Over the past four months, the station has been implementing yet another piece of its overall efforts to create a Foreign Object Debris free airfield.
A black petroleum-based soil stabilization solution has been sprayed on just under half (the most high traffic areas) of the stationâ€™s airfield.
â€œThis method is primarily used for FOD mitigation,â€ said Greg McShane, station airfield operations officer.
First, the infield areas are scrapped of all foliage to include and bushes, shrubs, trees, etc. The area is then sprayed with an herbicide to avoid re-growth.
â€œGetting rid of vegetation is essential,â€ McShane stressed. â€œThe shrubs and other plants attract birds and rabbits which then bring the coyotes and other wildlife on to the airfield and can be extremely dangerous for both the animals and the aircraft.â€
Once all of the plant life is removed, the black FOD reduction spray is laid down. This solution adheres to the ground and hardens keeping underlying dirt from stirring.
â€œAs we all know it can get pretty windy in Yuma,â€ said McShane. â€œThis spray will greatly help reduce the amount of flying dirt, rock and debris landing on the runways.â€
Any rock or piece of dirt on the runway can make its way into an aircraftâ€™s engine, causing substantial damage and even put the pilotâ€™s and passengerâ€™s lives in danger.
â€œPotential for cost savings is significant, especially when you consider a pilots life or replacing an entire aircraft,â€ McShane added.
Other methods of FOD prevention will continue being used, like the FOD finder, but the addition of the new airfield landscape helps maintain a FOD free airfield.