An environmental group has petitioned the federal government to get the lead out of avgas. AOPA, in response, pointed out that immediate changes to avgas would present economic and safety of flight issues for the general aviation industry.
"Finding a single alternative that does not compromise safety and meets the needs of the existing and future fleet is a complex issue," wrote AOPA. "To date, no alternative put forward has addressed enough of the variables...." AOPA, however, has taken part in ongoing efforts to explore the future of avgas. These include participation in the ASTM International Committee on Petroleum Products - which developed and maintains the standard to which avgas is produced - and the Coordinating Research Council. Both bodies explore potential alternatives to our current fuel.
AOPA also has pushed for congressional funding for the testing of alternative aviation fuel at the FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center. Friends of the Earth, a 30,000-member environmental advocacy organization, filed the petition with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The group wants the EPA to make a finding that lead emissions from GA aircraft endanger the public and develop an emissions standard for the industry. The EPA, however, seems to understand the safety of flight issue and that's why it has traditionally left the avgas decision with the FAA.
November 6, 2006