During the FAA’s examination of the characteristics associated with airside
applications of synthetic turf, jet blast resistance was studied. The objective
consisted of ensuring that synthetic turf would not become dislodged or cause
foreign object debris (FOD) damage with daily use. An AvTurf test strip was
installed at the blast area of a runway at Chicago Midway Airport (MDW). As
documented in the June 2006 “Airside Applications for Synthetic Turf” report,
the test successfully showed that the AvTurf strip did not show any signs of
movement or uplift.
Similarly, a test strip of the synthetic turf was also installed near a helipad
at MDW. This test consisted of having helicopters hover-taxi across the top of
the surface at low altitudes. This test also successfully showed that there
were no adverse effects of this activity on AvTurf.
To determine uplift stability of the AvTurf synthetic turf on area adjacent to
runway pavement, in the event of an aircraft veer- off, a demonstration was
also performed at MDW. With one engine aligned over the top of the AvTurf
synthetic turf surface, a Boeing 757 came to full power and took off with no
synthetic turf movement or dislodging.
The above FAA data mirrors 2002 test results conducted by the Airside
Facilities Engineering Team at the Greater Toronto Airports Authority. A Boeing
767-300 aircraft equipped with the same engines as a Boeing 747-400 was used to
simulate the impact of an outboard engine on the AvTurf synthetic turf. The
test, using 60,000 pounds of engine thrust, successfully showed that the AvTurf
product was not disturbed or displaced.