Airport Business

DEC 2018-JAN 2019

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22 airportbusiness December 2018/January 2019 AIRFIELD MAINTENANCE and strong suction, so we can clear a runway in a few passes and they can travel at a pretty good speed, so they’re pretty much the best equipment out there.” Mason said San Diego has a lot of finer debris left over from ongoing construction projects that crews work on. Contractors do their own cleanup, but he said the airport makes a conscious effort to increase its efforts as well to ensure clean airfields. “We’re located pretty close to San Diego Bay as well,” Mason said. “So in the event we have any rain, which is pretty rare, a lot of the debris that we sweep up can flow into the storm drains and into the bay, so we increase our sweeping operations around that time just to make sure nothing is going into the storm drains.” “Our sweepers will pick up all of that,” he said. Perryville Regional Airport in Perryville, Missouri, has seen traffic rebound in the past couple of year after a nearly five year run of being nearly dormant. Perryville Airport Manager Barbara Maxwell said West Star Aviation took over the former Saberliner facility at the airport and is maintaining and upgrading Gulfstream IV aircraft. The city also installed a fuel farm with self-fueling and jet fuel, which has increased traffic. “We’re seeing larger aircraft, which was kind of a concern with our runway, which was constructed in the 1940s,” she said. “We started seeing some cracking and some damage. When I took over in April, there was a significant amount of FOD.” Maxwell said she initially did visual checks of the 7,200 feet long runway for FOD, but the process was timely and inefficient. She then used a street sweeper from the city’s public work’s department to address the issues, but that also created issues. “They have metal bristles and actually it made more of a mess because it left metal bristles on the runway,” she said. “It looked like dipsticks for checking oil.” Maxwell said a colleague at another airport recommended other sweepers and she eventually went with the FOD Boss, which she pulls behind a Ford Ranger. “Along with doing some repairs to the runway, the FOD has decreased,” she said. “The runways and taxiways are all significantly cleaner now than before I got here.” Maxwell said other airports with access to public works equipment need to consider what type of materials are being used before implementing them on the airfield. They can create more issues than helping in FOD removal. She also recommended researching the equipment to make sure there are multiple manufacturers of the tools to make sure you’re investing in the best product for your needs. Do backgrounds and reviews of the equipment on the market and also try to get a demo piece to test out before making an investment. “I’m not the only one for airports who doesn’t have a type of sweeper or street sweeper. They’re doing it the way I do it, which is driving up and down and trying to collect FOD,” she said. Ramp space at Huntsville International Airport has various FOD issues given large amounts of cargo traffic. Dennis Kiem

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