Foreign object debris (FOD) is a considerable threat to aviation environments because debris can cause costly damage to vehicles, machinery, and other equipment while creating dangerous conditions for employees and customers. Luckily, most FOD is preventable by implementing the correct processes and utilizing the right equipment. While there are many debris pickup systems available, the most effective are airfield FOD sweepers in which a pad runs over the debris and scoops it up into the system, like a vacuum.
Why FOD Removal is Important
The criticality of FOD removal is due to a buildup of rubber causing slippery conditions on runways from departing and arriving plane wheels. Also, FOD can distort or remove runway markings making it difficult for planes to identify them. Finally, FOD can severely reduce the efficiency of heavily-trafficked airports causing tremendous delays.
In addition to preventing damage, maintaining safe conditions, and maintaining airport timetables, there are multiple reasons for using FOD sweepers including:
Ease of Use
Airfield FOD sweepers have been carefully engineered so that staff can easily use the system. A shorter learning curve equates to less training time and higher output by employees. Best of all, the sweeper can do most of the work so staff can focus on other responsibilities. This will speed up the process so more flights can depart with less taxiing time making aviation travel more efficient.
Few individuals would consider a few grains of gravel on a ramp to be deadly to the aircraft. However, to those who are familiar with the technical details of aircraft equipment know that damage is derived from even the smallest objects. An aircraft makes depart thousands of times without issue, but one strong wind could force that piece of gravel into the tire causing a puncture. Using the correct sweeper will effectively pick up all objects so this concern does not become a reality.
Works in All Conditions
Regardless of the weather, effective airfield FOD sweepers optimally perform in all conditions. The system is portable enough to move around and ensure the staff uses it when necessary at various locations around the property. This ensures that corners do not need to be cut when adverse weather rolls into the area.
The greatest benefits of airfield FOD sweepers are the reduction in all risks: from equipment repairs to safety, they are easy to use, effective, and can work in a variety of favorable or unfavorable conditions. When you use the best FOD sweeper for the job, you are giving the staff the tools required to keep people and machinery safe. Airports will suffer from lesser delays due to accidents thus improving the airfield’s reputation. Each year, FOD causes billions of dollars in damage which means that a sweeper can save the owners more money than ever imagined.