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CA Legislation Update

Last Updated: 6/13/24

In a letter to the California State Assembly Transportation Committee, a group of general aviation associations that included EAA asked that Senate Bill 1193 (SB 1193) in regard to unleaded aviation fuel be amended, cautioning that it could preempt federal law. SB 1193, in its current state, attempts to accelerate the timeline for California to transition away from 100LL by incrementally prohibiting the sale or distribution of leaded avgas, in some areas as early as January 1, 2027. Such actions could lead to a patchwork of fuel availability, negatively affecting safety and disrupting commerce.

General aviation remains committed to the goal of eliminating the use of leaded aviation fuels for piston-engine aircraft in the U.S. by the end of 2030, or sooner, without adversely impacting the safe and efficient operation of the existing fleet. An important consideration in this safe and smart transition is avoiding uncertainties regarding fuel availability created by unilateral actions from states and local municipalities.

The letter to the California Assembly outlines the continued industry and FAA support of the Eliminate Aviation Gasoline Lead Emissions (EAGLE) initiative, which contains the goal of transitioning to an unleaded fuel by 2030 or sooner. Also highlighted in the letter are recent developments with the U.S. Congress’ passage of FAA reauthorization (PL 118-63) and the establishment of new grant assurances regarding the availability of leaded avgas. Additionally, the associations’ letter points to the Clean Air Act, the existing U.S. Code, and the U.S. Constitution on matters of preemption and FAA responsibilities for aviation fuel and emissions standards.

The letter was submitted by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), California Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), National Air Transportation Association (NATA), National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), and Vertical Aviation International (VAI).

Published: 4/11/24

EAA recently joined other general aviation associations in letters sent to the California Senate Transportation Committee opposing two bills. SB 1193 Airports: Leaded Aviation Gasoline, would incrementally prohibit the sale or distribution of leaded avgas in California beginning January 1, 2026, for airports located in or adjacent to disadvantaged communities and/or a city with a population of at least 700,000 people. The bill has the ban culminating in a final prohibition across the state that would take effect on January 1, 2030. SB 1505 Aircraft Registration Fees would establish a state aircraft initial and annual registration renewal system. The registration fee would be set by the California Department of Motor Vehicles and sufficient to cover the program’s administration and “include an amount to be used to combat the detrimental environmental impacts of aircraft emissions.”

Six associations signed a letter opposing SB 1193, including the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), California Pilots Association (CPA), EAA, National Air Transportation Association (NATA), National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), and Vertical Aviation International (VAI). The second letter, opposing SB 1505 included AOPA, CPA, EAA, and VAI.

In the letters, the associations not only underscored the ongoing efforts and industry commitment to transitioning to unleaded fuels by 2030 or sooner in collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the Eliminate Aviation Gasoline Lead Emissions (EAGLE) initiative, but also highlighted the significant strides being made by fuel developers. These include General Aviation Modifications, Inc. (GAMI), LyondellBasell Industries/VP Racing, and Swift Fuels, LLC, who are making promising advancements in this crucial transition.

The letters also discussed key factors in the transition, including airport infrastructure, commercial availability, and supply of unleaded fuels as import considerations when discussing a safe and smart industry-wide transition.

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