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ARFF & Recovery - Articles and news items

Airport fire & rescue services: Implementing and complying with new EASA rules

Issue 2 2015  •  20 March 2015  •  Kim Olsen, Head of Copenhagen Airport’s Fire & Rescue Academy

New rules from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for airport rescue and firefighting services will soon begin to be implemented in European airports. This will be an interesting and demanding process to be certified by the new rules for many airports. Kim Olsen, Head of Copenhagen Airport’s Fire & Rescue Academy explains how it is training to meet these standards...

Aircraft recovery leadership: Silo of excellence or horizontal collaboration

Issue 5 2014  •  14 October 2014  •  William Cussato, Chairman of the IATA Aircraft Recovery Task Force

The majority of disabled aircraft events occur at aerodromes, and when this happens, stakeholders need to work together. William Cusato, Chairman of the IATA Aircraft Recovery Task Force, suggests that horizontal collaboration is the way to restore normal operations.

ARFF: Establishing a world-class firefighting facility

Issue 5 2014  •  14 October 2014  •  Pierre Borrodier, Head of SSLIA Service at Lyon Airport

With the inauguration of Lyon Airports’ new Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Service training ground, the airport has become the first in France to offer training facilities to cope with real-life situations...

ARFF & Recovery: World class fire safety in Papua New Guinea

Issue 6 2013  •  19 December 2013  •  Jack Kreckie, ARFF Consultant, ARFF Professional Services LLC

Establishing a world-class aircraft rescue and firefighting department is no mean feat. Renowned ARFF Consultant Jack Kreckie documents the development of an aircraft rescue and firefighting programme in Papua New Guinea...

RFF station design and siting

Issue 5 2012  •  2 October 2012  •  Jack Kreckie, Regulatory Affairs Officer at the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Working Group

This is the second part of Jack Kreckie’s article that outlines the requirements of planning a new airport Rescue Firefighting (RFF) station. The first part of this paper was published in International Airport Review Issue 4 2012.Station layout: The selection of furnishings and equipment should be based on current and anticipated needs, taking into account the next 10 years. Prioritising the value of the space may be required to keep the project within budget limits as there may be items that are good fits for your project and others that are not.Proximities: As you determine which spaces are necessary, their locations need to be roughly located and the square footage for each of these spaces determined, to work out an initial layout concept. The project team should provide recommended or minimum square foot requirements based on industry standards or requirements. The team needs to have an eye to the future to ensure that there is adequate expansion space to accommodate future growth.Finishes: Low maintenance should be the general theme in all of the operational spaces in the fire station. The ARFF Subject Matter Expert (SME) should provide questionnaires asking about preferences for finishes in each space.

Changing times

Issue 5 2012  •  2 October 2012  •  Mike Willson, Managing Director, Willson Consulting

Much is happening in Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) circles at present. Proposed changes to the ICAO standard with the new Level C and apparent ‘dumbing down’ of existing Level A and B fire tests have caused considerable concern amongst airport operators. In addition, a few operators have started using Fluorine Free Foams (F3) for their operational response. They may be surprised, and somewhat confused, by unexpected results from recent independent testing in Denmark.Substantial changes have been proposed to the ICAO standard fire test protocol. A new high performance Level C test is proposed to control air crash fires using higher performing foams and lower foam application rates. This could be beneficial and reduce the vehicles and mobile foam and water requirements affecting a range of category airports, but relies on a particularly low application rate of just 1.75 litres/minute/m2.Of greater concern is the apparent ‘dumbing down’ of the existing ICAO Level A and B fire test protocols. This proposal suggests that instead of ICAO Level B approved aviation foams currently being expected to extinguish the Jet A1 fuel fire within 60 seconds, only fire control should occur within 60 seconds, with the extinguishment requirement extended to 120 seconds.

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood announces $1.8 million grant for Jacksonville International Airport

Airport news  •  12 September 2012  •  FAA

FAA grant to construct a ARFF Training Facility...

