FAA Moves Forward with Program Spearheaded by Rep. Lipinski to Get Hazardous Lead Out of General Aviation Fuel

Following recent reminders in Flint, Michigan, and other locales of the dangerous health effects of lead on human health, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) is pleased that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is moving forward with his initiative to get lead out of aviation fuel.  The FAA has announced that it has selected two unleaded fuels for further testing as part of an initiative Lipinski has been pushing for almost ten years to move the entire general aviation community, including small airplanes, away from leaded fuel.  The testing will begin this summer and conclude in 2018.

“Decades after lead was removed from gasoline, it is way past time that lead is removed from the fuel used in general aviation aircraft,” said Rep. Lipinski.  “Knowing the high level of danger that lead poses to human health, especially the health of children, I have made it a priority on the Aviation Subcommittee to get the lead out of aviation gas.  The FAA’s announcement is a positive step towards finally reaching the important goal of eliminating this health hazard.”

During consideration of the 2012 FAA reauthorization bill, Lipinski led the effort to authorize a collaborative research program on alternative fuel between the FAA, NASA, and industry stakeholders.  Since then, he has consistently secured funding for the program during the annual appropriations process.  The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee marked up the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act in February, which would direct the FAA Administrator to allow the use of an acceptable, unleaded alternative fuel.

About 167,000 general aviation aircraft in the U.S. currently rely on leaded gasoline for safe operation.  The majority of commercial airplanes do not use leaded fuel.

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