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Stratech’s iFerret™ Receives FAA Approval
Singapore, 25 April 2012 – Singapore Exchange Mainboard-listed Stratech Systems Limited today announces that the US FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has published its Performance Assessment Report on the Company’s iFerret™ intelligent Airfield/Runway Surveillance and FOD (Foreign Object & Debris) Detection System.
Dated March 2012, the report states that iFerret™ fulfils requirements identified in the FAA Advisory Circular (“AC”) 150-5220-241, Airport Foreign Object Debris (FOD) Detection Equipment. The AC contains the performance specifications for systems and equipment that detect foreign objects in airports and provides guidance and specifications for the procurement of airport FOD detection equipment.
Stratech Executive Chairman, Dr David K.M. Chew, explained: “In the aviation industry, FAA accreditation is important. To use an analogy, it is like a pharmaceutical product that has received FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval, and is now officially licensed for sale.”
The report’s publication is significant because compliance with the AC is mandatory for US airports acquiring FOD detection equipment through the Airport Improvement Program (AIP)2 or the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) Program. The AIP provides grants to qualifying airports for improvement projects that enhance airport safety, capacity, security, and environmental concerns. The latter allows the collection of PFC fees, commonly known as airport tax, to fund approved projects. Airports are now able to use these funds to offset the cost of installing iFerret™.
Previously, there had been no technology, financing or regulations for automated FOD detection, and airports relied on the FAA or ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) mandated daily manual sweeps, which are inadequate and inefficient. Dr Chew pointed out that in recent years the FAA has begun providing directions on specifications and funding of FOD detection systems, and these have subsequently been adopted as the de-facto standards by many airports globally. The accreditation of iFerret™ therefore opens up huge opportunities in this rapidly- developing market.
FOD refers to articles or wildlife found on runways, taxiways or aprons that could potentially cause injuries or damage to aircraft. An example of a fatal incident involving FOD was the Air France Concorde jet crash in 2000, when 113 lives were lost. FOD also reportedly incurs an estimated US$4 billion in repair and maintenance costs annually, and up to US$13 billion per year including associated costs like flight delays and cancellations; lost productivity and revenues; potential liabilities; and damaged reputations.
Dr Chew added, “The FAA approval is a major boost towards strengthening iFerret™’s position in the international aviation market. This market includes a tremendous number of IATA (International Air Transport Association) listed airports globally3, of which the U.S. is the largest single market. The iFerret™ is now well-positioned for an accelerated take-off.”