More foam options for US airports

Published:  08 October, 2018

Fluorine-free foams given green light for use in US civilian airports.

The Senate has approved a five-year reauthorisation for the Federal Aviation Administration, with the legislation now only requiring President Trump’s signature.

As well as ensuring funds for the FAA’s air traffic controllers and providing guidelines for drone aircraft, the new bill sets new performance standards for foam for aircraft rescue and fire fighting.

Section 203 of the bill outlines that the FAA no longer requires that airports only use fluorinated chemicals that meet MIL-F-24385F. Airports will instead be required to follow the latest version of NFPA 403 Standard for Aircraft Rescue and Fire-Fighting Services at Airports.

NFPA 403 lists the acceptable types of primary agents for ARFF involving hydrocarbon fuels as aqueous film-forming foams, fluoroprotein foam, protein foam and fluorine-free synthetic foam.

The new performance standards for fire-fighting foam have to be implemented by the FAA within two years of the signing into law of the Act.

The FAA does not have the statutory authority to regulate airports operated by US government agencies, including airports operated by the US Department of Defence.

Picture: Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) near New York City. (EQRoy/

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