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.
EAGLE comprises a comprehensive public-private partnership to expand and accelerate government and industry actions and investments, and to establish the policies and activities to permit new and existing GA aircraft to operate lead-free without compromising safety or economic health.
“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:
- Regulatory and Safety Policy: Outlining needed policies and processes in such areas as fuel authorization, certification, and standards.
- Unleaded Fuel Testing and Qualification: Research and testing for a viable, safe, high-octane replacement for 100LL, and issuance of an FAA eligible fleet authorization.
- Research and Development: Focus on advanced technology designs and evaluation of operational procedures to facilitate the use of replacement unleaded fuels.
- Business Infrastructure and Implementation: Maintaining 100LL availability and airport access during the transition while supporting a clear path to market for a new fuel.
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.