On 15 July 2013, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) implemented changes to fire test performance and the test protocol under the International Standards and Recommended Practices, Aerodrome Design and Operations (Annex 14, Volume 1 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation).
The revised testing protocol has been applicable to all member states since 14 November 2013, requiring fire fighting foam manufacturers to accommodate new product testing and certification criteria.
Foam Test Methods - What's Changed?
With increasing fuel loads, growing passenger numbers and the risk of larger fires from wide-body aircraft, the latest ICAO testing criteria aims to raise the standards in fire fighting foam. The update has also added the following changes to meet the new current aviation requirements:
Level C Performance Tests:
Level C is a new high specification fire fighting foam standard that seeks the ultimate performance in fire fighting foam.
Level C Test Criteria:
- Fire size increase from 4.5m2 (level B) to 7.32m2
- Reduction in application rate to 1.75 L/min/m2
- A 57% increase in fuel volume to 157L
Fire Test Procedure Criteria:
For levels A, B and C, the new Test Procedure stipulates a 60 seconds time frame for fire control and that the fire is totally extinguished within the second minute of foam application.
Third Party Certification:
To ensure a high safety level in aerodrome operations, ICAO have introduced a new quality assurance requirement. A certificate confirming the performance of the concentrate should be obtained from a recognised, accredited third party testing authority.
Our Services for Testing & Compliance
As an independent testing authority, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), through its owned subsidiary CAA International, can observe and witness ICAO fire fighting foam performance tests and provide a concentrate certificate of conformity.
Drawing on the experience and technical know-how of our technical experts with over 30 years experience in Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Services (ARFFS), CAAi is able to deliver ICAO performance level A, B and C accreditation, providing solutions to meet the needs of all requirements.
For manufacturers that require a technical assessment, CAAi consultancy and advisory services can provide expert advice on compliance and ICAO certification against internationally recognised quality management standards.
Please contact Rob Erskine at CAA International for more information or to arrange an ICAO third party performance review.
Tel: +44 (0)1293 573453
to download the ICAO Airport Service Manual Part 1 Rescue and Fire Fighting, 8.1.8 Revised ICAO Test Protocol. Click here
to download the list of CAAi accredited ICAO Fire Fighting Foams