iFerret commissioned at Changi Airport

Stratech press release

iferret-at-ChangiSingapore, 22 June 2009 – The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Singapore Exchange Mainboard-listed Stratech Systems Limited (“Stratech”) today announced that Stratech’s iFerret™ intelligent Airfield/Runway Surveillance and Foreign Object and Debris (FOD) Detection System has been commissioned at Singapore Changi Airport – paving the way for improving safety at airports globally.

iFerret™ is the world’s first intelligent Vision-based FOD detection system capable of real-time, automated FOD detection. It operates 24×7 to detect and identify foreign objects and debris on runways (taxiways and aprons) and pinpoints their exact location. Upon detection, the system raises an immediate alert and allows
Air Traffic Controllers to visually verify the objects detected and to initiate procedures to remove the objects from site.

In February 2008, CAAS awarded Stratech the contract to deploy iFerret™ at Changi Airport, marking the first commercial application of this award-winning solution.

In May 2009, an independent acceptance test of iFerret™ was conducted at the request of CAAS by Airport Safety Programme Expert, Professor Edwin Herricks, from the University of Illinois Centre of Excellence for Airport Technology (CEAT), which supports the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in a FOD technology performance assessment program. The results revealed that iFerret™ met and exceeded the CAAS performance specifications. Professor Herricks assessed the technical performance of iFerret™ under day, night and severe weather conditions..

“CAAS actively explores the use of innovative technology to improve the operational efficiency and safety of airport operations,” said Mr. Lim Kim Choon, Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of CAAS. “We are glad to have implemented this world’s first intelligent FOD detection system to enhance safety and efficiency at Changi Airport and be able to share our experience with the global airport community.”

Dr. David K.M. Chew, Executive Chairman of Stratech, said: “Stratech is grateful to CAAS and Mr. Lim for their forward-looking support in creating this world-class, ground-breaking technology. Changi Airport is an important reference site for iFerret™, and we are proud to be a partner of Changi, who has won numerous international accolades for ’best airport in the world’. iFerret™ represents cutting-edge airfield and runway surveillance technology, and with this milestone, we are confident that it will redefine the way the aviation industry ensures greater airside and runway safety.”

FOD such as loose hardware, pavement fragments, rocks and even wildlife can pose a hazard to aircraft operations and passenger safety. Every year, the largest 300 airports in the world see up to 70,000 FOD incidents. The Air France Concorde crash in July 2000, caused by a metal strip on the runway, is a poignant reminder of the seriousness of FOD on runways. Aircraft repairs and maintenance stemming from FOD cost the global aerospace industry an estimated US$4 billion a year.

iFerret™ can potentially be rolled out to the over 3,800 International Air Transport Association (IATA) listed commercial airports in the world.

Concurrently, iFerret™ is being piloted at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, the second busiest airport in the world. The system is being applied to monitor both the runway and taxiway at O’Hare Airport.

Leave a Reply