Frangible structures have become a crucial component of airfield safety. They’re designed to break, deform, or yield upon impact to minimise damage in the event of a collision. The material also doesn’t interfere at all with radio signals, as fibreglass (fiberglass) is transparent to electromagnetic waves. However, while these structures play a vital role in enhancing airport safety, their installation comes with their own set of challenges. Here are some of the potential obstacles faced when installing frangible structures at airfields.

Regulatory compliance

ICAO logoFAA logo in black and white within a circle

Airports must adhere to strict guidelines and standards set by aviation authorities including the ICAO and FAA. One of the primary challenges is navigating through these complex regulatory requirements. Ensuring that frangible structures meet the regulations can involve meticulous planning and coordination with regulatory bodies. All Pollite’s products are designs specifically to comply with the latest ICAO and FAA requirements on frangibility, deflection and strength.

Balancing safety and durability

Frangible structures are designed to yield upon impact, enhancing safety during collisions. However, finding the delicate balance between creating structures that are frangible yet durable poses a significant engineering challenge. They must be durable enough to withstand environmental factors like wind, rain, and snow.

Compatibility with existing infrastructure

Many airports have existing infrastructure that may not have been designed with frangibility in mind. Frangible structures need to be designed according to the local surroundings, and the specific needs and layout of the airport. Integrating them into an established airfield requires careful consideration. Pollite can work with you to produce products to meet your exact requirements. Our design engineers have worked on some of the world’s most challenging projects and delivered innovative solutions.

Leeds Bradford Approach Mast at airfield - frangible structures

Training and awareness

Successfully implementing frangible structures requires proper training for airport personnel, air traffic controllers, and emergency response teams. Creating awareness about the safety features of frangible structures is essential to ensure a coordinated response in the event of an emergency.

How can Pollite help you?

Pollite is one of the largest manufacturers of fibreglass (fiberglass) masts in Europe. We have an international presence that spans across Europe, Asia, USA, the Middle East and Australasia. We have over 50 years of experience in the design and manufacture of frangible safety poles. The last 15 years have seen Pollite pioneer the development of a series of frangible masts principally for airfield use. We are experts in our field, with our knowledge and expertise allowing us to bespoke engineered, high quality solutions. Contact us now to discuss your requirements.

It is clear that the installation of frangible structures at airfields comes with its share of challenges. However the benefits in terms of enhanced safety and reduced potential for severe damage during collisions are undeniable. By addressing regulatory requirements and engineering considerations, airports can successfully navigate these challenges and contribute to a safer and more resilient aviation environment.

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