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45 CHAPTER SEVEN CONCLUSIONS This study found that a wide variation exists among airports Documentation in the practices, techniques, and tools used to conduct inspec- tions for Foreign Object Debris (FOD) and wildlife hazards. · Most airports document FOD most of the time FOD is Furthermore, there was no readily available synthesis of cur- removed. rent airport inspection practices for FOD and wildlife hazards · When documenting FOD, most airports record the loca- from which airport operators could review and improve their tion of the FOD, the date and time FOD were detected own inspection procedures. This synthesis (1) presents current and/or retrieved, a description of the FOD, and the name airport inspection practices regarding FOD, and (2) presents of personnel investigating and removing the FOD. the range of technology and equipment currently available to · Most airports do not currently utilize an electronic data- airports for inspecting, detecting, removing, and document- base for documenting FOD. ing FOD. · Of those airports that do utilize an electronic database, the most common criterion for analysis is location of FOD. The following findings and common practices were discovered. Training, Awareness, and Management Inspection · Most airports utilize FOD letters, notices, and/or bul- letins to enhance awareness of their FOD management · Most airports rely on human/visual inspection for FOD. program. · Most airports inspect movement areas (runways and taxi- · According to participating airports, only airport oper- ways) more frequently than non-movement areas. ations personnel, airport maintenance personnel, and airport management place a high level of importance Detection on FOD management. · At most airports, air carriers (if present) and FBOs play · Most airports rely on manual detection of FOD by human/ an active part in FOD management. visual means, without any type of FOD technology in use. · At most airports, the FOD management program is han- · Most airports have some type of FOD management pro- dled by someone as part of their existing job duties. gram in place. · Most airports do not have a formal FOD training program. · Those few airports with some sort of FOD detection tech- · Most airports ensure the quality of their FOD manage- ment program by the use of management oversight. nology in use believe that the benefits either exceed or are · If additional resources were made available for FOD worthy of the cost. management, most airports would acquire equipment/ technology for the detection and/or removal of FOD. Removal · When asked to share thoughts on how FOD management could be improved at their airport, most airports would · Most airports use both human/visual means and either like to see a better structured FOD management program, mechanized or non-mechanized means to remove FOD. as well as the acquisition of technology to aid in FOD · Of the mechanized means in use, most airports use power detection. sweepers and vacuum systems. Of the non-mechanized means in use, most airports use magnetic bars. At small, general aviation airports, a FOD management pro- · Of those airports using mechanical means to remove gram will typically have a fairly simple structure. At larger, FOD, most believe these means are very useful. commercial service airports, it may involve many airlines and · The most common type of FOD removed on paved move- likely employ a full-time FOD manager. In essence, the FOD ment areas is runway and taxiway materials, including management program will be commensurate with the com- concrete chunks, rubber joint materials, and paint chips. plexity of the airport. Regardless, when a FOD program is · The most common type of FOD removed on ramp areas developed to meet the unique needs of the airport, damage is apron items, including paper and plastic debris, lug- caused by FOD will be reduced, which benefits not only the gage parts, and debris from ramp equipment. airport, but users, tenants, and the entire aviation industry.
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46 In addition to common practices, the following list pro- well as any reductions in FOD removed to gain insight vides practices that were identified by airports as successful into the effectiveness of the airport's promotion and for their FOD Management Program. awareness program. Inspection and Detection Training and promotion · FOD checklist for inspection personnel. · Commitment from management to the FOD manage- · FOD event/incident form to record specific conditions ment program and the goal of continuous improvement related to FOD removed (that would later be entered into in the area of FOD prevention at the airport. an electronic FOD database with photo). · Tenant involvement and participation. · Integration of FOD management with Wildlife Hazard · FOD committee, with regular meetings, to establish pol- Management Plan and Safety Management System. icy, guidelines, and goals. · Regular, proactive FOD inspections conducted visu- · Regular FOD walks, with refreshments and group pho- ally (ICAO standard is four times per day) focusing on tos, as well as awards for the most FOD collected or both movement and non-movement areas (may be part special item(s) found presented at an awards ceremony. of a self-inspection as required by Part 139). · Promotion and awareness program involving posters, · Reactive inspections as FOD is reported by pilots, Air t-shirts, bulletins, banners, and stickers, as well as regu- Traffic Control, and others. lar activities to maintain interest and participation in the · Supplement manual inspections with automated detec- FOD program, such as contests and clean gate awards. tion technology. · Training of personnel, including airline and contrac- tor personnel, of good housekeeping practices and the Removal emphasis on FOD prevention. · FOD containers strategically placed throughout ramp/ Although many questions were answered regarding the gate areas. manner in which airports manage FOD, additional ques- · Closure of pavement as necessary to prevent aircraft tions surfaced as well. Below are suggested areas of further operations on a contaminated surface. research. · Proactive removal of FOD with the use of non- mechanized equipment such as tow-behind friction · As FOD walks and other proactive FOD mitigation mats and magnetic bars or with the use of mechanized measures began in the military; additional research equipment such as power sweepers and vacuum systems. could be conducted with this population. · As airports begin acquiring FOD detection technology, Documentation and Analysis of Data follow-up studies could be conducted whereby the expe- riences of these airports are shared with the community · Electronic database with records of FOD removed from of airports nationwide. movement areas (runways and taxiways). · Research that might lead to a guidebook to assist airports · Photographs of FOD removed from movement areas in developing and implementing a FOD management (runways and taxiways). program. · Regular analysis of data to reveal trends in types of FOD, · Uses of FOD detection sensors for additional applica- locations of FOD, and possible generators of FOD, as tions in the airport environment.