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Jim Patterson Jr - Articles and news items

Foreign Object Debris (FOD) detection research

Issue 2 2008, Past issues  •  28 March 2008  •  Jim Patterson Jr, Airport Safety Specialist, FAA

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is conducting research to evaluate various technologies capable of detecting Foreign Object Debris (FOD), that may have fallen onto a runway or taxiway. The research being conducted under this program is very aggressive, calling for the installation of different detection technologies at major United States airports, along with a very thorough evaluation process that assesses performance under a full range of weather and operational conditions.

The Takeoff Hold Light

Issue 3 2007, Past issues  •  7 June 2007  •  Jim Patterson, Jr. Airport Safety Specialist, FAA

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is developing a system called the Runway Status Light (RSL) System that is designed to automatically warn pilots of the ‘status’ of the runway on which they are about to land, depart, or cross. The system accomplishes this task by illuminating a series of red, in-pavement warning lights that are placed at strategic locations on the runway itself, at runway intersections and also at entrance taxiways. It is expected that the implementation of this system will greatly enhance operational safety at many large airports in the United States.


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