100LL Research May Get Congressional Boost
GAMA says Appropriations Committee leaders have called for a slight increase in funding for the FAA to research alternatives to 100LL. The administration included $5.571 million for the fuel research in its spending estimates but the committees agreed on $6 million. If it's approved by Congress, it will be one of only a handful of research programs getting more money than originally budgeted under the omnibus appropriations bill now going through the process in Washington. "Helping the industry to make the transition to unleaded fuel will ensure the long-term viability of general aviation, keep piston aircraft currently flying in out nation's skies safe, an improve the environment," said GAMA President Pete Bunce. The money will be used to help find a drop-in replacement for 100LL that will work in all piston aircraft, something Shell says it has already developed.
Bunce also noted the committees endorsed full funding of the FAA's aircraft certification operation and called for regular updates on efforts to streamline the system. The certification arm is in line for $212 million this year. Bunce said maintaining funding is important to the restructuring process. "Enabling the FAA's Aircraft Certification Service to operate in a more streamlined, efficient manner will allow our manufacturers to bring needed safety-enhancing products to the marketplace more quickly and easily," Bunce said. Congress still has to approve both funding levels as part of the $1.1 trillion in appropriations being considered.