As an alternative for airport groundcover, AvTurf enhances safety through a variety of applications:
Foreign Object Debris (FOD)
Foreign Object Debris Damage is responsible for countless millions of dollars damage to aircraft every year. An AvTurf installation facilitates inspection personnel to identify and remove debris quickly and effectively. In addition, when areas normally subjected to jet blast are stabilized with an AvTurf installation, the potential for pavement disaggregation is greatly reduced. AvTurf’s FOD prevention characteristics have been tested and proven.
AvTurf helps stabilize runway and taxiway shoulders and prevents the erosion of soil abutting pavement because of jet blast and water run-off. A synthetic turf system also provides a surface that will support inadvertent excursions by aircraft and minimize damage to aircraft gear systems.
Differentiation between taxiway and runway pavements can be a challenge during many weather conditions. Confusion on the flight deck can result when extra width taxiways appear to be runway width. During low visibility conditions, in rain and fog, or when the sun is low on the horizon (early morning/late afternoon), marking is virtually invisible; the results again can be confusion. Configurations of northwest/southeast runways and taxiways are especially conducive to these conditions and exacerbated by the glare that pilots encounter on approach to landing.
Installation of AvTurf on the airport reduces the number of times when personnel and equipment must be on the airfield, especially in the runway and taxiway safety areas. Synthetic turf also aids vehicle operators and pilots to maintain situational awareness while moving on the airport surface.
Bird Strikes and Wildlife Hazards
Encounters with wildlife, particularly birds, are a major concern in both the civil aviation and military environments. Annually, wildlife collisions cost the U.S. aviation industry over $500 million and cause aircraft downtime in excess of 94,000 hours. Because the most dangerous and frequent encounters occur during take-off and landing, efforts to ensure wildlife control on the airfield have assumed priority and urgency.
AvTurf is not user-friendly to wildlife! It provides a non-lethal way to mitigate wildlife by removing food, water, or shelter for birds and other wildlife. Synthetic turf installed in safety areas reduces the potential for bird strikes on or near runways. Eliminating mowing operations also significantly reduces the presence of specific birds such as cattle egrets, which accumulate in large numbers during such operations. It is also important to recognize that burrowing species cannot penetrate the synthetic turf backing.
Laboratory and field drainage tests have been performed with successful results on AvTurf. The AvTurf system allows water to drain through natural percolation, and the infill provides a natural filter that can drain up to 60 gallons of water per square foot per hour.
Vehicle Operations on AvTurf
While load-bearing capability depends on the type of base used for an AvTurf installation, in most cases, the synthetic turf will support vehicular traffic and the weight of ARFF response equipment. For the latter, this often provides an enhanced response time. While 14 CFR Part 139 requires that safety areas support ARFF equipment in dry conditions only, AvTurf can support this equipment in all weather conditions.
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