NBAA Convention News

Esco EMAS records seventh save at TEB

 - October 13, 2010, 7:49 AM

Products made by Zodiac Aerospace (Booth No. 3452) touch almost every aspect of aviation, from cabin interiors to emergency systems and fuel and electrical power management systems. And while pilots hope that they don’t have to take advantage of emergency systems, one Zodiac division–the Engineered Arresting Systems Corp. (Esco)–makes a product that has resulted in some remarkable saves that undoubtedly make flight crews extremely grateful. The Esco division based in Logan Township, N.J., makes engineered material arresting ­systems (EMAS)–blocks of aerated concrete placed at runway ends that can stop an aircraft with minimal damage after a ­runway overrun.<o:p></o:p>

Zodiac’s EMAS made a recent save on October 1, stopping a Gulfstream GIV-SP at Teterboro Airport as it overran Runway 6 on landing. The two pilots and seven passengers on board were not injured, and the airplane suffered little damage. Runway 6 was the same site of a takeoff overrun accident on Feb. 2, 2005, when a Bombardier Challenger 600 operated by Platinum Jet Management failed to lift off and ran off the end of the ­runway at high speed, slid across a busy roadway and crashed into a warehouse.

This Teterboro EMAS save brought the company’s total to seven since the May 1999 takeoff overrun of a Saab 340 at JFK International. While most other saves involved airliners, including a Boeing 747, another business jet EMAS save took place in July 2006, when a Falcon 900 was successfully stopped at Greenville Downtown Airport in South Carolina.

EMAS qualifies as a substitute for runway safety areas (RSA), which the FAA requires at Part 139 commercial airports. RSAs are 500 feet wide and extend 1,000 feet from the runway end. Because many airports were built before RSAs were required, it is often not feasible to install a standard RSA. In the early 1990s, the FAA worked with the University of Dayton, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Esco to develop EMAS. Now EMAS beds are installed at 48 runways at 32 airports worldwide. The first EMAS bed was installed at Teterboro in 2006 and another is scheduled for installation this year, along with nine others at seven U.S. airports.

Esco’s latest version is EMASMax, which features a plastic top cover, silicone seam seal, extruded silicone side sealer and plastic bottom tray with integrated forklift slots. Airports typically paint EMAS beds to help pilots avoid accidentally taxiing into them, but the plastic top cover eliminates the need for paint.