GA’s Lead-Free Future Spotlighted During EPA Hearing Testimony


General Aviation (GA) advocacy groups presented a unified front during an EPA-hosted virtual public hearing on its endangerment finding on leaded avgas (100LL) earlier this month. In a prepared statement, the consortium of GA groups, including the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), and the broader FAA/Industry EAGLE working group wrote, “The general aviation industry firmly supports removing lead from aviation gasoline and any transition in pursuing this goal should be done safely and smartly.”

The presentation went on to cite progress toward the EAGLE (Eliminate Aviation Gasoline Lead Emission) target of 2030 for fully eliminating 100LL (low-lead) aviation gasoline, with the further projection that the goal could be met sooner. The GA statement noted progress already made that could bring a widely available lead-free gasoline, including General Aviation Modifications Inc. (GAMI) supplemental type certificates (STCs) for nearly all GA piston fixed-wing aircraft engines and airframes. Also, GAMI’s work toward STCs for rotorcraft. “Steps are now being taken to move this fuel through the commercialization process.”

Next in line: Swift Fuels is currently working through the FAA approval process for its 100-octane unleaded avgas with the expectation of completing FAA certification in 2023.

Finally: More traditional refiners, including Phillips 66, Afton Chemical, LyondelleBasell and VP Racing, are also developing unleaded aviation gasoline formulas that are being evaluated by the FAA’s Piston Aviation Fuel Initiative (PAFI).

But the group also strongly advocates for keeping 100LL fuel available for as long as it takes to bring unleaded fuel to the market in a safe and commercially viable way, writing, “we cannot compromise the safe and efficient operation of the (GA) fleet or economically destroy the United States general aviation transportation infrastructure by prematurely removing an essential fuel that many aircraft need.”

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

Other AVwebflash Articles


  1. The alphabet groups may advocate for keeping 100LL in place until the distribution system for a replacement is operational, but that will likely depend on state and local authorities and not the Fed EPA. States like California are already hell-bent on eliminating leaded gasoline as a pretext to closing down airports so the valuable land can be sold to developers.

  2. This is such an appropriate photo to accompany this article. Why isn’t the Cirrus in the picture powered by JetA fueling an aviation certified Diesel engine?
    The Cirrus fleet is using a tremendous percentage of the 100LL right now, and pressuring us to stay with a 100 octane future. Ironically, Cirrus’ parent company, AVIC, has this quote on Continental’s Website right now:”Continental Aerospace Technologies™ Jet-A engines are world-class benchmarks in General Aviation, with more than 7,500 are produced and shipped and more than 2,000 engines in operation today, reporting upwards of 9 million hours. They are favored by flight schools and specified by major OEMs including Tecnam®, Cessna®, Diamond® , Mooney® , Glasair® , Piper® , and Robin® . These Jet-A fueled engines operate on universally-available aviation fuel kerosene (Jet Fuel, Jet-A and other certified aviation Jet fuels). Each is certified to the requirements of FAA, EASA and a further 78 countries. Continental continues to develop the technologically advanced engine series which now includes engines ranging from 135 HP to 300 HP.”

    Do you see THEIR OWN aircraft company in this list??