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13 CHAPTER TWO INSPECTION Adequately controlling FOD at any airport begins with a ducting daily inspections and having procedures in place for regularly scheduled inspection program. Inspection refers to FOD to be reported upon discovery by pilots, especially at examining something closely, typically to assess the condition non-towered airports that are at times unattended, airports or to discover any shortcomings. In this case, it would be in the can play an active role in FOD prevention. Whether proce- form of proactively conducting airfield inspections to mon- dures dictate that observed debris be communicated to the itor for and mitigate any hazards related to FOD. Reactively, on-call airport representative or the FBO, it is important this might be in the form of response to FOD as reported by for sufficient emphasis to be placed on FOD detection and the ATC. With this response, debris can then be removed removal to enable removal of debris even during nighttime or from the AOA. Whether reactive or proactive, the inspec- weekend hours. tion component is integral to an effective FOD management program. In addition to FAA guidelines for U.S. airports, inter- national airports located outside the United States must also comply with various inspection requirements. For instance, ICAO recommends that airports, by means of ICAO Annex 14, Imagine standing on an empty highway at night. It is two Aerodrome Design and Operation, conduct inspections four miles long and ten lanes across. You are told that someone times daily, or about every 6 h (ICAO n.d.). This standard may or may not have dropped a two inch long, dark colored was actually set by the Provisional ICAO in 1944. At the time, metal fastener somewhere out here, and your job is to make Chicago was the largest airport in the world and the four per day sure the route is clear before an airplane rolls down the high- way. Find the FOD. You have two minutes. . . . routine required inspecting the runway every 10 to 15 move- ments. Although the four per day standard has been pre- Source: McCreary 2010, p. 177 served in Europe and Australia, the United States soon adopted a one per day requirement, which remains in effect (McCreary 2010). CURRENT REQUIREMENTS AND GUIDELINES INSPECTION AREAS Current inspection requirements for certificated airports in the United States are primarily found within Part 139 (FAA A critical aspect of the inspection component of any FOD 2004a). Section 327 of Part 139, Self-Inspection Program, management program includes knowing the most common spells out that certificated airports are required to conduct areas in which debris are found. These areas vary among air- daily self-inspections. Specifically, certificated airports are ports and, as McCreary (2010, p. 138) explains, these areas required to conduct daily self-inspections when required by are influenced by many factors, including: any unusual activity and immediately after an accident or incident. Although U.S. airports typically conduct inspections · Airport age twice daily, once during daylight hours and once at night, the · Airline ramp practices night inspection is not required and meant to mainly check · Aircraft types lighting. The FAA provides guidance in conducting inspec- · Distance to repair hangars tions, both within Part 139 and in ACs. For instance, AC · Construction activity 150/5200-18C, Airport Safety Self-Inspection, stresses that · The nearness of buildings the "inspector should continuously check for, and remove · Aircraft loading practices any FOD in movement areas, aircraft parking areas, and · The mix of passenger versus cargo traffic loading ramps" (FAA 2004b, p. 12). · Cargo types · Mix of ground vehicles in use Although there is no regulatory requirement for GA air- · Pavement types ports to conduct inspections, it is a recognized best practice · Surface cleaning/sweeping regime for all airports, including the smallest GA airport, to regu- · Weather and the number of winter operations larly inspect the AOA for FOD, among other items. By con- · Maintenance practices.
