by Tiana May
11 Jul 2022
Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and Signature Flight Support are accelerating the adoption of unleaded aviation fuel at Van Nuys Airport (VNY).
Leaded aviation fuel is responsible for the majority of lead emissions in the US. This pollution can adversely affect the nervous system, immune system, reproductive and developmental systems and the cardiovascular system for local residents.
To reduce these risks, the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners is providing incentives for pilots to transition away from using leaded aviation fuel at VNY. This change supports Signature Flight Support’s move to become the first fixed-base operator at VNY to offer unleaded piston-powered aircraft fuel.
“Leaded aviation fuel is a legacy pollutant whose time has come to be replaced with emerging fuel options that are more environmentally responsible and in line with Los Angeles World Airports' values to create a more sustainable aviation industry. We thank Signature Flight Support for taking on an active role, and making significant investments, to help make unleaded fuel available to more pilots at VNY. Together, we are incentivising the faster adoption of this fuel and reducing lead emissions from piston-powered aircraft.”
On 7 July, the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners voted to waive VNY’s fuel delivery fee of 11 cents per gallon for any unleaded aviation fuel. This waiver will help reduce the cost of unleaded fuel, which is set to become more widely available at VNY thanks to Signature Flight Support’s investment in the required infrastructure.
Aviation services company, Signature Flight Support has purchased a mobile refueller and has made modifications to an existing fuel storage tank to accommodate unleaded fuel at VNY. The Park VNY, which is dedicated to propeller aircraft, has also purchased a storage tank for unleaded aviation gasoline.
“Signature is continually looking for ways to positively enhance aviation’s impact on the environment and help our customers meet their sustainability goals. The introduction of unleaded avgas at Van Nuys Airport represents a major step forward for our piston-powered customers.”
The Federal Aviation Administration has set a target to transition 100 percent of leaded aviation fuel to unleaded fuel by 2030 for all piston-powered aircraft.
VNY estimates that up to 40,000 gallons of unleaded fuel could be sold annually at VNY until a universal replacement fuel becomes available. This could remove about 168 pounds of lead emissions in Los Angeles each year.
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