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General Aviation Moves Closer to an Unleaded Future

January 10, 2023 11:45 | Anonymous

FAA approves GAMI unleaded avgas STCs for entire GA piston fleet

On September 1, 2022, the FAA signed off on supplemental type certificates to allow General Aviation Modifications Inc.’s 100-octane unleaded fuel (G100UL) to be used in every general spark-ignition engine and every airframe powered by those engines. The move was hailed by the industry as a major step in the transition to an unleaded GA future.

The FAA’s approval of the use of G100UL fuel in all piston aircraft directly addresses the industry’s long-standing goal of finding solutions that can be used for the entire GA piston fleet.

“I’m proud of GAMI, the industry team, and the FAA for persevering over the long term and getting a fuel that the FAA has recognized as a viable alternative to low lead,” AOPA President Mark Baker said. “It’s vital that we find solutions to what has been plaguing general aviation since the seventies. It’s certainly the biggest issue I have dealt with in my time at AOPA.”

“This is a big deal,” Baker added, “but there is a lot of work yet to be done.”

In 2021 the FAA approved STCs for GAMI covering a smaller number of Cessna 172 engines and airframes, and then expanded those STC approved model list (AML) to include essentially all lower-compression engines. Though that was seen as an encouraging step forward in the years-long path to supply unleaded aviation fuel to the piston aircraft fleet, the STC’s did not include aircraft needing the higher-octane fuel that accounts for two-thirds of avgas consumption. Today’s announcement by the FAA addresses the needs of those higher-compression engines.

GAMI co-founder George Braly said, “This is a big day for the industry. It means that for a lot of our general aviation communities, and especially for a high fraction on the West Coast, relief is on the way. And it means that our industry will be able to go into the future and prosper, and provide the essential infrastructure for this country for everything from Angel Flights to critical training of our future airline pilots.”

Braly thanked the GA community for its support through this long process. “Without it we couldn’t have gotten this done,” he said.



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