Aviation gasoline ‘Av gas’ to be made in India

Aviation Gasoline (Av gas) used by planes of flying schools across the country and smaller aircraft like Cessna is now being produced in India by the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). The product will be officially launched this month in Delhi by Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.

Avgas is the type of aviation fuel used in small piston engine-powered aircraft within the general aviation community. These aircraft are predominantly used by private pilots and flying clubs and for tasks such as flight training and crop dusting. There are two main avgas grades (100 and 100LL low lead) used in the general aviation community.

Aviation Gas (AvGas) is currently imported for trainer aircraft and increases the operating costs for flying training organisations (FTO) and loss of foreign exchange. This, in turn, leads to higher charges for wannabe pilots.

The prices of Avgas, which are completely imported, are over twice those of ATF.

Currently, India has 38 flying schools and over 200 aircraft. Eight new schools are coming up in the next financial year. While airlines operate jet engine Airbus or Boeing planes which run on aviation turbine fuel, training schools operate small piston engine aircraft which run on aviation gasoline or Avgas.

According to sources, Avgas is likely to be produced at IOC’s Paradip refinery from next March. A source there could be potential to export the product to other countries in Asia as well as currently most of the Avgas production is in Europe and the US.

At present Avgas consumption in India is around 2500 kilolitres and IOC’s annual turnover from its sale is Rs 30 crore. Apart from flying schools, defence services and a few government departments operate aircraft for non-commercial use.

The government has decided Indian Oil Corp (IOC) will produce AvGas under the “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.”

“Av gas is used mainly by the flying schools and there was a demand from them for production within the nation. We will be producing 1,500 to 2,000 metric tonnes per annum. This will be supplied in barrels to the flying schools.”

Said a source.

Neville Bharucha of Red Bird Aviation Academy — located in Baramati — said it is a good move and added the pricing must be correct.

(With Inputs from The Indian Express)