KLIA, klia2 implement world’s first runway debris detection system

MAHB and Japanese officials at the launch of the foreign object debris detection system recently.

PETALING JAYA: A high-precision system to detect foreign object debris on the three runways of the KL International Airport (KLIA) and klia2 – collectively known as KUL – has been launched, ensuring better safety and security.

The system, known as the foreign object debris (FOD) detection system, is the result of a tripartite collaboration among Japan’s Hitachi Kokusai Electric Co Ltd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

In a statement, MAHB said KUL is expected to benefit from improved safety and security as well as efficiency from the project, which is an initiative of Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

The launching of the system means that KUL is the first airport in the world to install a fully functional FOD detection system after the prototype was tested at Narita International Airport in Japan.

A FOD is any object in an inappropriate location in the airport environment which can injure or damage the airport, personnel and aircraft, and cost the global aviation industry an estimated US$15 billion (RM62.04 billion) annually in direct and indirect cots, including flight delays and runway closures.

The system allows real-time data collection enabling the airport authorities to identify FOD on the runway and clear them quickly, which was vital as aircraft takeoffs are only minutes apart.

MAHB said the advantages of the system include its low operational cost and low emission of radio waves and that it is a highly scalable system for busy airports.

“Through more than a year of field trial at Narita International Airport, the system demonstrated highly accurate and fast detection whereby it was able to detect 3cm FOD within the range of 500m in 10 seconds by using the millimeter wave radar over optical fiber technology,” MAHB said.

MAHB group CEO Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin said they were proud to collaborate with Hitachi Kokusai Electric and UTM as one of the pioneer airports in implementing the cutting-edge technology from Japan.

“It is indeed an important milestone for us in terms of enhancing our FOD detection system that will improve the surveillance measures of our runway as we aim towards strengthening KUL’s position as a global hub.

“On top of that, this project is Malaysia’s first contribution in terms of data and technology to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radiocommunication Sector,” he said.

Present at the launch were Deputy Transport Minister Kamarudin Jaffar and Yasuo Tawara, the director general for Japan’s Radio Department under the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.