Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 37

AIRPORT GURU

ALL PHOTOS BY AEROLEASE
GROUP AND JRMA ARCHITECTS

$200,000 to $500,000 above a standard
f ire system. Placing this f inancial
burden on aviation businesses, without
evidence of increased safety, may have
the negative consequence of limiting
an airport's healthy commercial
development, future operations,
economic health and community
benefits.
Notably, since NFPA 409 was
f irst established in the 1950s, the
development of wide-body aircraft
with extensive wing areas has caused
the fear that a sprinkler discharge
would be inadequate to contain a fuel
spill before it reached another ignition
source, such as other aircraft or
equipment. Therefore, the historical
trend by NFPA has been to reduce
the role of sprinklers and advocate a
system that can blanket the f loor with
foam discharged directly beneath the

aircraft. However, a recent analysis
of claims data conducted by Global
Aerospace (www.global-aero.com), a
worldwide provider of insurance to
the aviation and aerospace industries,
found no supporting evidence for
replacing automatic sprinkler systems
with foam fire suppression systems in
Group II aircraft hangars due to this
overarching concern.
In fact, the study indicates there
has not been a single instance of a fuel
spill fire causing activation of a hangar
foam fire suppression system, and that
false activations actually dominate
insurance claim activity in this area. In
fact, it is more likely for an inadvertent
foam discharge to damage property,
interrupt businesses and take aircraft
out of service than a hangar fire. In
the rare occurrence of a hangar fire, its
origin is not typically aircraft fuel and
it tends to occur in less sophisticated
environments. This supports the

conclusion that it is difficult, if not
impossible, to reconcile f ire loss
history with the implementation of
more stringent fire code requirements
for Group II aircraft hangars.
It is even more critical to consider
that when foam is inadvertently
discharged, persons occupying the
aircraft hangar have very little time
to evacuate and can be instantly
overcome by the volume of foam
both ascending from the f loor and
descending from the ceiling. For
example, Global Aerospace cites two
events where there was no f ire or
loss of life, but the discharge of foam
resulted in a terrifying experience for
persons forced to escape the aircraft
hangar. In addition, the inadvertent
discharge of a foam fire suppression
system resulted in a fatal event at a
U.S. military base, during which
a contractor was killed after being
trapped in a hangar filled with foam.
These raise serious questions about
whether the codes and standards
calling for more sophisticated fire
suppression systems are disconnected
from the risks in today's aviation
world. In fact, over the last 10 years,
accidental foam discharges have
resulted in more than $100 million
in aircraft damage, with a clean-up
cost of $20,000 to $40,000 per event.
Global Aerospace adds that it can be
extremely difficult to recover damages
associated with foam discharge events,
and recovery efforts can be long,
arduous and unsuccessful.
Currently, the NATA is leading
a collaborative effort among aviation
industry professional associations,
airport users and operators, f ire
protection experts and aviation
insurance providers to inf luence the
NFPA 409 technical committee to
replace its seemingly-arbitrary foam
f ire suppression requirements for
aircraft hangars with ones that are
more risk-based. NATA is actively
collecting data to more completely
understand the costs arising from fire
suppression systems and the risk of
large fuel spill fires in Group II aircraft
hangars. To participate in an industry
survey and make your voice heard,
visit www.nata.aero/foamsurvey. 

JUNE/JULY 2019 \ AVIATIONPROS.COM / 37


http://www.global-aero.com http://www.nata.aero/foamsurvey http://www.AVIATIONPROS.COM

Airport_Business_June-July_2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Airport_Business_June-July_2019

Inside the Fence
Industry Update
A Forward Look Into the Past
The Rise of Secondary Airports
Not Your Parents' Boarding Bridge
Find Success in Fuel Training
A Stream of New Revenue Management
Media Relations After an Accident: Are You Ready?
Airport Guru
Legal Matters
Product Focus
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 1
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 2
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 3
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 4
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 5
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - Inside the Fence
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 7
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - Industry Update
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 9
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - A Forward Look Into the Past
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 11
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 12
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 13
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - The Rise of Secondary Airports
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 15
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - Not Your Parents' Boarding Bridge
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 17
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 18
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 19
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 20
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 21
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 22
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 23
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 24
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 25
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - Find Success in Fuel Training
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 27
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 28
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 29
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - A Stream of New Revenue Management
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 31
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 32
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 33
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - Media Relations After an Accident: Are You Ready?
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 35
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - Airport Guru
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 37
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - Legal Matters
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 39
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - Product Focus
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 41
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 42
Airport_Business_June-July_2019 - 43
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