SITA to introduce runway debris technology

SITA has announced a partnership with Stratech Systems Limited (“Stratech”) to make the world’s first intelligent vision-based airfield/runway surveillance system available to its airport customers to identify, track and display Foreign Objects and Debris (FOD) in real time.Following a 15-month trial, Stratech’s all-weather iFerret? solution is being deployed along Runways 1 and 2 at Singapore’s Changi Airport. It is also being trialled by the US Federation Aviation Administration this coming winter at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

SITA says its testing at Changi Airport showed that the iFerret? FOD detection system was able to reliably detect foreign objects left on the runway surface down to 2 cm in size under 16 mm/hr of rainfall. It also proved reliable under night-time conditions and with environmental factors such as aircraft movements, ambient lighting, rain, shadows or clouds.

Bruno Frentzel, SITA Senior Vice President, Application Services, said: “Foreign objects and debris on runways is not only a major safety issue but it also costs around US$4 billion annually in direct costs to the aviation industry. This figure can be doubled or tripled when indirect costs such as flight delays are taken into account.

Dr. David K.M. Chew, Executive Chairman, Stratech, said: “Runways are a scarce and valuable resource. Using iFerret?, air traffic and ground operations control staff can visually assess the FOD identified on a remote screen display without having to physically visit the runway. They can take immediate action to clear the FOD.”