Concerns about fire suppressant foam caused a flight delay at ILM

Concerns about fire suppressant foam caused a flight delay at ILM
Wilmington International Airport (ILM)

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A surprise directive from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to all airports in the U.S. forced officials at the ILM airport to order new fire-suppressing foam for the facility’s Aqueous Film Forming Foam (ARFF) trucks, the vehicles used by many airport firefighters.

According to the directive from the FAA, the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) notified the FAA of a recall of the FireAde Aqueous Film Forming Foam last month. Then, on Wednesday, NAVSEA alerted the FAA that the agency conducted additional tests and the product failed to extinguish the test fires within the required time.

The FAA told airports using the foam would result in “longer-than-expected extinguishing times or possible failure to achieve extinguishment.”

A passenger flying from Atlanta to Wilmington on Wednesday night posted on Twitter Wednesday evening that his flight was delayed due to the issue.

Airport officials said they quickly sent for new foam and had it at ILM by 8:30 p.m.

The flight from Atlanta was the only one impacted.

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