Airport Business

DEC 2018-JAN 2019

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18 airportbusiness December 2018/January 2019 AIRFIELD MAINTENANCE By Joe Petrie SWEEP AWAY YOUR FOD ISSUES Picking the best equipment for FOD control means examining the issues you have on your airfield. Huntsville International Airport (HSV) has a high volume of cargo traffic utilizing its facilities, creating unique FOD challenge for an airport its size. Michael Ailing, operations supervisor for HSV, said the airport sees plastic wrap and parts from pallets appearing as FOD at the airport, so they work with tenants and staff to educate them on the issue and reduce debris. “We’ve seen a decrease in the total number of FOD over the last several years,” he said. “We’ve been highlighting that to tenants as well as internally as that has been a focus area on keeping an eye on that and keeping it under control.” HSV has two sweeper trucks to perform regular maintenance. They also purchased a FOD Master several years ago and a Victory Sweepers T600. It uses a mechanical effort to toss large debris into a hopper. Tow-behind units are a lot simpler to operate than a sweeper truck, Ailing said, making training easier. It’s being pulled by a standard pickup truck and the lack of additional noise raises situational awareness. “Once you back the truck up, you adjust the height and it’s pretty much set to go,” he said. Ailing said all badge employees at HSV go through driver training in non-movement area. This includes talking about retrieving FOD, reporting it and picking it up. “We’ve got three ramps. We’ve got an air carrier ramp, a GA ramp and a cargo ramp,” he said. “So we’ve rotated between each ramp and invited everybody, all our tenants and do Huntsville International Airport utilizes sweepers for clearing the ramp and taxiway areas of FOD to provide a safe operating environment for aircraft. Dennis Kiem

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