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Funding Legislation Supports GA’s Progress Toward Lead-Free Future
Work toward an unleaded aviation fuel received financial backing in the federal budget as Congress approved and President Biden signed comprehensive legislation that funds the executive branch for fiscal year 2023. The bill recognized the collaborative industry-government effort to move general aviation to a fleetwide, lead-free fuel solution by including $10 million for continued unleaded fuel testing and evaluation.
In February 2022, aviation and petroleum industry leaders and the FAA established the joint EAGLE (Eliminate Aviation Gasoline Lead Emissions) program, focused on safely eliminating the use of leaded aviation fuel by the end of 2030 without adversely affecting the safety and operation of the existing piston-engine fleet.
The funds allocated by Congress will support the EAGLE partnership and may be used to expedite fuel testing and evaluation for safe unleaded fuels being assessed in the Piston Aviation Fuels Initiative (PAFI) program, leading to fleet authorization. Two unleaded 100-octane fuel candidates, those developed by Afton Chemical/Phillips 66 and LyondellBasell/VP Racing, are currently undergoing testing under the PAFI program, with both showing progress.
Additionally, the funds may be used for field demonstration programs for fuels that have received FAA type certificate (TC) or supplemental type certificate (STC) approvals. General Aviation Modifications, Inc’s., G100UL fuel received authorization via the supplemental type certificate path in September. Swift Fuels expects to receive STC authorization of its 100R unleaded higher-octane fuel in 2023.
The general aviation industry and the FAA are committed to working together under the EAGLE banner to ensure that a transition to an unleaded fuel is done safely and smartly.