IAOPA Europe Enews November 2023 - Welcome to the IAOPA Europe enews which goes to 23,000 aircraft owners and pilots in 27 countries across the continent

The uncertain future of AvGas

A large part of the GA fleet (around 30%) requires AvGas 100LL to fly safely and comply with aircraft and engine technical requirements. Flying with other fuels is only allowed if explicit permission and a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) has been issued. The suitability of other fuels must be included on the Type Certificate Data Sheet (TCDS).

The aircraft must be suitable to have other fuels in the tanks and the fuel lines and gaskets must be able to withstand the corrosive properties of the fuel. The unleaded fuels 91UL and 94UL have a lower Motor Octane Number (MON), so that may (will) change the performance of the engine compared to 100LL.

Meanwhile, besides GAMI (with G100), other fuel blenders also have a fuel that could replace 100LL in development. During talks with GAMI, it became clear that we will not be able to buy this fuel in Europe in the short term. Swift has 100R in development and expects to market this fuel in the next few years. When exactly is unclear. Shell is also working on a replacement for 100LL and is coming to market with 100VLL. This fuel, with a TEL component just below the European Chemical Agency (Acha) minimum limit, could be available on the market fairly soon. This could possibly provide a temporary solution. However, there must then be a possibility to use TEL in the refining or blending process. But even 100VLL AvGas contains a small amount of TEL. 
An FAA STC for the use of 94UL can be bought from the company Swift ('Forever AvGas STC') with all associated stickers and necessary materials. Again, the issue here is that only part of the GA fleet can use 94UL. The interchangeability and mixability of the different fuels is also still uncertain. On the SwiftfuelAvGas.com website, you can find out whether a particular GA aircraft is allowed to fly on 94UL and whether buying an STC is possible. The price of this STC (for the US) is about $100. Whether and how these US STCs are converted into an EASA-approved STC is still under discussion. Whether this STC also applies to all parts that come into contact with fuel remains to be seen.

In any case, it is certain that the production and distribution of 100 Octane fuels without TEL will take time, and expecting these fuels to be available soon seems rather optimistic.

Besides the technical and chemical challenges, the actual availability of 91 and 94UL is still an issue. Suppliers say they are ready to deliver that. In many cases, airports must have or build additional fuel storage tanks to store this fuel. This is a costly matter. These tanks must comply with many government and usage regulations. Many airports do not have the financial resources to make this kind of investment. Therefore, replacing 100LL with, say, 94UL is a difficult trade-off for airports. The problem then remains that around 30% of the fleet consumes a significant proportion of 100LL and thus generates the bulk of the fuel turnover. Each airport would have to take an inventory to know which part of the fleet needs which fuel. This is a dilemma for the GA industry to solve as soon as possible!.

AOPA is of the opinion that AvGas 100LL should remain available until an approved replacement is available.


In many countries, pilots use MoGas (Motor Gasoline). It is important that distributors and users handle this fuel very carefully. Transporting MoGas is a separate and delicate issue. Some containers are not made for transporting aviation fuel and are made of materials that do not necessarily meet the set requirements. In addition, MoGas sometimes contains alcohol which is known to affect seals and other components of rubber and plastics and composites. Checking the fuel for alcohol is essential. The danger of icing in the carburetor is greater with MoGas due to the higher evaporation rate of the fuel. Furthermore, a so-called 'vapor lock' can occur in different types of weather. MoGas absorbs more heat and due to the rapid cooling effect in the carburetor, a vapor lock can occur faster than with e.g. 91 and 94UL or 100LL.

The use of MoGas above 26 degrees outside temperature and on flights going higher than 6000 ft is not recommended. MoGas is not suitable for all aircraft and conditions. Leaving MoGas in the tanks when the aircraft is not be used for an extended period of time is not recommended. An STC must also be present for use of MoGas. This can be obtained via autofuelstc.com.

What does IAOPA Europe do?

AOPA-USA has the same challenges as we have and is very actively engaged in the finding of a 1:1 replacement for 100LL. The GA-industry in the USA has agreed with their authorities on a full Avgas 100LL replacement until 2030. It is very likely that because of the much larger size of the US-market the solutions found over there will also have an impact on the European-market.

IAOPA Europe is working closely with industry peers including GAMA (General Aviation Manufacturers Association), EAS (Europe Air Sports), EBAA (European Business Aviation), EHA (European Helicopter Association), ERAC (European regional airports), ECOGAS (GA specialist companies) and IAAPS (flight schools for aviation personnel) to find a reasonable solution to this problem.

What can a pilot/aircraft owner do? Find out whether the aircraft can fly on unleaded 91 or 94UL, and discuss with the home base operator whether alternatives to AvGas can be made available to the pilots/operator within a reasonable price range.

A number of AvGas suppliers have applied for an exemption to import TEL for the production of AvGas 100LL after the effective date of the TEL import ban. (1 May 2025) A position from the European Chemical Agency on this topic is expected in the first half of 2024. That decision will depend on whether AvGas 100LL can still be produced in the EU and therefore whether TEL-containing fuel can still be flown after this date. In the worst-case scenario, AvGas 100LL will have to be imported into the EU (because TEL can no longer be imported, but fuel containing TEL within the ECHA limits can still be imported...). That would cause the absurd situation of continuing to fly on 100LL and having to burn a lot of extra (shipping) fuel to get 100LL here. The environment would suffer more damage in the process than it does now.

