FAA Soliciting Comments on FOD-detection System AC

 - August 25, 2009, 11:27 AM

The FAA is seeking industry comment by September 4 on draft AC 150/5220-xx, which addresses automatic foreign object debris (FOD) detection and alerting systems evaluated by the FAA Technical Center and the University of Illinois Center of Excellence in Airport Technology. FOD systems use radar, cameras, lasers and other techniques to spot small but hazardous objects often missed by traditional runway patrol vehicles. Three of the systems tested scan the runway continuously from fixed, unmanned locations, while a fourth is vehicle mounted. Boeing estimates that FOD damage costs operators billions annually worldwide, and therefore the systems will qualify for Airport Improvement Program funding covering purchase, installation and integration into airport safety management programs. Airports are now awaiting FAA guidance on incorporating FOD management procedures into those programs, to update information last published in 1996. “These new automatic detection systems show how technology has advanced,” one operator told AIN. “Now, we urgently need updated guidance to maximize their benefits within our individual safety programs.”