The European Commission is pressing for a ban on the use of leaded avgas throughout the European Union after the year 2002.

The general aviation community fears that thousands of light piston-engined aircraft, not approved to use unleaded fuel, may be grounded, with the knock-on effect felt across the industry.

Graham Forbes, chief executive of the UK's General Aviation Manufacturers and Traders Association says: "Although diesel [engines] will offer an alternative, there is no way Europe's extensive fleet can make a switch overnight. Alternative solutions will have to be found."

Source: Flight International