Debris camera

Vancouver International Airport has installed Qinetiq’s day-and-night camera to its Tarsier foreign object debris radar system to increase efficiency of debris retrieval and reduce runway closures.


Vancouver International Airport has installed Qinetiq’s day-and-night camera to its Tarsier foreign object debris (FOD) radar system to increase efficiency of debris retrieval and reduce runway closures.



The camera will operate alongside Tarsier’s networked radar technology to produce FOD images in all light levels and weather conditions. Its use is expected to reduce FOD-related delays, which are estimated to cost the global aviation industry around $12bn (£7.2bn) a year.



Brett Patterson, director of airside operations at Vancouver Airport Authority, said: ‘The camera allows us to determine quickly whether the FOD is a 2in worm that poses no threat, or a broken zipper from a suitcase that does.


‘Qinetiq’s innovative Tarsier system is an integral part of our safety-management programme that enables us to monitor the runway continuously with no disruption to runway operations.’



The Tarsier system has been operational at the airport since 2005. When the system detects FOD, an alarm is triggered at the airport’s operation centre where the user display highlights the location of the anomaly. The addition of the day-and-night camera will allow controllers to see a live image of the FOD that provides visual confirmation of its location and safety risk.



Dr Dominic Walker, product development director at Qinetiq Airport Technologies, said: ‘We have provided Vancouver Airport with a valuable safety tool that helps guard against the dangers and costs associated with runway debris.


‘The benefits are clear and we’re thrilled to be helping airports such as Vancouver deliver the highest levels of passenger safety and experience.’