A group of six aviation associations asked Congress to increase funding for the Alternative Fuels for General Aviation program for fiscal year 2022 in a letter to the leadership of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Subcommittee on Tuesday. The program’s focus is “engineering, technical, and management support of fuel research and safety certification activities necessary to identify and secure a fleet-wide authorization approval and deployment of an unleaded aviation gas consistent with aviation safety.” The organizations are calling for raising the program’s funding from the proposed budget request of $4.96 million to $10 million.
“We believe the fuels testing program is at a critical juncture and we request the final conference agreement contain a funding level of $10 million,” the group wrote in the letter (PDF). “The funding level is consistent with the spirit of the recent White House announcement on sustainable aviation fuels, where the work on alternative fuels for general aviation was highlighted. There is still considerable work to be done to address the environmental and regulatory challenges associated with piston aviation fuels and your support is key to addressing them in a way that does not compromise aviation safety.”
The groups cited recent developments such as additional candidate fuels and determining the fleet-wide viability of an unleaded avgas recently granted STC approval as reasons additional funding is needed. Organizations signing the letter included the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), Helicopter Association International (HAI), National Air Transportation Association (NATA) and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).