Foreign Object Debris (FOD)

Aviation: Airtanker
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
Nov 2020


Foreign Object Debris (FOD) is any type of object within the ramp or taxi area that does not belong there during base operations.

Discuss the different types of FOD and ways to maintain a clear and safe ramp.

  • Small rocks, chunks of paint, and rubber are common debris that may accumulate on ramps and loading pits. The Ramp Manager (RAMP)/Fixed Wing Parking Tender (FWPT) should inspect the ramp often and closely monitor it during active periods.
  • All personnel working around the ramp should watch for blowing debris such as trash bags, paper, and cleaning rags. These can be generated by base personnel or blown in from adjacent areas/taxiways. Care should be taken to pick up all materials used within the ramp area before aircraft arrive.
  • Items used while aircraft are being tended to can become FOD. These items can become obstructions and/or blowing debris. FWPT must inspect their areas closely before marshaling an aircraft.
    • Examples of FOD:
      • Tools.
      • Chock blocks.
      • Partially filled water bottles.
      • Airtanker fill aids.
      • Buckets.
  • How often are loading pits and ramp areas at your base inspected for FOD?
  • Creating a checklist to document full ramp sweeps can aid with the consistent monitoring of ramp conditions.

Additional Resources

Incident Management Situation Report (IMSR)
Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG), PMS 461
NWCG Standards for Helicopter Operations, PMS 510
RT-130, Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR)
Interagency Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations (Red Book)
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center

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