Being safe in Sydney

Issue 4 2012  •  3 August 2012  •  Mark Von Nida, Fire Superintendent at Airservices Australia

Airservices Australia’s Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) service at Sydney Airport is just one of 21 fire stations at international, domestic and regional airports located through - out the country.Airservices Australia employs over 740 highly trained and experienced aviation fire fighting and technical personnel operating 113 high per - formance fire vehicles, specialised difficult terrain vehicles and specialised water rescue boats. This makes Airservices Australia ARFF larger than some Australian state or territory fire services.ARFF’s mission is to rescue people from an aircraft accident or fire and protect property from fires on the airport. With a proud 65-year history of protecting Australian aviation, Sydney ARFF has been a dedicated airport fire service since 1947. As one of the oldest continually operated airports in the world, the first flights from Sydney Airport at Mascot were in 1919 and today Sydney currently ranks as the world’s 28th busiest airport.

Preparation is everything

Issue 4 2012  •  1 August 2012  •  Chief David Y Whitaker, Airport Liaison Chief at Memphis International Airport and Chairman of the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Working Group

We have all heard the old adage that if you’ve been to one airport, then you’ve been to them all. However, airports are complex places and the size of the airport, scheduled aircraft, ARFF equipment, training, mutual aid, and jurisdictional boundaries all contribute to the differences. Exactly who is in charge or is responsible for each airport operation varies with each airport environment.The same concept is true regarding aircraft fires, no two are exactly alike. First responders must prepare for every imaginable set of circumstances. Table top, functional, and full scale exercises will help educate and prepare the airport for many different scenarios. The time to make many of the overall incident management and jurisdictional decisions is during pre-planning as any issue that can be worked out before an incident will be one less hurdle to overcome during the event. The use of a Standard Emergency Response Pattern (SERP) as a template can help responding agencies with the overall geographic layout (see Figure 1). The pattern is primarily based on wind and terrain but also considers many external factors. When overlaying a diagram of a clock to the incident scene, down wind is at the 12 o’clock position. If possible, no Incident Command System (ICS) positions should be placed between the 10 to 2 o’clock directions. The ideal condition has always been up wind, uphill and up stream. With that being said, there are a few basic principles we should consider for every incident.

RFF station design and siting

Issue 4 2012  •  1 August 2012  •  Jack Kreckie, Regulatory Affairs Officer at the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Working Group

The design and construction of a new Rescue Firefighting (RFF) station may only occur once during a career in emergency services. Selecting the right team, consistent leadership, prudent planning, and awareness of the specific needs of an RFF Department today and in the future will help to make that legacy a positive one.This is the first of two articles looking into the challenges involved with RFF station design and siting. The second part of this piece will be published in issue 5 of International Airport Review due out in September 2012.Chain of command: Although there may well be a design committee involved in the planning of a new facility, clearly one person representing the fire department must have the final say. As in emergency management, the lines of command must be clearly defined. There may be a number of people in charge of vertical columns of responsibility for the airport, i.e. budget, engineering, aerodrome operations and RFF, but adherence to discipline within those vertical lines is absolutely critical. RFF personnel are generally acceptable to this process as Incident Command Systems (ICS) are utilised around the world in emergency services.

Safety first at Schiphol

Issue 2 2012  •  28 March 2012  •  Mark Glover, Commissioning Editor, International Airport Review

Mark Glover from International Airport Review spoke to René Verjans, Senior Advisor Crisis and Disaster Management at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport about the ARFF and recovery procedures in place at one of Europe’s busiest hubs.Mark Glover: How are your staff prepared for emergency tasks at the airport?René Verjans: We have a training ground here at Schiphol that we use to train staff in the more ‘standard’ emergency scenarios. For the ‘non-standard’ we use an on-site virtual reality facility and table top exercises. We also use the training facilities at Manston Airport in the South East of England. Here we are able to train our personnel in standard and nonstandard scenarios using real foams and powders and larger amounts of it, unfortunately there are not many training grounds where you can use large quantities of this material. We come to Manston once every three years, with the full ARFF team, which consists of 125 individuals, where we stay for two full days undergoing intense and vigorous ‘standard’ and ‘nonstandard’ training that covers a range of different scenarios involving the aircraft.

