Foreign Object Debris Characterization at a Large International Airport
Foreign object debris (FOD) and its corresponding damage is a well-recognized threat to aircraft safety. In support of the Federal Aviation Administration FOD research program, the University of Illinois Center of Excellence for Airport Technology (CEAT) in cooperation with the staff of the Chicago Department of Aviation, O’Hare International Airport (ORD) Operations, initiated an effort to characterize the FOD found on active runways at a major civil airport. The primary objective of the study was to characterize FOD over time by analyzing the FOD collected by common mechanical FOD removal devices during routine runway inspections. The CEAT analysis of FOD collected from runways at ORD showed that FOD was consistently present. The majority of the collected FOD samples was predominantly comprised of material types that could be attributed to runway pavements, such as asphalt, tar, and concrete. The conclusions in this study are based on empirical analysis and the findings in this report follow the interpretative rather than the statistical analysis.
Authors: Edwin E. Herricks, David Mayer, and Sidney Majumdar