UK Civil Aviation Authority sets out future foam policy

Published:  15 November, 2013

Proposed idea for a Qualified Product List is dropped in favour of a recommendation around fluorine-free foams. 

At the recent UK Aviation Fire Service Managers Seminar the UK Civil Aviation Authority set out its future approach to guidance for the rescue and fire fighting service (RFFS) regarding fire fighting foam.

Following its consultation on a proposed Qualified Product List (QPL) the CAA reviewed the comments received and undertook further consultation with the UK Environment Agency (EA) which led to them modifying their approach and dropping the original QPL proposal in favour of a more straightforward recommendation around fluorine-free foams.

Their review was informed by recent international work on the effects of fire fighting foam on the environment and the recommendation of the EA.

In future for RFFS purchasers the quality assurance of foam in terms of its effect on the environment and fire fighting performance is set by two criteria:

1.         Fire and rescue services are encouraged to consider the use of fluorine-free products where they can satisfy themselves that the fire performance meets their needs, and:

2.         The foam should pass the new ICAO test and be witnessed by an independent third party testing authority.

Fire Service Managers Seminar

The seminar was organised by the Edinburgh Airport Fire Training Centre and took place at the Hilton Hotel, Manchester Airport in early November. The two-day seminar included many topical subjects including:

·           The setting up of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service;

·           The impact of runway incursions;

·           The Vauxhall helicopter incident;

·            Aviation bio-fuels;

·            Compressed Air Foams Systems (CAFS);

·           The Heathrow 737 and 787 incidents;

·           Post-traumatic stress;

·           Major incident management;

·           The Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme;

·           Aircraft recovery.

The CAA also updated the seminar delegates on future European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) rules and the transition project being undertaken to move from national to European regulations.

The seminar was attended by over 100 aviation fire officers and included stands from a number of services, equipment and vehicle suppliers.

  • Operation Florian

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