Disposing of FOD at airports

Friday, 03 March, 2006


Reynolds Engineering Services has designed a FOD (foreign objects and debris) station to address problems associated with the existing FOD/waste collection points on airport aprons. These problems included the undesirable effects caused by aircraft maintenance staff having to dispose of jet engine oil cans containing small quantities of oil residue into existing FOD bins thus mixing with the general waste stream.

The objective of the station design is to facilitate the separation of FOD from jet engine oil cans and to divert highly contaminating jet engine oil from the general waste stream and land fill.

The FOD station has two separate entry points, one for FOD, the other specifically for jet engine oil cans. The jet engine oil cans are inserted open end up into the can entry point. A specially designed can guide track inverts the cans and drains oil residue into a 70 L oil storage tank. With the insertion of another oil can the process continues with empty oil cans progressing through the can guide into a wheeled garbage bin for collection and metal recycling. Oil residue is removed from the storage tank in a safe and environmentally acceptable manner.

The waste collection storage of both FOD and empty oil cans uses standard 120 L wheeled garbage bins. Waste oil is collected in the integrated 70 L oil storage tank.

The station addresses OH&S and fire safety issues and includes environmental pollution controls through the incorporation of a bund tray and fully enclosed cabinet with dual purpose vent and fire extinguisher access.

Issues addressed include:

  • Separation of general waste from jet engine oil cans.
  • Provision of oil can drainage and collection of empty steel cans for recycling.
  • Containment of drained oil in an integrated 70 L oil storage tank and provisions to safely remove oil from oil tank. Tank can also be removed from cabinet for maintenance and cleaning.
  • Oil overflow and spillage containment feature (approximately 15 L capacity bund under wheeled garbage bins).
  • High-visibility fibreglass cabinet top with weather-resistant self-closing flap doors.
  • Weather-resistant dual-purpose vent, incorporating access for insertion of fire extinguisher/hose and gas/explosive detection equipment.
  • Fibreglass cabinet top has sloping surfaces to discourage placement of rubbish.
  • Two standard-sized 120 L wheeled garbage bins are housed in the weatherproof, corrosion-resistant and high durability cabinet.
  • Provision to easily remove and empty bins containing FOD and metal cans for recycling.
  • Integrated modular design, unit can be picked up and moved by a forklift for easy relocation of station or in case of emergency.

The Reynolds FOD station provides a high visibility, easy-to-use, easy-to-service and easy-to-clean waste management solution.

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