WHAT IS FOD PREVENTION?
FOD prevention is a program designed to minimize foreign object debris (FOD) and its effects. FOD is one of the top concerns in the aviation field and is the cause for many serious hazards. FOD can be defined as any object that does not belong near or in an aircraft. Consequences of FOD include personnel injury and chances of severe damage to an aircraft. To minimize the effects of FOD, a FOD prevention program consisting of training, facility inspection, maintenance and coordination is essential.
WHAT A FOD PREVENTION PROGRAM CONSISTS OF
An effective FOD prevention program covers the four areas listed above (training, facility inspection, maintenance and coordination). In order to ensure minimal FOD repercussions, the four areas within the program need to flow smoothly within each other and include the following:
Training of personnel on the identification and elimination of FOD is the first step to FOD minimization. Training should stress safety of personnel and passengers, the hazards to equipment and the costs associated with FOD damage, e.g., aircraft damage, flight delays and rescheduling. FOD prevention training should also include procedures for FOD removal and elimination at its source. These procedures should be reinforced with recurrent training and use of awareness posters.
Frequent inspection of an aircraft and its surrounds is extremely important. It is required by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to host a daily inspection of aircraft and it maneuvering areas. In addition to these required inspections, FOD inspections should also take place at the beginning and end of each shift by aircraft personnel. Assigning a specific personnel to inspect for FOD during each shift helps ensure minimal FOD
Maintaining control of FOD is of extreme importance. Several methods for maintenance control include:
- SWEEPING: Sweeping is a method that can be done manually or with an airfield sweeper. Sweeping is one of the most effective ways of removing FOD from airsides. Sweeping should be done routinely depending upon areas.
- MAGNETIC BARS: Magnetic bars are suspended under tugs and trucks to pick up any metallic material and debris. These bar are extremely effective in picking up FOD; however, it is critical that they are cleaned frequently to ensure debris can stick to the bars without dropping back off.
- RUMBLE STRIPS: Rumble strips are great for dislodging FOD from undercarriages of vehicles. The best part about these strips is that they are portable and can be moved from airside to airside.
- FOD CONTAINERS: FOD containers are used to collect debris and should be placed at all gates. It’s important to ensure that the FOD containers are emptied regularly so that they do not overflow and maximize FOD.