Achieving effective ARFF in a challenging economy

Issue 6 2011  •  8 December 2011  •  Jack Kreckie, Regulatory Affairs Officer at the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Working Group (ARFFWG)

This is the second part of Jack Kreckie’s article that highlights the challenges associated with effective ARFF within the current economic climate. The first part of this paper was published in issue five of International Airport Review, 2011. NFPA GuidelinesIn addition to the two primary regulators of ARFF e.g. ICAO and the FAA, there are consensus standards that are provided to indicate a ‘best practice’ in any number of categories. Many of the consensus standards developed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) have been adopted or used as guidelines at various locations around the world. These standards are not binding unless the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) has adopted them and committed to the particular standard.The NFPA standard for ARFF protection levels is detailed in NFPA 403, Standard for Aircraft Rescue and Fire-Fighting Services at Airports. This third reference, if adopted, requires greater quantities of firefighting agent, ARFF vehicles and addresses manpower levels. Neither ICAO nor the FAA provide specific requirements for staffing levels, but rather indicate that the personnel on hand should be adequate to deploy all of the required resources as shown in Table 1.

Achieving effective ARFF in a challenging economy

Issue 5 2011  •  5 October 2011  •  Jack Kreckie, Regulatory Affairs Officer at the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Working Group (ARFFWG)

Aviation is perhaps one of the most difficult businesses to maintain profitability in today’s struggling economy. The industry has seen dozens of carriers come and go. In recent years, even the legacy carriers have found themselves trying to recover from bankruptcy, sometimes merging with their competition as a means of survival. Fare wars, competition for routes and negotiating for preferred gate/space at lower costs are all part of the daily struggles required of an airline survival plan. Even the very foundation upon which certain airlines were established has evolved in this difficult market.This is the first of two articles looking into the challenges currently facing the ARFF sector. Jack Kreckie’s second part of this piece will be published in the next issue of International Airport Review due out in November 2011.

Handling the heat

Issue 4 2011  •  8 August 2011  •  Kim T. Olsen, Assistant Fire Chief at Copenhagen Airport

Copenhagen Airport was opened on 20 April 1925 as one of the world’s first airports exclusively for civil traffic. Today the airport is one of the most modern in the world and has been awarded numerous awards for efficiency and customer satisfaction. Copenhagen is Scandinavia’s largest airport and is also one of the major hubs in Northern Europe.ARFF (Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting) is a highly specialised component of the fire fighting service. An aircraft accident presents itself with various hazards that can threaten aircraft occupants, the environment, local community and emergency responders. ARFF crews must respond quickly and with precision to minimise loss of life and injuries. Fortunately, serious accidents are rare but that means that skills can only be built through training and learning from others rather than from actual accident experience.

Cargo Aircraft: Planning is Paramount

Issue 5 2007, Past issues  •  28 September 2007  •  Bob Lindstrom Jr., Chairman ARFF Working Group

In Aviation Fire Protection we arrive at work daily and think about all the possible scenarios we might be up against. There is a mindset we have to use to see how our training and planning can fit into any scenario. Each day I come to work and think about my role in any given incident. I look at the weather forecast, the other conditions such as runway and taxiway closures, vehicle status of our ARFF (Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting) vehicles and personnel status. Then throw in some problems with the roads connecting to our airport and we already have a list of things to think about before we even have a problem. In our industry I’d like to say that we plan for the worst and hope for the best. Sounds a bit cliché but if we did not look at things like this, then we stand the chance of coming up short.

 

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