Foreign Object Damage (FOD)

Definition - What does Foreign Object Damage (FOD) mean?

FOD is a safety term used in the aviation industry to describe two related concepts. The term refers to both foreign object debris and foreign object damage. Foreign object debris is any debris or other foreign material (including people) within an aerospace environment that is capable of causing either damage to equipment or aircraft, or causing injury to employees, visitors, or passengers. Foreign object damage refers to any damage caused by foreign object debris. The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) defines FOD as a worker safety issue, and publishes an advisory circular about managing the removal of FOD (Advisory Circular 150/5210-24 as of September 30, 2010). Because all foreign object damage is caused by foreign object debris, the FAA privileges the “debris” meaning of FOD.

Safeopedia explains Foreign Object Damage (FOD)

Examples of FOD include garbage and maintenance tools left on runways, tools left inside aircraft components, birds, volcanic ash, hail, and ice. Prevention of FOD as a safety hazard is caused by adherence to various safety practices such as runway inspection and cleaning as well as the use of dedicated FOD containers to deposit debris. These practices are prescribed through safety management systems (SMS). UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidance on Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) prescribes the use of SMSs at airports. ICAO-derived national regulatory requirements for airports to have SMSs may require FOD management systems for full compliance with hazard identification requirements.

Standards dealing specifically with FOD management are voluntary; however, compliance with these voluntary standards may be required by industry. The Society of Automotive Engineers’ quality management standard for aerospace, AS9100, requires provisions for an FOD management program. This standard is internationally recognized and compliance is required by major aerospace companies as a condition of doing business with them.

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