Latest News

Stratech win contract to supply FOD detection system (iFerret) to Dubai International

From the press release:

Stratech Systems says its iFerret intelligent Airfield/Runway Surveillance and Foreign Object & Debris (FOD) Detection System has won in a tender for the Runway Debris Management System (RDMS) at Dubai International Airport in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The contract, awarded by Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP), is for the installation of the iFerret intelligent Airfield/Runway Surveillance and Foreign Object & Debris (FOD) Detection System.

The company estimates that this project may contribute between $5.9 million to $10.6 million to its revenue in the current financial year and would have a material impact on its financial results.

This is surprising news, Dubai has had the Tarsier FOD detection system up and running for over 7 years.

The press release goes on to state:

Winning the Dubai Tender is significant because of the three systems approved by the FAA, the Stratech iFerret™ has beaten one and will be replacing the other.

Source (Press release)

Boston Logan International first US airport to use Xsight’s FODetect


Logan Airport has documented more than 100 pieces of debris since January, said Ed Freni, director of aviation for Massport Authority.

“One is too much,” he said. “With this system, we’re able to get real-time information and respond immediately as opposed to doing a traditional runway test.”

FODetect was officially turned on in September. Freni said so far, the airport is pleased with the technology.

Regarding the cost, the article states:

The technology cost the airport about $1.7 million, according to Xsight. That’s cheaper than the usual $5 million-per-runway cost because the runway was shorter in length than most and because Logan is first to use the technology. The Federal Aviation Administration paid for half of the cost.

Source (The Boston Business Journal)

10 ways to prevent plane bird strikes

An interesting article from the BBC today titled “10 ways to prevent plane bird strikes

Hardly a week goes by without a plane somewhere in the US making an emergency landing after hitting birds. As these incidents reach record levels, airports are coming up with increasingly imaginative ways of combating them.

Detection using RADAR gets in mention in item 10:

10.The Dutch air force is using a bird detecting radar that could eventually be adopted by civil aircraft. “We’ve known since WWII that radar can see birds, when they were coming across the Channel and they figured it was birds and not German bombers,” says Begier. These bird detecting radars are small and mobile, and technology has come on in the last 10 years, but they can’t yet identify the species or numbers. “The ability to delay a commercial flight with technology that’s not quite there is the problem.”

The above might be referring to the robin radar system.

Source: BBC

Xsight Systems launches SnowWize

Xsight have today announced a new runway monitoring system, specifically designed at snow monitoring, here’s a snippet from the press release:

SnowWize, based on Xsight Systems’ FODetect (an automated foreign object detection solution),  offers a solution that will greatly improve safety during winter operations, replacing the existing manual methods of measuring snow with a measuring stick and  a snow board.

Source (Xsight Press Release)



Automated FOD detection at Ben-Gurion – high satisfaction

The Flightglobal* Blog Aerial View has posted an article on the successful use of the FODetect system at Ben Gurion Airport.

Here’s a quote from the article:

“The system had detected an enormous number of FODs, and this is a real revolution” – this statement was made yesterday by Udi Bar-Oz, deputy director general, operations of the Israeli Airports Authority.

Source (Flightglobal Blog – Aerial View)

* In the interest of full disclosure I should highlight the fact that I work for Flightglobal. But, I have no involvement with the Flightglobal Blogs, and, IS NOT a Flightglobal blog.

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You can browse existing ideas, or add your own from here. I’ve added few ideas to get things started.

xsight launches BirdWize

xsight (the company behind FODetect) has just introduced an enhancement to RunWize, called BirdWize.

I have to be honest here, it’s not entirely clear to me if RunWize is the same thing as FODetect, or if FODetect is the name of the hardware, and RunWize is the name of the system, and BirdWize is an addon to the system! If anyone can clarify I’d really appreciate it. Anyway….on with the news.

According to the website, RunWize (or FODetect, or maybe FODSpot) can now also detect birds. It’s not entirely clear from the product description what the technical change is, I can only assume that the detection algorithms have been updated to better detect moving objects e.g birds.

From the product page:

BirdWize uses advanced image processing and computer vision algorithms to detect birds on the runway without any manual intervention. The algorithms also provide indication regarding the bird’s estimated dimensions.

View the product page here.

FCC grants waiver to TREX to use restricted frequency to detect foreign debris on airport runways

 The Federal Communications Commission has issued a final rule that grants a waiver to TREX Enterprises Corp., of San Diego, CA, to use the restricted 78-81 GHz band when it operates its “foreign object debris” (FOD) detection radar equipment at U.S. airports, where such debris can be hazardous to airplanes landing and taking off.

Source (Government Security News)

SUMMARY: In this document, the Federal Communications Commission 
(Commission) amends its rules to permit the certification, licensing, 
and use of foreign object debris (FOD) detection radar equipment in the 
78-81 GHz band. The presence of FOD on airport runways, taxiways, 
aprons, and ramps poses a significant threat to the safety of air 
travel. FOD detection radar equipment will be authorized on a licensed 

Source (US Government Printing Office)

FODetect Operational at Tel-Aviv / Ben-Gurion Airport

FODetect (from Xsight) is declared fully operational at Tel-Aviv Ben-Gurion International Airport.

Mr Yair Gannot, Director of Aviation Safety, Israel Airports Authority, commented: “During the system operation and over the past nine months an average of six items per month were collected from the runway.  More so, we had no case of FOD found by our manual inspectors that was not earlier detected and visualized by the automated FOD detection system.


Tail incident leaves FOD on runway which leads to a second incident

On April 16th, two crew members were slightly injured after the tail of their aircraft (Aeromexico flight 002 bound for Mexico City, a Boeing 767-283ER) struck the runway when taking off from Barajas airport. After flying for a further 1.5hrs to burn fuel, the aircraft safely returned to Barajas.

20 minutes after the original incident, an Air Europe Airbus suffered a FOD incident, the front tyre was punctured, presumably by remains of the earlier aircraft’s fuselage.

Rather concerning, was the following information (Source: TypicallySpanish)

The air traffic controllers have criticised the Mexican crew for not sounding an alarm, or even not telling Barajas air traffic control that they had hit the runway.

For further information:

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