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In association with Aerosweep
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June 25, 2020updated 23 Dec 2021 8:06am

Foreign object debris sweeping solution for airport reopenings

With airports around the world expecting rising passenger numbers as lockdown restrictions lift and vaccines are increasingly rolled out, Airport Technology sat down with Stuart Tozer, director of Aerosweep, providers of specialist tarmac speed-sweeping systems for the aviation industry, to discuss the impact of the pandemic and what the future holds for the commercial and military aviation industry.

How has Aerosweep weathered the pandemic?

Even though air travel has been massively reduced due to Covid-19, airports can’t afford to let their airfield environment deteriorate. Airfields have had to continue to maintain a safe and clean tarmac, ready for the return to a more normal service. Airfield operators looking to reduce their foreign object debris (FOD) sweeping costs, can see the FOD*BOSS as a great option, as they can own one of our sweepers for a very little outlay. So, we have continued to promote our system as a cost-saving tool, not least because it is an inexpensive way to clean an airfield, especially in these difficult times. It is very cost-effective to run and also virtually maintenance free, due to its simple design. There are very few, if any, parts requiring maintenance or replacement. Even better, it has an unrivalled FOD pick-up rate so there is no compromise in efficacy.

What makes your product different?

Our system is unique and quite unlike anything seen before. We are constantly reminded of this when we see the looks of amazement on peoples’ faces when we perform a demonstration. They simply cannot believe just how well it works. It really is an incredible way to sweep, and even still amazes us to this day! The FOD*BOSS is a patented tow-behind sweeping system, designed solely for collecting foreign object debris (FOD) from tarmac and other aircraft movement surfaces. It sweeps up and collects dangerous debris such as nuts and bolts, pavement fragments, loose baggage hardware, washers, rivets, stones, sand or gravel with amazing speed and efficiency. It is a high-speed, low-cost sweeper for concrete, asphalt, interlocking pavement, fine textured spray seal, smooth or grooved surfaces and it works equally well in wet or dry conditions. With sweeping widths of 8ft, 16ft or 24ft, it’s flexible and can operate at speeds up to 40 mph. The complete unit is portable and folds away into a roller or storage bag in minutes. It can be operated by one person and towed behind any vehicle.  It has no motor and few moving parts, making it virtually maintenance free.

What is the challenge facing your customers you help to solve for them?

FOD is an important and ongoing safety issue for the aviation industry. Even when there are few or no flights, the battle to remove FOD is never over, as it continues to regenerate and migrate onto airside operating areas. Our customers need a fast, reliable and cost-effective rapid response sweeping tool that can be on hand and ready to go within minutes. Most importantly, our customers want a system they can rely on for sweeping their FOD without compromise. With the FOD*BOSS, we can provide that assurance they are looking for.

Who uses your system?

We have such a diverse range of customers, from small local airfields to large commercial airports, the world’s leading air forces and Formula 1 race tracks. Nasa even uses the FOD*BOSS to protect the space shuttle. We work with airports, airlines, space operations, and motor racing tracks and testing circuits. Every major air force worldwide uses the FOD*BOSS. This is because they understand the importance of removing all debris to stop it being ingested into jet engines. With highly sensitive jet engines that are very close to the tarmac through aircraft design, they want a tarmac that is as clean as possible Jet engines are like vacuums, ingesting huge volumes of air. Just one small stone or object ingested can be catastrophic and completely destroy an engine, putting pilots and airside personnel at risk.

How did you arrive at the solution?

Aerosweep invented and patented the first FOD*BOSS sweeping system in 1994. My father Warwick Tozer, had previously invented a tennis court sweeper that used a similar concept. Following significant further research and development, we produced a system that can clean airports safer, better and faster. It has completely changed the way airports clean their runways, ramps, and gates. Nothing before the FOD*BOSS had our high-speed sweeping efficiency or ability to cover large areas as quickly. Even though it was good back in 1994, in the years since we have greatly improved the technology and today it is even more effective, durable and reliable. It’s the safest sweeper in the world, guaranteed.

What’s new for Aerosweep?

We have recently built more durability into the product and improved the collection blades to improve sweeping efficiency. There is a new GroundForce™ Tow hitch system to allow faster sweeping. The GroundForce Tow Hitch is designed to keep the sweeper on the tarmac with the right amount of pressure so that even head winds or cross winds do not affect its ability to provide an unrivalled pick-up rate. We also now have an app available to track and monitor your sweeping via smartphone. We also have a patented built-in baffle system, within the FOD capture zones, that helps to keep debris sitting evenly across the sweeper and preventing transverse movement of debris as the sweeper rounds corners. They ensure the debris remains retained. We are continually talking with our customers and worldwide dealers getting feedback to help improve.

The unique critical safety design features are unavailable in any other sweeper and are the difference to produce a successful FOD sweeping operation.

Want to see how the FOD*BOSS can make a critical difference to the FOD sweeping operations at your airfield?  Contact us by clicking below and we can have our specialist dealer in your region contact you within 24 hours.

Free Whitepaper

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Foreign object debris (FOD) is a serious safety issue for airfields, and effective runway and ramp sweepers are required to ensure it is collected from the ground. Download this whitepaper to learn more about the issue and find out why the FOD*BOSS is considered the ultimate airfield sweeper for fast, safe and effective FOD removal.

Download Whitepaper

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