The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), responding to the concerns of the General Aviation Avgas Coalition, has announced formation of a new office that will be responsible for providing technical information and guidance related to developments in aviation fuels, including unleaded options.
The Coalition sees formation of the office as an "important step" in creating an "unleaded avgas transition program" that will be able to evaluate fuels and generate data that could form commercial fuel specifications and guide certification efforts. The FAA already has some steps in place.
The coalition also asked the FAA to increase its funding for the Avgas transition program from $2 million to $5.5 million, saying the increased amount is still short of what is necessary but “reflects a fiscally responsible program based on a reduced scope of activities… that still require FAA involvement.” The agency said that it will “carefully consider the request.”
The FAA has hired a consultant to establish a Piston Aviation Fuel Initiative steering group while working in cooperation with industry interests. The Avgas Coalition members believe the FAA's involvement is critical in enabling a transition without degrading consumer confidence and for the smallest impact on the existing fleet.