Push To Develop Airport Safety Technologies Term Paper

Length: 7 pages Sources: 7 Subject: Transportation Type: Term Paper Paper: #8533296 Related Topics: Fire Safety, Fire Department, School Safety, Safety
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Airport Rescue and Firefighting

Approximately half of all aircraft accidents take place when the pilot is bringing the plane to an initial approach, a final approach, and the phases of landing at an airport (Richardson, 2003). Fewer than 31% of airport accidents occur within "200 meters of the centre line of the active runway," Richardson reports, and within "1,500 meters of the runway threshold," which is the Critical Rescue and Fire Fighting Response Area. during the "final climb or initial descent phases." The airport accident that seems to be the most common is a failed take-off, which results from a tire blown out, or a mechanical failure or human error, Richardson explains. Nearly 10% of fatalities are reported to have been caused by a "post-crash fire" or a design error.

On the subject of fatalities caused by a post crash fire, this paper delves into the equipment that is used by firefighters when rushing to an aircraft fire, and the development of that safety equipment through the years.

The Federal Law that Apply to Airport Rescue and Firefighting

In 2009 the U.S. Congress set the standards for the kinds of safety equipment that an airport needs in order to obtain an operating certificate. This Code applies to airports that have aircraft capable of carrying at least 31 passengers.

In the United States Code -- Title 49 Transportation, section 44706, an airport operating certificate shall be authorized if the airport follows the procedures for safety. The airport must maintain "…adequate safety equipment, including firefighting and rescue equipment capable of rapid access to any part of the airport used for landing, takeoff, or surface maneuvering of an aircraft" (Government Printing Office). Also, the airport must have applied a "friction treatment for primary and secondary runways" that the Secretary of Transportation deems is needed (Government Printing Office).

That having been said, if an airport serving aircraft capable of carrying 31 passengers can show that there will be a negative "economic impact" by adhering to the Title 49 safety standards, that airport has 120 days to submit a report detailing how the rule will be difficult to put into effect due to the cost of the upgrades (Government Printing Office).

How Airport Rescue Efforts Can Go Wrong

In July 2013 Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed at the San Francisco International Airport, and although only 3 people were killed, one of the deaths apparently could have been avoided, according to an article in CNN (Griffin, et al., 2014). The pilot brought the jetliner down "faster than it should have" been brought down, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). On top of that, the plane was flying at a slower speed than it needed to while coming into to the runway for a landing -- hence the crash and burn episode.

A sixteen-year-old girl from China had been thrown from the plane and her injured body was lying in the grass near the damaged plane when an emergency firefighting vehicle nearly ran over her. Video played on CNN shows a firefighter on the ground telling the driver of the huge rescue vehicle, "Whoa, whoa, whoa! Stop, stop, stop! There's a body…right in front of you" (Griffin). That vehicle did go around the body but no emergency responders moved her body or marked her body on that spot, hence, another rescue vehicle did not see her and crushed her head, according to CNN (Griffin). A lawsuit has been filed by the girl's parents, alleging that first responders "…failed to move her to a safe location, failed to mark her location, failed to protect her from moving vehicles in the vicinity of the aircraft where it was known that vehicles would be traveling…" (Griffin).

The sad part of that story is that Ye Meng Yuan was the only child and was a "star student"; the San Francisco Fire Department said it was "heartbroken" over the incident. This incident points up the many dangers that are part of rescue and firefighting procedures at airports.

New York Times Historical Articles on Airport Firefighting Incidents

The history of aviation goes back to 1903, but it wasn't until many years later that airports began to be built and commercial air travel was launched. Following that development, of course firefighting equipment had to be part of every airport's standard operating procedures. Quickly pouring foam on a burning aircraft...


The patent was achieved by Richard L. Tuve of the Naval Research Laboratory. The Navy had asked for equipment that would put out big and small fires related to aircraft. Tuve's technology (which by now has been transitioned by newer, more effective foam devices) mixes water "with a foam-forming liquid concentrate made of vegetable or animal protein" (New York Times).

