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Environment Canada's Gasoline Regulations: A discussion paper on the potential extension of the exemption for leaded gasoline used in competition vehicles

Leaded Gasoline for Aviation Use

Leaded aviation gasoline (avgas) has an ongoing exemption under the Gasoline Regulations. Avgas is used in small general aviation aircraft, specifically only in internal combustion aircraft engines with spark ignition (piston) engines. Jet and turboprop planes do not use this fuel. In 2005, imports and production of avgas totaled 104,134 cubic meters. This represents 98.9% of the leaded gasoline pool in Canada.

Aircraft engines using leaded avgas require high octane fuel, currently achievable only with lead additives. In the United States, research into an unleaded aviation gasoline blend has been ongoing since 1995 in coordination with the Federal Aviation Authority and the Coordinating Research Council. It is uncertain whether a formulation will be found and certified for use before 2015.4 As such, Environment Canada is not proposing any changes to the provisions exempting aviation gasoline from the Regulations.


4 Personal communication with Dr. Tom Flournoy, Manager of Propulsion and Fuels Systems Branch, Federal Aviation Authority, February 2006.