Two recent installations at Kodiak Airport in Alaska pushed the running total into triple-digit territory.
Departure end of RW 07
No. 101: Departure end of RW 36
On July 20th, 2015, Kodiak Airport (ADQ), Kodiak, AK made final acceptance of a completed EMASMAX® Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS) installation on the departure end of runway number 7, making it the 100th system installed worldwide by ESCO. On July 29th , the total advanced to 101, as a second Kodiak installation on the departure end of runway 36 was also completed and accepted.
Kodiak Airport is located four nautical miles southwest of the central business district of Kodiak. Airport traffic includes a fleet mix that ranges from GA aircraft to Boeing 737s. The Coast Guard is also active in running C-130 cargo planes at the airport. The EMAS installation was preceded by a positive FAA Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision.
The final inspection/sign-off of the beds was made by the Alaska Dept. of Transportation and Public Facilities. The bed on runway 7 required preliminary preparations which were completed as part of a winter construction program. This involved the creation of a 600 ft. build-out area into the ocean, involving the placement of fill as well as the blasting of rock in the construction zone. This was followed by the installation of a standard EMAS.
The very first EMAS installation by ESCO took place at JFK Int’l Airport in Jamaica, NY in 1996. Since then, airports have placed their confidence and trust in this proven, reliable technology that has performed flawlessly, saving 9 aircraft, 243 passengers and untold amounts of airport and airline assets in real emergency overrun situations.
Composed of a bed of lightweight cellular cement blocks that predictably crush under the weight of an aircraft, an EMAS is an acceptable alternative for preventing overrun catastrophes at airports where Runway End Safety Areas (RESA) do not exist or are impractical to implement due to environmental or other issues.
ESCO developed EMAS as part of a CRDA (Cooperative Research & Development Agreement) with the FAA and Port Authority of NY & NJ. No questions remained about the product’s ability to reliably stop an aircraft safely and successfully after real aircraft testing with a Boeing 727 aircraft in May, 1996 at the FAA Test Center, Pomona, NJ.
Added value and improved quality came with the release of EMASMAX® in 2007, the 3rd-generation upgrade version of the system, which provided jet blast resistant coating and greatly reduced installation costs and maintenance, without any compromises in product performance.
Maintenance training and semi-annual inspections are provided by ESCO over the first year. The company also offers field strength testing capability as an option to evaluate the condition of EMAS beds, enabling airports to make informed decisions regarding maintenance and product life. It is significant to note that a number of EMAS beds in service are 10 or more years old and are deemed perfectly viable and capable of stopping aircraft safely.
ESCO is widely recognised as the world’s leading authority on energy absorption and is the leading manufacturer of military and commercial aircraft arresting systems. The company has developed products for the controlled deceleration of aircraft, including the Space Shuttle and Concorde, for over 70 years.