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29 or lids to prevent wind or jet- or prop-wash from stirring up or shifting debris inside the container, thus creating more FOD (FAA 2010a). It is helpful to locate FOD containers in all high traffic areas, generally near entry points to the AOA, hangers, maintenance areas, FBO, and at each aircraft gate. If there are multiple containers in visible locations, personnel will be more apt to properly dispose of FOD without being prompted. For hazardous materials, specialized containers, in accordance with appropriate regulations, must be used. Figure 24 shows an example of FOD containers. CURRENT AIRPORT REMOVAL PRACTICES Common Foreign Object Debris Types FIGURE 24 FOD containers. Source: San Antonio Airport System. To determine the most common types of debris removed at air- ports, this synthesis queried the airports. Airports were also asked to indicate the most common types of FOD removed by As seen in Table 3, the data can be reduced to the four most area. Findings suggest that certain types of FOD (such as plas- common types of FOD removed by area. Movement areas tic and/or polyethylene materials) are generally quite common (runways and taxiways) share the first and second most com- throughout the airport environment. Other types of FOD (such mon types of FOD (runway and taxiway materials, and natural as flight line items) are most common only in specific areas materials, respectively). Aircraft parts and debris resulting (such as flight line items on air carrier ramps). from winter operations are also commonly found along run- TABLE 3 FOUR MOST COMMON TYPES OF FOD REMOVED BY AREA Area First Most Second Most Third Most Fourth Most Common Common Common Common Runways Runway and Natural materials Aircraft parts Winter ops taxiway materials Taxiways Runway and Natural materials Winter ops Aircraft parts taxiway materials Taxi Lanes Winter ops Runway and Apron items (tie) Aircraft parts (tie) taxiway materials and natural and plastic and/or materials (tie) polyethylene materials (tie) Air Carrier Ramps Apron items Flight line items Winter ops Aircraft parts Cargo Ramps Apron items Winter ops Plastic and/or Aircraft parts (tie) polyethylene and flight line items (tie) GA Ramps Apron items Winter ops Flight line items Plastic and/or polyethylene (tie) and natural materials (tie) Hangar Areas Aircraft parts Winter ops Mechanic's tools Apron items (tie) and construction debris (tie) and plastic and/or polyethylene (tie) Outside Defined Construction Plastic and/or Apron items Natural materials Construction Areas debris polyethylene Nonpavement Plastic and/or Apron items Natural materials Construction Areas polyethylene debris
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30 Rumble strips 12% Tow-behind debris retention mesh 21% Jet air blower 31% Magnetic bars 55% Vacuum systen 74% Power sweeper, including tow-behind 83% bristle trailer FIGURE 25 Types of FOD removal equipment in use. Note: Participants were asked to select all that apply. Thus, percentages do not total 100%. ways and taxiways. Similarities in FOD types also exist among that the most common type of equipment in use is the power non-movement areas. For instance, apron items (such as paper sweeper. One airport also indicated that they have a dust pan debris, luggage parts, and debris from ramp equipment) are the attachment to their sweeper. A vacuum set-up is also quite most common type of FOD found on ramps (including air common, with magnetic bars also used by more than half of carrier, cargo, and GA). FOD as a result of winter operations participating airports. Less common are jet air blowers, tow- (such as ice and snow, vehicle or equipment parts, and broken behind retention mesh, and rumble strips. lights) are also quite common among non-movement areas. Based on the most common type of FOD found at an air- Common Removal Methods port, and the area in which each type is found, it is helpful to conduct a risk assessment to determine the hazards presented In practice there are only two main methods available to by the FOD and then adopt tools to mitigate those hazards. For remove FOD from airport surfaces. First, airports typically instance, if metal debris are found on runways, the airport may manually remove debris by physically picking it up, whether wish to install magnetic bars on all operations and mainte- by hand or with a shovel or other device. Second, debris can be nance vehicles. If vegetation is a problem on taxiways, main- removed with the use of mechanized equipment, whether by a tenance personnel may need to pay closer attention to mowing sweeper, vacuum, magnetic bar, or other piece of equipment. practices, and use power weepers and/or vacuum systems after To understand the degree to which airports rely on these vari- each mowing event. ous methods of removing FOD, airports were queried as to the methods they use. Fully 100% of participating airports remove Of those airports using some type of technology or FOD manually (or by human means). However, 91.5% also equipment for removing FOD, 79% indicated that this remove FOD mechanically using some sort of equipment equipment is very useful at removing FOD. Of those indi- designed for such purpose. Furthermore, 15% of participating cating the technology or equipment was very useful, the airports have plans to acquire additional equipment for remov- vast majority (91%) are using a power sweeper. A great ing FOD within the next 24 months. number are also using a vacuum system (73%) and mag- netic bars (61%). Somewhat less common are jet air blow- Common Foreign Object Debris Removal Equipment ers (40%) and tow-behind debris retention mesh (21%). Only 21% of participating airports indicate the equipment Those airports using some sort of FOD removal equipment is somewhat useful, whereas no airports indicated that it were asked about the specific types in use. Figure 25 reveals was not useful at all.