The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) last month issued a report that examined the effect that rising fuel prices have had on civil aviation in the U.S. The government’s interest lies in the excise taxes imposed on the sale of aviation fuel and their contribution to the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, which was created in 1970 as a dedicated source of funding for the nation’s aviation system including the FAA’s capital improvement programs and a sizable portion of the agency’s operating budget.
The FAA selected four unleaded aviation fuels yesterday for the first phase of testing at the agency’s William J. Hughes Technical Center. The goal is for government and industry to work together to have a new unleaded fuel ready for general aviation use by 2018. Shell and Total, with one fuel each, and Swift Fuels, with two fuels, will now work with the FAA on phase-one testing, which will begin this fall and conclude later next year.
Air BP is acquiring aviation fuel business Statoil Fuel & Retail Aviation (SFR Aviation) from Canada-based Alimentation Couche-Tard, the company announced yesterday. The deal will add some 73 new airports in the Nordic countries and Northern Europe to Air BP’s global fuel network of more than 600 locations. Subject to regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to close by year-end. On completion, around 59 SFR Aviation employees, currently based in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, are also expected to join Air BP.
One-hundred octane low-lead avgas (100LL) is on its way out. Despite the fact that studies by the Environmental Protection Agency have failed to demonstrate a clearly higher risk attributable to lead emissions by piston-engine 100LL-burning aircraft, lead is poisonous in any concentration.
Global aviation fuel supplier Air BP is on hand at LABACE (Booth 1008) to demonstrate its new containerized refueling system (CRS). Known as “the Eagle,” the system is a portable, self-contained unit that can be easily transported by road, rail or water to remote areas.
At this year’s EAA AirVenture, Shell Aviation is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the AeroShell Aerobatic team, with the opportunity to meet the team members every day at the company’s booth (Hangar C, Booth No. 3072) between 11 a.m. and noon for autographs to collect the free annual AeroShell Oshkosh poster and relax in the shaded AeroShell park. The company is running a contest for one lucky winner to fly with the Shell-sponsored team, with that winner to be announced on the main stage at Boeing Plaza on Thursday night, before the concert by Boogie and the Yo-Yoz.
On the eve of EAA AirVenture 2014, aviation analyst Brian Foley released summaries of two key areas affecting the general aviation industry: investment capital and engine technology.
On the capital front, Foley said that there is no shortage of investors who are willing to put money into general aviation companies. However, there is a shortage of what these investors are seeking–entities that actually make money, that is, “a good $20 million in annual revenues and $5 million in profits known as Ebitda [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization].
Even as aircraft engine makers continue their very focused efforts to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, the use of biofuel alternatives to jet-A is an increasingly important facet of the campaign to make air transport more environmentally sustainable. Plans for making biofuels a more mainstream option for operators now account for around half of all the objectives set by the Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe (Acare).
Pilots heading to this year’s EAA AirVenture Fly-In next month will find there is now only one FBO at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. Basler Flight Services acquired Orion Flight Service from Shell aviation fuels distributor Eastern Aviation Fuels in a deal worth approximately $1 million, according to Tom Weigt, president of parent company and DC-3 turboprop conversion pioneer Basler Turbo Conversions.
Air BP recently added 16 airports to its Chinese fuel network for general aviation customers, extending the fuel supplier’s reach from Beijing in the North along the central corridor, to Shenzhen in the South with new airports being served in the provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Hubei and Henan. With these additions, Air BP provides fuel for international GA clients at 20 Chinese airports. The new airport locations are being operated in conjunction with Air BP’s local joint-venture partner, South China Bluesky Aviation Oil Company.
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