Avgas Quarantine Disrupts GA In Canada


FBOs and local airports across Canada have been affected by a quarantine of avgas following a quality control problem at the only refinery that makes 100LL in Canada. Imperial Oil’s Strathcona refinery in Edmonton issued a directive Wednesday to its wholesale customers saying any avgas they obtained from the refinery from Dec. 28, 2017, shouldn’t be used or distributed because it “may cause interference with onboard fuel gauge sensors.” Jet fuel is not affected. The problem apparently relates to the conductivity of the fuel and was discovered in the quality control process, according to the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association.

It’s still not known how many fuel sellers are affected. All have to check their inventories to see if the flawed fuel got into their systems. Many were able to confirm they had the fuel quickly and NOTAMs advising that avgas wasn’t available were issued by some Canadian airports. The issue has already interrupted business and personal flying at some airports. It’s also not known what Imperial Oil, which markets under the Esso brand but sells to Shell and independent distributors, will do to fix the issue or how long that might take. It’s also not clear whether the fuel actually damages aircraft components. “Imperial will make arrangements with [distributors and sellers] regarding future handling of this product and will provide more information as it becomes available,” its message stated.