California pilots are urged to contact senators about leaded fuel ban

The Southern California Airspace Users Working Group is calling on its members to contact their state senators to block a bill that would phase out leaded aviation fuel in 2027 (amended from 2026). As we previously reported, Senator Caroline Menjivar introduced the bill in February. It calls for a ban on leaded avgas, starting with airports in “disadvantaged” areas on January 1, 2027. The bill has apparently cleared committees and is nearing a vote in the state Senate. Being proactive will help protect our right as pilots to fly safely,” the Eblast said. “Ideally no one wants lead in our fuel and solutions are being perfected. However, until they are mature and commercially available, we need fuel that has been proven safe.

The bill went to the Senate Standing Committee on Transportation in early April, passed 8-3 and was sent to the Judiciary Committee. We couldn't find any record of this process, but on the Transportation Committee, opponents cited the lack of a commercially available replacement and noted that the FAA had already set 2030 as the deadline for general availability of 100-octane unleaded fuel. Proponents countered that General Aviation Modifications' G100UL has already been approved by the FAA via an STC and Swift Fuels plans to have its 100-octane fuel ready in 2025. The Eliminate Aviation Gasoline Lead Emissions (EAGLE) group announced earlier this year that a fuel process developed by Lyondell/Basell and VP Racing is expected to be ready by the end of 2025. It is not clear when the California measure will reach the full state Senate, but SCAUWG urges members to contact their representatives now.

Russ Niles

Russ Niles is editor-in-chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia, where they also run a small winery.

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