General aviation leaders, petroleum industry stakeholders, and the U.S. government announced an ambitious commitment on February 23 to transition to lead-free aviation fuels for all piston-engine aircraft by the end of 2030.
The initiative called EAGLE (Eliminate Aviation Gasoline Lead Emissions) was announced during the General Aviation Manufacturers Association State of the Industry press event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
“The EAGLE initiative is an ambitious and comprehensive one, and activity under the pillars must and will start immediately. We are fully committed to its success. We ask other government, general aviation associations, airports, fuel suppliers and distributors, and others to join us in making EAGLE soar,” the groups said in a joint statement.
The GA industry has long focused on eliminating lead in all aviation fuels; however, it has also been very mindful that the transition must be done in a smart and safe way that works for the entire GA fleet (comprising some 200,000 aircraft). The EAGLE initiative calls for ensuring that aviation fuels available today remain in place until an unleaded solution is developed and deployed to our nation’s airports.
“While the industry has a shared vision of a lead-free aviation future, the transition must be done in a smart and safe way, and in a manner that works for the entire general aviation fleet,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “Joining together in a broad coalition like EAGLE reinforces our commitment. This is a very positive step forward, and we look forward to making progress under the EAGLE banner.”
The EAGLE initiative will conduct its activities under four pillars:
EAGLE partners are organizing working sessions that will maintain the momentum of the group’s work.
AOPA has also developed the Unleaded Avgas Coalition, which serves to keep important conversations moving forward and ensure that all constituents to the issue are informed and engaged. The coalition’s website (aopa.org/100UL) features updated news and developments, a wide-ranging FAQ, and a means for users to sign up for updates.
Groups committed to the EAGLE initiative include AOPA, GAMA, the American Association of Airport Executives, the American Petroleum Institute, the Experimental Aircraft Association, Helicopter Association International, the National Air Transportation Association, and the National Business Aviation Association.