Fire Detection and
Protection for Military Airbases and Airports
airbase flight operations represent one of the highest
industrial fire risk hazards. Aircraft, the
flight line, and aircraft servicing facilities contain
numerous fire accelerants. These
accelerants include: aviation gasoline (AVGAS), jet fuels
and military jet fuels, engine oils, oxygen systems, and
hydraulic fluids. Due to the potential for mass
casualties, airport / airbase emergency response teams must
be able to respond immediately. Airport / airbase
firefighters must be trained and proficient with using
firefighting foams, dry chemical, and clean agents to
extinguish burning aviation fuel.
Spark and fire detection is an
important aspect of fire protection for airport /
airbase operations. For example, aircraft hangars
require protection and monitoring against leaking fuel.
Optical flame detectors have been used for many years in
aircraft hangars to protect valuable aircraft from fire.
Optical flame detectors can spot sparks and fuel and gas
fires at long distances with the highest immunity to false
Gas leak detection is an essential
part of fire protection for airports / airbases.
Ground flight support operations involve the use of many
hazardous and highly combustible substances. Flight
support facilities such as aircraft hangars, aviation
component warehouses, and fuel storage areas require
constant gas monitoring. In addition to gas leak
detection systems, these areas should implement a two-tier
fire security system that includes flame detectors.
Those airports / airbase activities that involve the
distribution of chemicals require gas monitoring at storage
areas, loading docks, pumping stations, and fuel /
chemical transport vehicles.
Electrical fires are another potential
fire hazard that airports and military airbases must
address. Electrical current flows produce heat as a
byproduct of that flow. The greater the current flow, the
greater the amount of heat created. Should this heat
become too great, protective coatings on wiring and other
electrical devices can melt, causing electrical shorting.
Electrical shorting can lead to metals melting, liquids
vaporizing, and flammable substances igniting. An
important factor in preventing electrical fires is to keep
the area around electrical work or electrical equipment
clean, uncluttered, and free of all unnecessary flammable
substances. Power cords, wires, and lines should be
free of kinks and bends. Wires and cords should be
protected so they are not walked upon or run over by support
equipment (trucks, forklifts, carts, etc.)
Responding to aircraft fires is a core function of
Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF).
Airports with commercial airline service are required by the
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to meet 14 Code of
Federal Regulations Part 139 certification. FAA
certification standards require annual recurrent training,
design standards for training facilities, and equipment
requirements. ARFF standards require an adequate water
supply and delivery systems, emergency planning, and
criteria for minimum response times.
The most hazardous location on an airport is an
active runway. Responding fire fighting and
emergency units must be aware of a runway's status be alert
regarding aircraft movements and approaching / launching
aircraft. Responding units must be certain that no
potential collision hazards exist before entering the runway
safety area. Active taxiways are the second
most hazardous location on an airport. Responding
emergency crews must exercise extraordinary caution when
approaching or crossing an aircraft taxiway. Airport
ramp and apron areas represent yet another hazardous zone
for emergency response teams. Great caution should be
exercised to avoid moving aircraft whether taxiing or being
towed by service vehicles.
Modern aircraft contain a variety of materials and
fluids that become hazardous when damaged or burned.
Some aircraft composite materials emit toxic fumes
when heated or burned. Other materials emit
toxic particulates and micro fibers when damaged.
Another area of concern is with the cargo being held within
an aircraft. The cargo may contain extremely hazardous
materials and components. For all these reasons, fire
is clearly not the only hazard to deal with during an
aircraft incident. Toxic fumes and particulates are an
equally dangerous safety threat. Emergency response
crews must exercise caution to avoid inhalation or ingestion
of any fumes, vapors, or particles associated with an
aircraft fire or accident. The proper use of aviation
firefighting protective equipment is essential.
and Airbases from the Destructive
Forces of Nature
The National Aerospace Organization is hosting a
symposium and exposition on November 15th, 2012 to address
new technologies and innovations for effectively detecting
and mitigating fire damage at airports and military
airbases. At this event, other destructive natural
forces such as hurricanes, flooding, snow and ice, earthquakes, and
lightning will be addressed. Exciting presentations
will be provided to explain and demonstrate the most
effective technologies and equipment for protecting airport runways, flight lines, taxiways, aircraft
hangars, terminals and support facilities.
Event Page for more Information
Protecting Military Airbases
Against the Forces of Nature
Exposition and New Technology Presentations
November 15, 2012
Hilton Oceanfront Hotel (Cocoa Beach, Florida)
View Event Details
Watch a Short Video about this Event
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