The mixture, once ready, is carried to parts of the ship -- in this case, the U.S.S. Forrestal -- and the "actual foam" is created when the liquid comes into contact with the air at the point of the nozzle. The patent (2,696,266) was given by Tuve to the U.S. Government for "free use" (New York Times).

Another development that predates the modern airport safety measures was created in 1967 in Vancouver, Canada. It was called the "bogmobile" and at the time it was launched it was "expected to save lives" (Canadian Press). It was called "Crash Rescue Vehicle No. 8" and it cost $13,000; it was a "rubber-tracked craft that will scramble over solid ground at more than 25 m.p.h., climb over logs and chew its way through thick mud, and, if necessary, swim" (Canadian Press, 1967).

The craft was designed to be able to operate in the swampland around the Vancouver Airport; in fact a small plane had crashed about 100 yards outside the airport perimeter and the Canadian Mounted Police had a tough time negotiating through the bog and swamp to get to the small plane. Three persons died in that crash. It was originally designed for the swamps and tidal waters around the Vancouver Airport, but it was also intended for other airport crash scenes where the surrounding terrain might be challenging (Canadian Press). It was flat and was 16 x 11 feet and could carry twenty-five people.

Firefighting Equipment at Airports -- A History

In the early days of firefighting at airports -- and still today -- firefighting vehicles specializing in airport crashes are called "tenders." They are also known as "airport fire appliance" vehicles. They are large and sturdy, and generally provide good acceleration because they must arrive at the scene of an aircraft accident quickly. The first fire engine -- such as it was -- was built in roughly the "middle of the sixteenth century," according to the Seagrave Catalogue No. 5 (1926). The apparatus consisted of a "giant syringe" which had the total capacity of about one barrel of water, and it was mounted on a two-wheeled carriage (Seagrave). Of course there were no airports when fire engines were first developed because there were no airplanes.

Eventually the manpower pump was developed (using a "rocking handle" two or more men could pump water to put out a fire) and eventually a four-cylinder gasoline engine was mounted on a vehicle drawn by horses was developed and mechanically that paved the way for more advanced firefighting technologies (Seagrave).

Today the most modern, advanced technologies are far superior to the methods used in the past. Among the advanced firefighting equipment used in airports is the Ziegler FLF 60/125 device (pictured above). The Ziegler FLS 60/125 features an automatic foam "proportioning system," a roof monitor that has a combination foam and water nozzle (that is remote-controlled), and a bumper nozzle that is electronically controlled and also mixes foam with water automatically (Zieglerfirefighting.com). The water/foam "snozzle" can shoot up to 20 meters to put out aircraft blazes, and it features a "remote controlled thermal imaging camera with integrated temperature measuring device" (Zieglerfirefighting.com).

In addition to those technologies, the FLS 60/125 has a rear view camera (with color monitor), a safety driver's cab with "pneumatic doors," and a water tank that holds 12,500 gallons and a pair of foam tanks that hold 750 gallons each (Zieglerfirefighting.com).

Today's -- and Tomorrow's -- Airport Firefighting Techniques

The newest tool in aircraft rescue firefighting (ARFF) that the United States Air Force is using is called the USAF UHP program, including a new USAF P-34 rapid intervention vehicle (RIV). That RIV…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Canadian Press. (1967). Airport Testing a "Bogmobile" For Crash Rescues in Swamp. Retrieved February 28, 2014, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times.

Griffin, D., and Yan, H. (2014). Asiana crash video: Firefighters saw injured girl before she was run over. CNN. Retrieved February 28, 2014, from http://www.cnn.com.'

Jones, S.V. (1954). New Foam-Type Firefighting Device is Patented. The New York Times.

