AOPA: COURT DECISION WILL HELP ENSURE SAFE TRANSITION TO UNLEADED AVGAS

March 28, 2013

FREDERICK, MD – The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) noted today that a U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruling has freed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from having to make an accelerated endangerment finding on emissions from general aviation aircraft. This ruling will help to ensure that efforts to find an unleaded replacement fuel will continue in a manner that will guarantee aviation safety.

On March 27, 2013 the court ruled that the EPA has discretion to make endangerment findings under an important Clean Air Act provision, but cannot be forced to do so as Friends of the Earth had hoped. The EPA has already begun the endangerment process and will continue its efforts on a schedule driven by facts and policy, hopefully not by more lawsuits.

“AOPA and the general aviation community long ago publicly recognized the need to find a safe, acceptable alternative to leaded avgas,” said AOPA President and CEO Craig Fuller. “The entire case proved to be an unnecessary diversion in the ongoing efforts to move general aviation to an unleaded fuel. We all know that the solution to an avgas alternative won’t be found in a courtroom.”

The Federal Aviation Administration’s new fuels program office and the general aviation industry are continuing coordinated efforts to evaluate fuel alternatives and to ultimately transition the existing fleet to an unleaded fuel.   The recommendations include the establishment of a “fuels development roadmap,” centralized testing of possible fuel alternatives, establishing standard procedures for soliciting and selecting fuels to be tested, and establishing a centralized certification office to support unleaded fuel projects.

Since 1939, AOPA has protected the freedom to fly for thousands of pilots, aircraft owners and aviation enthusiasts. With a membership base of nearly 400,000, AOPA is the largest aviation association in the world.  From its headquarters in Frederick, M.D., offices in Washington, D.C., and with seven regional managers across the United States, AOPA provides member services that range from representation before federal, state, and local governments to legal services, flight planning products, safety courses and seminars, and award-winning media products. To learn more, visit www.aopa.org.

- AOPA -
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