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CIAA Hosts Foreign Object Debris (FOD) Walkabout

14 July 2023

The Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA), which operates the Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA) on Grand Cayman and the Charles Kirkconnell International Airport (CKIA) on Cayman Brac, was pleased to host a Semi-Annual Foreign Object Debris (FOD) Walkabout. 

The CIAA Safety team travelled to Charles Kirkconnell International Airport to attend the Cayman Brac FOD Walkabout on Friday, 16 June 2023. In partnership with the Airport Operations team in Cayman Brac, the CIAA was able to muster a total of 28 airport staff for this annual function. In addition to CIAA staff, employees from Cayman Airways Ltd., Cayman Islands Fire Service (CIFS), Flowers Air Dispatch Services (FADS), and Airport Professional Services (APS) joined the CIAA in walking the Runway and other operational areas of the airport to rid these surfaces of any Foreign Object Debris (FOD).

Following the Cayman Brac FOD Walkabout, the CIAA Safety team started checking people in at 7:30 a.m. for the Owen Roberts International Airport FOD Walkabout on Friday, 23 June 2023. Airport staff from CIAA, Cayman Airways Ltd., Southwest Airlines Co., FADS, APS, and Cayman Dispatch Services (CDS) all volunteered to assist with this task. The volunteers walked all the operating surfaces and removed several pieces of FOD from some discreet areas. 

“FOD poses a significant threat to the safety of air travel and has the potential to damage aircraft during critical phases of flight which can lead to catastrophic loss of life and, at the very least, increase maintenance and operating costs. The latest figures estimate that FOD costs the airline industry $4 billion dollars a year,” said CIAA Chief Safety Management Officer Andrew McLaughlin.

The CIAA conducts several inspections each day of the week at various intervals, and the airline operators and their handling companies perform FOD inspections before, during and after the arrival/departure of any aircraft. There are FOD containers near the parking stand of each aircraft and these are emptied daily and the FOD weighed and categorised for analysis to determine the source of the FOD and any possible intervention to prevent future occurrences.

To ensure the safety of all aircraft and travelers, the CIAA FOD Management System is comprised of four main areas:
1) Prevention – Focuses on training and education
2) Detection – Regular inspections of aircraft operating areas
3) Removal – Locate and remove FOD before it causes damage or injury
4) Evaluation – Focuses on data collection and analysis of the type of FOD collected and its source

Andrew McLaughlin recently confirmed that the CIAA has had no reports of any aircraft experiencing damage from FOD in the last several years, thanks to the steadfast efforts of all airport workers and their attention to detail.



Volunteers lined up and ready


Traditional warm-up push-ups led by Chief Safety Management Officer Andrew McLaughlin

Cayman Airways Ltd. agents volunteering for the FOD Walkabout

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CONTACT CIAA +1 (345) 943-7070