Foam Firefighting Standards Too Costly, Says NATA

 - January 28, 2009, 10:23 AM

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) says requiring foam fire suppression systems to be installed in Group II hangars is financially “impractical and not justifiable.” Group II hangars cover more than 12,000 sq ft and their main doors are up to 28 feet high. The new guidelines were developed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), which sets standards for fire suppression and building codes, including those governing hangars (NFPA 409). According to NATA, “The new NFPA 409 mandate will require aircraft hangar owners to incorporate foam fire suppression systems needing an enormous amount of water and will also require the foam and water to be collected in a cistern or other safe containment device. These two requirements would place a huge financial burden on aircraft owners, equaling the cost of the aircraft hangar itself by some estimates.” NATA wants the March 6 comment deadline extended six months and for the NFPA to “convene a group of general aviation aircraft hangar owners to review and develop a new code appropriate to our industry, accounting for implementation cost and benefit.”