The most dangerous foreign object debris (FOD) isn’t likely going to be a giant boulder sitting on the runway or a six-foot-long metal shard. That type of debris isn’t going to be missed by anyone. Arguably, the most dangerous FOD is that which is much smaller and much less obvious. The buildup of dirts, sands and other FOD can cause eventual problems, often expensive and hopefully not dangerous. The wear on wheels, landing gear and issues like chipped propeller blades are all examples of the costs and potential risk as a result of FOD, which makes FOD control a necessity for this industry.
There is no real replacement for diligence when it comes right down to the best way to control FOD. As the detection of FOD has improved, so has the capability of FOD control methods. With newer and better-designed FOD sweepers like the FOD*BOSS, better radar and sensor detection, the job of FOD control has become easier. Still, crews must continually monitor detectors, regularly sweep tarmacs, taxiways, and runways, and maintain due diligence every minute they are on duty.
Of course, better equipment, better tools, and better techniques have made FOD control more effective. Without the utmost attentiveness to FOD and airport surface conditions, however, that equipment and those tools and techniques aren’t enough. The right tools in the hands of a dedicated and professional team are the answer to controlling FOD.
A Winning Team
The airline industry is a special one, and those who belong to it are part of a special community. These are typically professional, educated, smart and hardworking individuals. Like giving your pilots the best aircraft to fly or your maintenance crew the best tools to use – the right FOD tools will make a big difference, and a positive one. From the best FOD detection practices to the best FOD sweepers, FOD control has never been more effective.
Controlling FOD isn’t always easy, but it has become easier. Using the best people and the right equipment is a winning combination and that is a win for everyone. FOD can impact safety, performance, profitability and even an airline’s image. What type of impact FOD has will depend greatly on how well FOD is controlled. With a winning team, controlling FOD will make your business better, keep your customers and staff safer and provide long-term value.
The topic of controlling FOD may not be a sexy one. It doesn’t have the flare and glamour of those powerful winged machines ascending the sky, but that doesn’t make it any less important. No, discussing FOD cleanup may not be exciting but it is smart, safe and good for business.