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14 The first and perhaps most critical inspection area on the belt (FAA 2010a). As McCreary (2010, p. 139) notes, "The AOA is the movement area, encompassing both runways and ramp is a major source [of FOD], with the gate as the `dirtiest' taxiways. The movement area is critical because it is used by source." each arriving and departing aircraft and hosts the most critical stages of flight; that is, take-offs and landings. As McCreary Fourth, it is important to regularly inspect air cargo oper- (2010, p. 121) explains, "While a clean ramp is certainly ations for FOD. Air cargo operators deal with substantial important, forensic analysis shows that 50% of strikes occur amounts of cargo, which can come packaged in a number of on the runway. . . . [Therefore,] the runway is the key to ways. All of this packaging creates the potential for blow- improved safety and reduced costs." Stated another way, ing debris, especially in the form of plastic wrappers, plastic "FOD awareness programs [sic] tend to focus attention on the strapping bands, and cardboard. Continuous surveillance and ramp, where most debris is found, rather than on the runway fencing are two traditional remedies for the FOD problems where most strikes occur" (McCreary 2010, p. 103). One that may accompany cargo operations (FAA 2010a). source of FOD on paved surfaces is from cracked, chipped, and broken pavement. Pieces of concrete and asphalt may Yet another area to be considered concerns those capital break loose owing to fatigue, requiring older pavements to improvement and maintenance projects that can result in FOD. undergo more frequent inspections. Broken pieces of pavement Outside contractors often do not understand the significance of can also collect on the edges of ramps, and be carried onto the FOD and will not make an effort to prevent FOD if not prop- movement areas by prop wash, jet blast, or the tires of airline erly trained by the airport. By educating contractors about or operations equipment or vehicles. By closely monitoring ser- FOD and the risks it creates, contractors will be more likely to vice roads that intersect taxiways, airports can quickly detect curb construction debris and regularly clean up the construc- and remove FOD from taxiways left by vehicles using the tion site. When planning for projects on the AOA, whether service road. Unpaved shoulders adjacent to pavement, espe- performed in-house or by outside contractors, airports may cially if not stabilized, may also generate FOD. Paved shoul- wish to consider including a means for routinely checking ders mitigate this concern to a great degree. By inspecting and restricting debris. As previously mentioned, the FAA has pavement joints, additional sources of FOD can be detected. issued AC 150/5370-2 to address FOD and other safety-related Turf areas, in the form of safety areas and object-free areas, items during construction projects. The AC encourages air- may collect and retain a large amount of debris, such as ports to hold contractors responsible for complying with the paper, cardboard, and plastic. This debris can be blown into requirements of the airport's FOD management program and areas travelled by aircraft unless collected regularly. Finally, any construction safety plans (FAA 2003). In addition, accord- fence lines can collect trash during windy conditions. This ing to the FAA the airport operator should inspect all con- debris should be collected before the wind direction changes struction areas for debris on a daily basis, as well as remaining or increases to avoid debris being blown onto areas travelled aware of the potential for vehicles to track FOD from con- by aircraft (FAA 2010a). struction areas onto the airport's movement areas. Smaller pieces of FOD, such as gravel, can become lodged in the tires The second main portion of the airport to be inspected for of a vehicle, and then become dislodged on a runway or taxi- FOD includes apron areas (FAA 2010a). By inspecting apron way if the tires of the vehicles travelling between these two areas, especially at larger airports that offer air carrier service, areas are not inspected before every trip. Some airports have debris can be detected and removed to prevent damage to air- found it a best practice to require the contractor to follow all craft. GA ramps and terminals also accumulate FOD that pre- vehicles traversing paved areas with a sweeper truck to remove sents dangers to aircraft. Any areas on the apron upon which any debris immediately. Another option, in the form of rumble ground vehicles operate have the ability to produce FOD. strips, is discussed in chapter four (FAA 2010a). The third area to be inspected includes areas hosting air- The final area considered important for FOD inspection craft servicing operations. Although much of this activity includes aircraft maintenance areas. A large number of tools may occur on airport aprons, the FAA differentiates this and hardware are typically used in maintenance areas and activity because of its ability to generate substantial FOD, as these items may inadvertently be left on an aircraft or vehicle, contrasted with an empty ramp area. As baggage is handled, which may find its way onto the ramp or taxiway. Within FOD can be generated in the form of an entire piece of lug- hangars, airlines perform FOD checks as part of daily safety gage, a wheel, luggage tag, carrying strap, or TSA security checks, have FOD free verification on work cards, and ensure tags. Refueling operations can also generate FOD in the form end-of-shift and task clean-ups. In component areas, there of unsecured fuel caps, ladders, traffic cones, and fuel spills. are clean-up days and routine vacuuming and metal pick- Likewise, catering activities can generate substantial amounts up. Line maintenance typically performs worksite analysis of FOD. The food provided by catering services often comes and housekeeping, daily safety briefings, and FOD accident in a variety of cardboard and plastic packaging, which, if not investigations. Additionally, visual aids may be used to assist properly disposed of, can easily be blown onto the terminal mechanics in this pursuit, specifically checklists, shadow or a movement area. FOD may also collect at both ends of the boards (composed of an outline of each tool's proper storage conveyor, and between the baggage cart and the conveyor location), or tool trays (FAA 2010a).