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What is FOD – Foreign Object Detection?


FOD (Foreign Object Debris) is any article or substance, foreign to an aircraft or system, which could potentially cause damage. This concept applies to all facets of the ASD market: manufacturing, warehouse, shipping, or any area where small debris, loose objects, or wildlife could create a safety hazard resulting in:

  • Equipment damage
  • Injury to personnel
  • Production delays
  • Safety violations

The FOD acronym is interchangeably used to define Foreign Object Debris, Foreign Object Damage and Foreign Object Detection.

  • Foreign Object Debris (FOD) is defined by the FAA in AS 150/5210-24 as any object, live or not, located in an inappropriate location in an airport environment that has the capacity to injure airport or air carrier personnel and/or damage aircraft.  
  • Foreign Object Damage is any damage attributed to a foreign object (i.e. any object that is not part of the vehicle) that can be expressed in physical or economic terms and may or may not degrade the product’s required safety or performance characteristics.
  • Foreign Object Detection is typically a program put in place to prevent damage from FOD. 

AS9100 Standard and FOD

AS9100 Rev D section 8 (2016) requires an organization to have provisions for the prevention, detection, and removal of foreign objects as mentioned in these sections:

  • Sec. 8.1 Determining the requirements for the products and services including prevention, detection, and removal of foreign objects.
  • Sec. 8.5.1 Control of Production and Service Provision including the provision for the prevention, detection, and removal of foreign objects.
  • Sec. 8.5.4 The organization shall preserve the outputs during production and service provision, to the extent necessary to ensure conformity to requirements including prevention, detection, and removal of foreign objects.
  • IAQG SCMH offers helpful information on Foreign Object Damage in Section 3.4.



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For example, tools left inside the aircraft after manufacturing or servicing are a serious hazard. Tools or other items can get tangled in control cables, jam moving parts, short out electrical connections, or otherwise interfere with safe flight. Aircraft maintenance teams usually have strict tool control procedures including toolbox inventories to make sure all tools have been removed from an aircraft before it is released for flight. Tools used during manufacturing are tagged with a serial number so if they are found they can be traced.

FOD Standards

AS9100 requires an organization to have provisions for the prevention, detection, and removal of foreign objects. Boeing uses the following documents for definition of a FOD program.

SAE AS9146 – Foreign Object Damage (FOD) Prevention Program – Requirements for Aviation, Space, and Defense Organizations

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This standard defines FOD Prevention Program requirements for organizations that design, develop, and provide aviation, space, and defense products and services; and by organizations providing post-delivery support, including the provision of maintenance (AS9110), spare parts (AS9120), or materials for their own products and services.

AIA NAS412 – Foreign Object Damage (FOD) Prevention Guidance Document 

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FOD Prevention Training

International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) offers Free FOD Prevention Training.

IAQG FOD Prevention Training Instructions



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