Enforcement Advisory: #168: Fuel Requirements for Airport Ground Vehicles

This page last reviewed March 3, 2009

Advisory Number 168

To:  Operators of Airport Ground Vehicles

December 7, 1998

  1. Recent investigation indicates widespread violations of California's motor vehicle fuel specifications regulations as they apply to airport ground vehicles.

  2. In 1993, the Air Resources Board adopted fuels regulations set forth in Title 13 California Code of Regulations Sections 2250 et seq. These regulations apply to all fuel used in motor vehicles.

  3. The definition of "motor vehicle" is found in Health and Safety Code Section 39039 which references Vehicle Code Section 415. Section 415 states that a motor vehicle is a vehicle which is self propelled. This definition applies to all vehicles except locomotives, boats, racing vehicles, and airplanes. The definition of motor vehicle is different and more broad than the definition under federal law, therefore, California fuel regulations apply to more types of vehicles than federal law does.

  4. Since airport ground vehicles fall under the above definition in that they are self propelled, they are considered motor vehicles, regardless of whether or not they may legally operate on a public highway. Airport ground vehicles must therefore use fuels that meet motor vehicle fuels specifications. Fuels not meeting motor vehicle fuels specifications, such as aviation gasoline, jet fuel, and transmix, are prohibited from being supplied, sold or transported for use in motor vehicles.

  5. To avoid significant penalties for using non-complying fuels please contact your fuel supplier and assure yourself that only fuel that meets California Air Resourses Board regulations is being supplied. Notwithstanding, the Air Resources Board may take enforcement action based upon past violations of the law.

    For more information, please visit our Enforcement Program Contacts web page.