The airport held its 11th annual “Runway FOD Walk” this morning to help prevent foreign object damage, or FOD, spokesman Michael McCarron said.
The debris can be anything from trash blowing in the wind to nuts, bolts and wires that can get sucked into engines, McCarron said.
He said he could not remember runway debris causing significant damage at the airport recently, but according to the nonprofit professional association National Aerospace FOD Prevention, Inc., the debris costs the global aerospace industry about $4 billion annually.
It also leads to many indirect costs such as flight delays and cancellations and additional work for airline staff.
McCarron said the cleanup work is usually done by airport staff who work on the runway every day, but today’s event brought volunteers who work elsewhere at the airport to show them the importance of the work.
The volunteers were mostly from airlines or other departments at the airport, he said.
“The whole purpose…is to get people who work in terminals and ramp areas to keep their areas clean, because it can get out onto the runway and destroy engines,” he said.
Dan McMenamin Bay City News