Getting the Lead Out

Middleton Morey Airport Offers Environmentally Friendly Unleaded Aviation Fuel

Middleton, Wis. – Middleton’s Municipal Airport — Morey Field is now offering a fully unleaded aviation fuel (UL94) option, a “greener” fuel alternative, reducing lead exhaust emissions. 

“Making the switch to unleaded fuel will help our operations be more environmentally friendly,” Bryan Gadow, City Administrator said. “Swift Fuel’s UL94 will also provide safer working conditions to our fuel-handling employees by eliminating exposure to leaded fuel.” 

Partnering with Swift Fuels, a fuel research and development company based in Indiana, the first shipment of unleaded aviation fuel known as UL94 arrived at Morey Field in July. 

“This is the right thing to do for our community,” said Mayor Emily Kuhn. “This is another example of how the City of Middleton is proactive in ensuring the safety of our neighbors and airport employees.” 

Unleaded fuel, while used in cars for the past 50 years, is not the standard in piston-engine aircraft. Instead, piston aircraft engines need a higher-octane fuel, which requires a lead additive. Swift Fuels’ newly developed UL94 product is lead-free and approved for use in approximately 70% of the existing piston aircraft fleet, but it is still in the early adoption phase. With UL94, engines will run smoother and have fewer mechanical issues, such as fouled spark plugs. Although not all of the aircraft housed at Morey Field can utilize the new UL94 fuel, those that can are encouraged to make the switchover to this alternative.  

Middleton’s Municipal airport supports regional economic development and general aviation activities with more than 41,000 operations each year and is committed to ensuring safe, environmentally conscious, and socially responsible access to aviation services. 

As research continues nationwide to identify and develop an unleaded aviation gas that is suitable for all aircraft, The City of Middleton remains committed to working with fuel suppliers and aircraft owners to make this transition as seamless and effective as possible. 

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Modified August 3, 2023