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Industry rallies to make GA lead-free by 2030

Public-private push to accelerate lead-free fuel begins

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.

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson details the plan to remove lead from aviation fuel by 2030, with General Aviation Manufacturers Association President and CEO Pete Bunce looking on, during GAMA's February 23 State of the Industry event in Washington, D.C. Photo by David Tulis.

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.

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson talks to AOPA President Mark Baker moments before Dickson announced a public-private partnership to eliminate lead from aviation fuel by 2030 during the General Aviation Manufacturers Association State of the Industry event in Washington, D.C., February 23. Photo by David Tulis.

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 ( 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.

Media and VIPs including AOPA President Mark Baker (front row center) listen to a briefing on 2021 aircraft shipments and billing data, followed by the unveiling of a pledge to eliminate lead from aviation fuel by 2030, during the General Aviation Manufacturers Association State of the Industry event. Photo by David Tulis.
Alyssa J. Miller
Eric Blinderman
Senior Director of Communications
Eric Blinderman is AOPA’s Senior Director of Communications. Eric joined AOPA in 2020 after several years at leading marketing/communications agencies in New York and is looking forward to putting his newly minted private pilot certificate to work.
Topics: Advocacy, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Avgas

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