Small Airport Firefighting System

Small Airport Firefighting System              


Test and Evaluation of the Effectiveness of a Small Airport Firefighting System (SAFS) in Extinguishing Two and Three Dimensional Hydrocarbon Fuel Fires


Small Airport Firefighting System (SAFS) tests showed the system to be an effective, inexpensive, and viable alternative to more costly, permanently mounted fire truck systems. Testing revealed that the combination of 3% concentrate compressed air foam (CAF) and dry chemical (PKP) produced by SAFS has excellent fire suppression and knockdown capability when used simultaneously in a coordinated fire attack on a two-dimensional (2-D) pool fire and a three-dimensional (3-D) flowing fuel fire. This combination of agents produced an effective agent stream that rapidly extinguished the fire and prevented reignition and burn back of both the 2-D and 3-D fires. When used in the CAF mode, SAFS produced four times as much foam as the non-air-aspirated variable-stream nozzle. In the CAF mode, the air-aspirated foam stream was as effective as the non-air-aspirated foam stream. In the CAF and dry chemical mode, the air-aspirated aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) and PKP dual-agent stream performed measurably better than the non-air-aspirated AFFF and PKP dual-agent stream during medium-scale testing, but was slightly slower in extinguishment performance during large-scale testing. In large-scale testing, the difference in extinguishment time could be attributed to the size of the orifices on differing nozzles. The concept of 2-D pool fire and 3-D flowing fuel fires was relatively new to the volunteer fire fighters. None of the volunteer fire fighters had fought a combination JP-8 static pool 2-D pool fire and 3-D flowing fuel fire. Some large-scale fires were not extinguished due to the lack of knowledge of 2-D a nd 3-D firefighting concepts. However, the objectives of the test, effectiveness of the equipment, and ease of use with less experienced fire fighters were fully demonstrated.


Mr. Keith Bagot
FAA Technical Center

ARFF Research Program

Airport R&D, Bldg. 296

Atlantic City International Airport, New Jersey, 08405


Contact Project Lead: Keith Bagot, ANG-E261

Last Update: 02/22/12