Celebrating 20 Years of FOD Walks

More than 200 volunteers from across the YVR community woke up before dawn earlier this month to participate in Vancouver Airport Authority’s annual Foreign Object Debris (FOD) Walk. Now in its 20th year, the event – which saw the most participants in its history – began dark and early at 4:30 a.m. when volunteers dispersed across YVR’s runways, taxiways and aprons in search FOD.

FOD is any loose object on the airfield such as small pieces of plastic, bits of suitcases, luggage tags, screws, etc. While a small luggage tag might sound harmless, any piece of debris on the runway can cause serious damage to aircraft, and therefore pose safety risks to passengers.

Event sponsors included Air Canada (which donated return airfare for two anywhere in North America), WestJet Airlines (which donated return airfare for two anywhere in Canada), The Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel (which donated an accommodation gift certificate), Securiguard, Gate Gourmet, Cathay Pacific Airways, Lufthansa, Swissport and Van Houtte.

In addition to the annual walk to raise awareness of the importance of keeping the airport FOD-free, the Airport Authority also has proactive, daily programs in place to ensure just that. In additional to regular visual inspections and ongoing education campaigns, a radar system detects and pinpoints objects on the runways – day or night. 


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