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.
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: