Foreign material that is in places where it should not be is called a Foreign Object Debris or FOD. FOD can be found anywhere including the inside of a cockpit. The problem with FOD extends over all means of transportation creating a safety hazard at airports on the runways, race tracks, military facilities, all businesses with debris on their floors, and hazards on the freeway because of tire fragments.
Removing FOD – Businesses
- At all company’s facilities, employers must be trained to identify FOD and to remove debris.
2. Housekeeping should remove all FOD.
3. No food and beverage zones, and identify areas where food/drinks can be consumed.
4. All tools must be stored when not in use.
5. When tools are required including small items, perform an inventory.
Doing the FOD Walk
At the Selfridge Air National Guard located in Michigan, one can find rocks, pebbles, a missing tool, sticks, and grass on the runway. At Selfridge, having objects from the flight line is a constant problem and could damage.
Selfridge’s Airmen take FOD very seriously, and if it is not removed, there is a danger of a crash. The National Aerospace FOD Prevention agency reported that FOD costs the world aerospace industry at least four billion dollars annually, including both civilian and military aircraft.
The basic FOD control techniques involve examining the tires of the ground vehicles and looking for small rocks and pebbles which will wedge into the tread of the tires.
The next approach would use the FOD*BOSS which was made in 1994 by Warwick Tozer, the founder of Aerosweeps Ltd. developed the FOD*BOSS to remove debris from sporting surfaces airfields, racetracks, and industrial. It uses both innovative and patented technology. The FOD*BOSS is considered a high efficiency and easy to use the product. Compared to other sweepers it is portable and will sweep both wet and dry debris.
This fod sweeper has a high collection capability and moves rocks, sand, luggage hardware, nonmetallic objects, along with the tarmac surface using heavy-duty brushes, producing strong forces at 25 mph. The FOD Walk requires Airman to spread out walking along the air ramp. Loose objects, such as small rocks are picked up and are moved onto the ramp.
Aerosweep has developed the Triplex system which is specifically designed for race tracks, which uses the same design as FOD*BOSS. The design had to change because the race track needs a wider fod sweeper device. The TRACK SWEEP will clean a larger amount of debris, such as gravel, rubber, and carpets, creating a safe environment for spectators and competitors.