- Leaded gasoline was fully phased out 25 years ago with the passage of the Clean Air Act with one exception – it is still used by piston-engine airplanes and helicopters.
- Flight Schools and Flight instructors are training student pilots, using aircraft from the 1960s, 70, 80s and 90s buring leaded fuel.
- Lead fuel using piston engine airplanes now makes up “the largest remaining aggregate source of lead emissions to air in the U.S.,”
- “A (Duke University) study published in 2011 … found that “children living within 500 meters of an airport at which planes use leaded avgas have higher blood lead levels than other children,” with this effect observable out to a full kilometer away from the airport.
- Per the CDC lead exposure is incredibly dangerous and that “no safe blood lead level in children has been identified.”
Santa Clara Airport Lead experience
The issue of lead pollution from older piston airplanes has been tackled directly in Santa Clara County
There are unleaded fuel options: Mogas is an unleaded fuel option that many aircraft could use: And there is a new unleaded fuel option – G100UL:
Unleaded Fuel Options
Oxnard Airport and Leaded Fuel
Oxnard airport’s (OXR) primary use today is as a touch and go training center for pilots located throughout Southern California (~60% of OXR operations in November were touch and goes) The plane of choice for flight schools, clubs and hobbyist pilots currently using OXR for their touch and go trainings are older Cessna piston aircraft that use leaded fuel.
OXR has roughly 55,000 flight operations per year – that equates to over 30,000 touch and go operations a year by piston aircraft using leaded fuels.
Planes flying touch and go patterns at OXR using leaded gas routinely overfly four elementary and one pre-school: Carl Dwire, McAuliffe Elementary, Marina West Elementary, Juan Lagunas Elementary and ABC pre-school.
There are unleaded fuel options: Mogas is an unleaded fuel option that many aircraft could use:
And there is a new unleaded fuel option – G100UL: