State-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has started the export of its special aviation fuel for small aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), AVGAS 100 LL.

“IOC Chairman S M Vaidya, on Saturday, flagged off the first export consignment of AVGAS 100 LL to Papua New Guinea from GTI Terminal of JNPT. The consignment consisted of 16 kilo litres (KL) of AVGAS packed in 80 barrels. This is the first ever instance of India exporting AVGAS,” the PSU oil marketing company (OMC) said in a statement.

By exporting the special aviation fuel, which was launched in September last year, the country’s largest auto fuel retailer aims to tap the $1.92 billion aviation gasoline (AV Gas) market. AV Gas market is expected to grow from the current $1.92 billion to $2.71 billion by 2029.

Until recently, AVGAS 100 LL fuel, primarily used by Flying Training Organisations (FTOs) and defence forces, was imported at a huge cost from European countries for decades.

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“Global aviation gasoline market is projected to grow at 5% per cent CAGR. The aviation traffic in India is also likely to grow by 7 per cent. Indian Oil is fully geared to explore the possible business avenues opened up with manufacturing of this product. With the superior performance quality standards and competitive prices, Indian Oil is aiming to secure significant market share,” Vaidya pointed out.

The indigenous production of AVGAS 100 LL in India will not only help in saving foreign exchange on imports but will make pilot training in domestic flying institutes economical for budding pilots, he emphasised.

At present, the production of AVGAS 100 LL is being done from IOC’s Vadodara (Gujarat) refinery that has a capacity of 5 thousand tonnes (TT) per annum.

“There is a significant consumption of AVGAS in South America, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, and Europe. Therefore, there is a great opportunity to export AVGAS beyond the shores of India. As a first step in this direction, the first parcel of AVGAS produced in India was exported on date,” he added.

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Aviation fuel

AV GAS 100 LL has been tested and certified by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). It is a higher-octane aviation fuel meeting the product specifications with superior performance quality standards, as compared to imported grades.

This will also benefit more than 35 FTOs across India. Ministry of Civil Aviation is considering opening more training institutes in the country. Seeing the increase in aviation traffic, the requirement of trained pilots is expected to increase.

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