The possibility of commercially available synthetic jet fuels took a step closer to reality last week when ASTM International’s aviation fuels subcommittee passed a new specification for alternative jet fuel. The new specification details the properties and criteria required to control the production and quality of synthetic fuels for aviation use.
NATA is warning members that new air quality regulations issued by the California Environmental Protection Agency may lead to similar restrictions in other states. The new rules were issued via the state’s Air Resources Board and apply a fleet average emission level to off-road vehicles and equipment, which includes ground-services equipment used at airports, with gasoline and liquefied-petroleum engines that produce more than 25 hp.
Air BP and ConocoPhillips took to the pulpit at EAA AirVenture to announce new oil and lubrication products, primarily for piston aircraft.
When he left his vice president slot at the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) earlier this year to become senior vice president of government and technical affairs at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Andrew Cebula had to change his point of view along with the alphabet initials on his business card.
When you pull up to the gas pump in your car, you probably don’t think much about what is in your fuel. Perhaps you try to find a certain brand based on the fuel card in your pocket, but usually price is the primary factor. What about when you’re fueling your aircraft? Most corporate aircraft pilots and operators are aware of the fuel system icing inhibitors (FSII) and biocides available as additives for jet-A and jet-A1.
Airbus on February 1 successfully made what it billed as the world’s first flight of a commercial aircraft powered by synthetic fuel. The A380 flew from Filton, UK to Toulouse, France, powered by a liquid fuel processed from gas using the Fischer-Tropsch process. During the three-hour flight, the number-one engine was fed a blend of synthetic and jet fuels, while the remaining three operated on standard jet fuel.
Congress last month once again extended the FAA’s current authorization and aviation taxes until December 14, making it increasingly unlikely that the question of how to pay for operating the FAA and simultaneously modernizing the entire air traffic system will be settled anytime soon.
A small percentage–about 20 percent–of the piston-powered fleet requires 100-octane fuel. Yet these aircraft burn about 70 percent of the total avgas volume, according to Allen Bretz, director of general aviation market at ConocoPhillips.
With stark differences between House and Senate versions of FAA reauthorization bills working their way through Congress, some industry and congressional insiders see little chance of an agreement before September 30, the day when current taxes and fees that support the FAA expire.
Sen. John Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate aviation subcommittee, and ranking member Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) are expected to introduce an FAA reauthorization bill this week to counter one the Bush Administration released in February.