On June 9th, Naples Aviation began offering 94 octane unleaded fuel (UL 94) as an environmentally cleaner alternative to traditional aviation gasoline. The aviation industry has worked for decades to solve the technical challenges of developing a safe aviation gasoline without lead and progress is finally being realized. Naples is on the forefront as one of only three public airports in the state of Florida and is only the 35th public airport in the United States (among more than 5,000) to offer UL 94.
On May 18th the Naples Airport Authority (NAA) Board of Commissioners unanimously approved incentives to offset the higher cost of UL 94 at the Naples Airport. The subsidies will cut the cost of UL 94 nearly in half and make it equal in price to leaded aviation gasoline. In addition, the NAA will offer eligible aircraft based at Naples a $250 one-time credit to complete the FAA required certification. “This is the right thing to do for aviation and our community. I commend our staff on proactively implementing a plan to safely offer UL 94 in less than four months from the time the Board first raised the question.” said NAA Board Chair Kerry Dustin.
On June 9th, the first aircraft was fueled with UL 94 at the Naples Airport. “I am so excited about the Naples Airport Authority’s commitment to general aviation and the environment by now offering UL94 as a fuel option.” Aircraft owner and Naples resident Linda Sollars said “My engine actually prefers this from a maintenance point of view; I am exceptionally grateful for the ability to purchase unleaded fuel here in Naples.”
Traditional aviation gasoline is planned to remain available at the Naples Airport since less than half of the light aircraft based at Naples can safely use UL 94. Traditional aviation gasoline has been in use in light aircraft with reciprocating engines for decades in order to prevent engine failure while in flight.
The FAA, fueling and aviation industries are working together through the EAGLE (Eliminate Aviation Gasoline Lead Emissions) Initiative to fulfill their commitment to completely eliminate all leaded avgas by 2030 nationwide. More information about the EAGLE Initiative can be found at https://www.faa.gov/unleaded.
“Offering UL 94 is a significant step.” said Chris Rozansky, NAA Executive Director, “We are striving to be at the forefront of making aviation more sustainable while still ensuring the safe operation of all aircraft that use the Naples Airport.”
The NAA recently completed laboratory testing on the airport and at several nearby downtown residences where no traces of lead or any other aviation fuel contaminates were found. More details on these test results along with prior similar studies at https://www.flynaples.com/faq/.
Despite this, the NAA is committed to taking steps to reduce its environmental impact, including replacing golf carts, aircraft tugs, ground power units and pickup trucks with zero-emissions electric equipment and vehicles. Several solar projects and an updated stormwater master drainage plan are also in the works.
About Naples Airport
Naples Airport is ideally located within minutes of downtown Naples, the Gulf of Mexico and I-75, connecting people to the Paradise Coast through an exceptional airport experience. The airport serviced 122,281 annual operations in the last fiscal year, while being an engaged, responsive partner to the community. Home to corporate aviation, air charter operators, car rental agencies, flight schools and non-aviation businesses, the airport is also a central location for critical public services, including fire/rescue, air ambulance services, mosquito control, the Collier County Sheriff’s Aviation Unit and other community services. The airport also prides itself on being the hub of emergency staging during natural disasters, like hurricanes and tornadoes, for first responders, lighting, and power crews.
All funds used for the airport’s operation, maintenance and improvements are generated from activities at the airport or federal and state grants from aviation-related user fees. The airport receives no local tax dollars. The Florida Department of Transportation values the airport’s annual economic impact on the community at more than $781 million.
For more information or to subscribe to email updates from the airport, visit www.FlyNaples.com.