What is clear is that pilots and aircraft owners without any doubt also want to get rid of TEL and would like to cooperate on a reasonable and affordable solution. In the worst case scenario Avgas already containing TEL could still be imported into the EU. The industry and associations on both sides of the Atlantic are optimistic to find a lead-free substitute for 100LL until 2030.
The coming months will bring a solution closer. AOPA, together with the other sector parties, is making itself heard and will regularly report progress and developments to its supporters! 
For more information or discussion, please contact: gvmtaffairs@aopa.nl

News from the combined GA.COMM and GA.TeB meeting

On November 6th and 7th, a total of 45 members of the EASA Advisory Board for General Aviation met in Cologne. Most participants were on site, the others took part online. In a tried and tested tradition, both industry representatives and representatives of the European EASA member-states followed EASA´s invitation, so that a good flow of information between all those involved was once again ensured.

IAOPA-Europe was represented by Michael Erb and Jacob Pedersen. You can find EASA´s official report with the most important agenda-items at this link.  


AirportWeather.com: The Solution for Flying to Airports without "Own" Weather.
For free as an app, also on your web browser

We all occasionally fly to airports that do not have their own METAR and TAF weather information available. In such cases, a pilot must rely on the METAR from the nearest airport, which is often located tens of miles away, or pick up the phone and call the tower to get the latest weather information. In CAVOK conditions (clouds and visibility OK) all around, accurate and recent weather information at an airport may be less critical. However, with changing weather, shorter flying windows, and increasing extreme weather events, up-to-date weather information is crucial for every aviator. Without an official METAR or TAF a nowcast and prediction for the airport is the second best alternative. Of course with the caveat that legally it does not count as official wetaher so you still need to use official sources to make sure you stay legal.

Weather information for every airport with AirportWeather.com.

With AirportWeather.com, pilots have access to the most recent and accurate weather information for every airport in Europe. In addition to all available METAR/TAF information, AirportWeather.com displays current weather conditions and a precise weather forecast for 5 hours for each airport. AirportWeather.com is available for free as an app and is also accessible through any web browser.
The weather information (including METAR and TAF) is presented in a clear dashboard. A map displays the current flying conditions (VFR, MVFR, IFR, and LIFR) for all airports in Europe, and it also provides a weather forecast for a 5-hour period (clouds, rain, and thunderstorms).

Pilots can choose to register (optional and for free). Registration allows users to set home- and favourite airports. Since the introduction of AirportWeather.com, the app and web service have received much appreciation and valuable feedback from numerous registered pilots and airports. Based on this feedback, features such as airport information and crosswind on the runway have been added.

Airports can assist pilots with AirportWeather.com by offering additional features such as web widgets, a kiosk mode, and the ability to quickly provide additional operational information.

Many companies now use Meandair weather data, and many pilots, for example, already use Meandair weather forecasts in tools like SkyDemon.

JMB Aircraft reaches new peak with inauguration of state-of-the-art factory

JMB Aircraft begins an exciting new chapter with the opening of a state-of-the-art production facility in the Czech Republic. This modern factory, strategically located at Vysoke Myto Airport (LKVM), specialises in final assembly. Indeed, the relocation of final assembly to the airport has a direct impact on accelerating the production of the two aircraft offered by JMB Aircraft: the sleek two-seater VL3 Evolution and the spacious four-seater EVO.

JMB Aircraft is known worldwide for its production of state-of-the-art carbon fibre aircraft. Over the past decade, based on the groundbreaking VL3 Evolution with Rotax 912, the range has been continuously expanded with new motorisations. Introduced at the AERO Friedrichshafen, these included the VL3 with the latest Rotax 916iS Turbo and the VL3 with Turbotech Turbine engine. Last year, the company also announced an exciting collaboration with Evolution Aircraft: a four-seat carbon aircraft powered by the PT6 turbine.

The new production facility marks a remarkable milestone in terms of production speed. Thanks to its state-of-the-art infrastructure and ideal location, JMB Aircraft now has the capacity to roll out a brand new aircraft every three days. Nevertheless, the opening of this new factory is only the beginning of JMB Aircraft's expansion plans. In December 2023, the company will start construction of two additional facilities, in addition to the just-opened plant. This strategic decision underlines JMB Aircraft's vision and commitment as a global player in light aviation. The choice of the Czech Republic not only provides employment opportunities, but also strengthens its aviation expertise in the heart of Europe.


Restarted production 57-year-old Islander in England


British aircraft manufacturer Britten-Norman has restarted production in England of the twin-engine BN-2 Islander, the single-pilot, nine-passenger regional aircraft, after moving its production from Romania to the UK. The renewed production start follows the announcement in June that Britten-Norman's construction of new aircraft would be fully repatriated to Bembridge on the Isle of Wight. The first Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander flew in 1966. Soon after production began, it was moved to Eastern Europe. Since then, nearly 1,300 Islanders and extended three-engine Trislanders have been built.



Norwegian grant for electric Elfy Noemi amphibian

The Norwegian government has awarded a grant of more than $8 million to Elfly Group, allowing the startup to proceed with the construction of a prototype small electric-powered amphibious aircraft for 13-19 passengers. The first flight of the Noemi is scheduled for 2025. Elfly plans to build three prototypes, the last of which will be certified to enable operations with two pilots and up to 19 passengers. The Norwegian startup plans to start commercial flights between Norwegian fjords and lakes by 2030.




Please keep us informed about the aviation news in your country

If you have any news or things that you would like to share with pilots in other countries - for instance if you organize a Fly-in that might be of interest or if there is news about airports or new rules and regulations in your country that other pilots should know. 
Please don't hesitate to send all your news to me: Gerrit Brand | Netherlands | email: newsletteriaopaeu@hotmail.com, telephone or whatsapp + 31 6 50831893