Fires impacting airport operations can cause substantial safety, logistical and financial consequences. With thousands of travelers in the air at any given moment, more airports and airlines are trusting 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid to help protect electronic assets and aircraft that are critical to continuity of operations.
Airports and Air Traffic Control Centers
In September 2014, nearly 1,800 flights to and from Chicago’s O’Hare International and Midway Airports were canceled due to a fire at the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center. According to reports, the early morning fire forced evacuation of the control center and the shutdown quickly spread prompting flight delays and cancelations throughout the country, delivering inevitable financial hits to airlines involved.
"This is a nightmare scenario when we thought systems were in place to prevent it," said aviation analyst Joseph Schwieterman of DePaul University in Chicago.
Over the last 10 years, fire suppression systems using 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid have been installed in countless airports around the globe to secure continuity of operations. Unlike water-based fire extinguishing systems, a fire suppression system using a clean agent like Novec 1230 fluid is designed to extinguish a fire before it has a chance to spread, without harming sensitive equipment or leaving a residue. This helps minimize downtime and in many cases allows business operations to continue without delay.
Fire Protection on the Flightline
Recent successful fire testing resulted in a UL listing of a 150-lb. wheeled fire extinguisher (PDF, 306.7 KB) using Novec 1230 fluid. Manufactured by Amerex Corporation, the Amerex Model 775 Wheeled Fire Extinguisher allows you to protect your valuable assets on the flightline. Designed to reduce cleanup costs and return aircraft back to service faster, Novec 1230 fluid evaporates cleanly without leaving residue.
After substantial testing and careful consideration of the options available, the U.S. Air Force (PDF, 2.44 MB) recently recommended use of the Amerex 775 wheeled extinguisher with Novec 1230 fluid to protect their valuable assets and considers it an acceptable alternative to the current Halon 1211 flightline extinguisher because of its excellent performance and U.S. EPA SNAP approval.
By leaving a residue that is difficult to clean up, dry chemical discharged from extinguishers can cause extensive corrosion damage to airplane structure, electrical systems, and electronic equipment. In a service letter to operators and airplane maintenance providers for all Boeing manufactured aircraft, Boeing Commercial Airplanes (PDF, 27.6 KB) advises personnel to “avoid use and provisioning of dry chemical type fire extinguishers for airplane firefighting,” and that “dry chemical fire extinguishers should only be used for airplane firefighting if there are no other extinguishers available and there is imminent danger to property or personnel.”
Novec 1230 fluid is an ideal, environmentally sustainable alternative to halons, HCFCs, and dry chemicals such as potassium bicarbonate (Purple K), because it has no ozone depletion potential, a global warming potential (GWP) of less than one, is non-corrosive and non-conductive.
Learn more (PDF, 167.43 KB) about all the benefits of choosing 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid instead of halon, other halogenated agents, water or dry chemical extinguishants.
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