SFO Runways Shut Down For Debris Cleanup

More than 100 volunteers will fan out across two runways at San Francisco International Airport on Wednesday to pick up debris that could damage aircraft, a spokesman said.

The volunteers, mostly SFO employees, are taking part in the airport’s annual effort to clear its major runways of “foreign object debris,” or “FOD,” SFO spokesman Doug Yakel said.

FOD refers to any object that does not belong on an airfield and could cause damage by getting sucked into an airplane’s engines, such as rocks, pieces of pavement or mechanical parts, Yakel said.

The Runway FOD walk is meant to bolster runway inspections that SFO safety officers conduct on a daily basis, and involve a wider swath of employees in safety practices, Yakel said.

Air traffic control will halt all airplane traffic on two runways between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. so the team of volunteers can sweep the area.

The Runway FOD walk is not expected to cause any flight delays, as the operation will take place during light air traffic, Yakel said.

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  • withak30

    Why is this a volunteer activity? Shouldn’t keeping the runway fee of debris be the sort of thing that shows up in an airport’s normal operating budget?