriers in support of aviation participation is highlighted by this effort. If Terrafugia did not get this exemption from FAA would there still be a roadable car? Probably, but it might have been much more expensive and much harder to build.
A primary focus of EAA’s advocacy efforts is reducing barriers to participation. This is a great example of reducing barriers. Did EAA make this exemption happen for Terrafugia? No, but you and your organization did play a role in furthering the dream of a LSA flying car.
EAA members and experimenters have created a culture of innovation, safety, and quality. EAAers have constructed tens of thousands of aircraft throughout the world and proved to the regulators of the world you are trustworthy. You bring your aircraft to Oshkosh each year and display to all, government and civilian alike, the quality of your aircraft and the quality of people you are.
This environment allows your advocacy staff the opportunity to present new ideas and approaches to government and industry. With Terrafugia, EAA was able to provide a setting where FAA engineers and managers could examine the Terrafugia roadable aircraft, introduce company personnel to key FAA officials, provide guidance on how to apply for an exemption, and share what information/data was necessary to support the company’s effort. By participating in EAA and helping create our culture of innovation, safety, and quality, you enable your Advocacy staff to help others develop great things.
Read more about out what else is happening in the world of EAA's government relations.
EAA's Government Relations department works to preserve the freedom of flight and reduce the regulatory barriers affecting affordability and access to EAA members’ participation in aviation. Protecting the freedom to fly is the foundation on which all of the organization’s advocacy initiatives are built. EAA fights to preserve this freedom by providing clear solutions and practical alternatives backed by hard work and dedication. EAA’s 55-year history of success is a testament to that philosophy.