Retrieved February 28, 2014, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times.
Noll, G.G. (2012). Ultra High Pressure Firefighting Technology. Fire Engineering. Retrieved February 28, 2014, from http://www.fireengineering.com.
Seagrave. (1926). History of Fire Fighting Apparatus. Retrieved February 28, 2014, from http://scaa.sk.ca.
Tioga Fire Protection and Fire Prevention. P-34 UHP. Retrieved February 28, 2014, from http://www.tiogafireprotectionandfireprevention.blogspot.com.
Ziegler. (2011). FLF 60/124. Retrieved February 28, 2014, from http://www.zeiglerfirefighting.com.

Cite this Document:

"Push To Develop Airport Safety Technologies" (2014, February 28) Retrieved May 23, 2022, from

"Push To Develop Airport Safety Technologies" 28 February 2014. Web.23 May. 2022. <

"Push To Develop Airport Safety Technologies", 28 February 2014, Accessed.23 May. 2022,

Related Documents
Aviation Maintenance Resource Management Mrm and Its Impact on U.S....
Words: 8329 Length: 25 Pages Topic: Transportation Paper #: 75270940

U.S. statistics indicate that 80% of aviation accidents are due to human errors with 50% due to maintenance human factor problems. Current human factor management programs have not succeeded to the degree desired. Many industries today use performance excellence frameworks such as the Baldrige National Quality Award framework to improve over-all organizational effectiveness, organizational culture and personal learning and growth. A survey administered to a sample population of senior aviation

Threat of Terrorism Weighing Public Safety in Seattle
Words: 5948 Length: 17 Pages Topic: Terrorism Paper #: 79626530

Terrorism in Seattle Even before the World Trade Center attack in September, 2011, most major cities in the United States were not only aware, but anticipatory regarding the potential for a terrorist attack. Seattle has been fortunate in that it has never experienced an actual international attack, but has had three major domestic incidents since 1999 that continue to be in the minds of Emergency Management professionals. In 1999, Ahmed Ressam,

Environmental Issues Faced in 21st Century Aviation
Words: 20526 Length: 62 Pages Topic: Transportation Paper #: 317773

Environmental Issues Faced in 21st Century Aviation Reducing Communication and Coordination Tools and Metrics Technology, Operations and Policy Demand Aviation and the Environment Effects on the health Local Air Quality Climate Change Total Climate impacts from aircraft Interdependencies Mobility, Economy and National Security Interactions between Government, Industry and Groups Aviation Greenhouse Gas Emissions Economic Impact SPCC Regulations Local Airport Issues De-icing Fluids A Framework for National Goals Realities and Myths Metrics Recommended Actions Environmental Issues Faced in 21st Century Aviation Environmental awareness in regards to 21st century aviation among the public and politicians has

Counter-Terrorism Terrorism Takes Up a
Words: 2264 Length: 8 Pages Topic: Terrorism Paper #: 15788481

Research and development was encouraged for future developments as well to continue to make security a priority (Airport Security, 1989, p. 2). Also in response to the bombing of Flight 103, the Aviation Security Improvement Act of 1990 was passed. Senator Wendell H. Ford opened the proceedings with the statement: "The terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in December 1988 tragically demonstrated that something more is needed to be

Aviation Accidents Caused by Microbursts
Words: 3429 Length: 10 Pages Topic: Transportation Paper #: 85100654

Aviation Crashes: Delta 191 and USAir 1016 This paper examines two of the most devastating plane crashes in all of professional aviation, the crashing of Delta 191 and the crashing of U.S. Air Flight 1016. To the lay person, these crashes might just look like isolated incidents that both involved the inability of technology to handle inclement weather. However, these crashes were related to a weather phenomenon known as a microburst --

Southwest Airline Is One of
Words: 6479 Length: 20 Pages Topic: Transportation Paper #: 1715892

And many have got successful too in earning the market share. The emerging competition by new companies is a growing threat for the company and it should be tackled properly to avoid any future disturbances. In order to further describe the competition Southwest Airlines is facing a Competitive Profile Matrix is designed. The following Competitive Profile Matrix tells about the tough competitors which are in a good position to have