Singapore Air Show

Local company develops system to counter FOD

 - February 19, 2008, 9:11 PM

Singapore-based advanced technology and e-systems developer Stratech Systems (Stand No. J96) has logged the first sale of its iFerret runway surveillance system. The system will be deployed at Changi International Airport following the signing of a S$12 million ($8.5 million)-plus contract here yesterday by Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore chairman Lim Kim Choon.

iFerret uses what Stratech terms intelligent vision–a form of artificial intelligence that enables machines to “see” in real time–to detect, identify, track and display foreign objects. Foreign object damage (FOD) poses a perennial danger to aircraft operations and passenger safety and, the vendor said, costs the air transport industry an estimated $4 billion in aircraft repairs, flight delays and airport maintenance.

The company’s executive chairman, Dr. David K.M. Chew, said the system represents cutting edge technology and he hopes it will help improve safety standards at airports worldwide.

The award follows a 15-month pilot trial at Changi. Lim said the prevention of FOD incidents has always been a priority at the airport. “The frequency of our runway inspections already exceeds guidelines set by the International Civil Aviation Organization. iFerret will enable us to automate these inspections and set even higher standards in operational efficiency and passenger safety.”

Stratech said the system can be scaled for runways and taxiways of any length and can also be deployed on airport aprons, hangars and even aircraft carriers.