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First Automated Runway Debris Detection System Goes Live in US

By Woodrow Bellamy III | November 20, 2013
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The first U.S.-based automated airport runway debris detection system is now operational at Boston Logan Airport, the FAA has revealed. 
Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) and the FAA provided $1.7 million to install the system through the Airport Technology Research Program, under an agreement between the two agencies. The agreement also calls for a one-year study to analyze the benefits of automated detection systems in comparison to legacy foreign object debris (FOD) technology. 
"Using technology to find and remove potentially damaging objects on the airfield takes safety up another notch at Logan Airport,” said Christa Fornarotto, associate administrator for airports at the FAA. “Massport has a history of investing in cutting-edge technology and working with the FAA on important airport safety initiatives.”

According to the FAA, runway debris causes damage to engines and aircraft estimated at "billions of dollars a year," and can cause serious accidents. The agency first began conducting performance assessments of automated FOD systems in 2007.  

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