NATA Offers Hangar Foam System Information

 - June 11, 2020, 11:56 AM
Accidental hangar fire foam discharge is a growing problem in the aviation industry, with one event occuring on average every six weeks.

With accidental hangar foam discharges on the increase, NATA has released new online resources as part of its hangar foam fire suppression initiative. The Fire Marshal Toolkit educates those involved in setting local ordinances on hangar construction about factors affecting the decision to require foam fire suppression, such as aviation fuels, types of foam, possible environmental issues resulting from foam, causes of inadvertent system discharges, and insurance considerations.

It will also outline the trade organization’s proposed changes to the National Fire Protection Association’s 409 standard, which covers aviation hangar construction and is generally accepted as the industry standard in many jurisdictions. For FBOs and other hangar keepers, the Accidental Foam Discharge Checklist details steps they should take after such an unfortunate event, as well as what they shouldn’t do.

“NATA members have noted that hangar foam systems provide very little risk mitigation due to the very low incidence of hangar fuel fires, while dramatically increasing the cost of new hangar development,” said NATA president and CEO Timothy Obitts. “As part of our initiative to reduce the requirements for foam systems in aircraft hangars, we wanted to assist the industry by developing a resource guide for interacting with local fire officials during new hangar construction.”

For more on this issue, read AIN's just-published feature story, "Hangar Foam: A Solution Looking for a Problem?"