Fraport Slovenija Aviation Academy takes part in the Erasmus+ programme
to improve the skills of airport firefighters
Zg. Brnik, 22. 10. 2022 - Partnering with Vienna Airport, Fraport Slovenija Aviation Academy will carry out the EcoFoamFight project as part of Erasmus+, an EU programme supporting education, training, youth and sport in Europe. The tender-winning training programme, which combines innovative digital and more environmentally friendly education and training approaches for airport firefighters, will be finalised by the end of April 2023.
The vision of the Fraport Slovenija Aviation Academy is to be one of the leading training centres in the field of airport firefighting in the region. In response to the Erasmus+ call for developing new vocational education and training programmes emphasising green and digital transitions in the field of education, Fraport Slovenija Aviation Academy submitted a proposal together with Vienna Airport Department for Training Airport Firefighters.
More stringent European legislation on firefighting in the aviation industry requires a faster and more efficient transition to reduce the impacts of training and firefighting interventions on both the environment and the health of firefighters. The growing environmental awareness and related legal requirements are particularly challenging for the field of firefighting, but they also promote the development of environmentally sound technologies and products. As part of the EcoFoamFight project, in which Fraport Slovenija Aviation Academy and Vienna Airport are participating, a programme will be developed to improve the firefighting skills of airport firefighters by using a digitalised approach and more environmentally friendly firefighting foams. Both
partners will develop new guidelines for firefighting training by using digitalised solutions to partly reduce the need for practical exercises, and subsequently decrease the impacts of such work on the environment by ensuring at the same time a high level of practical knowledge with regard to fighting fires with more foam agents that do less harm to the environment and human health.
Head of Fraport Slovenija Aviation Academy, Mateja Košak Maljevec
“It is vital to transition to more effective firefighting procedures that also place less burden on the environment.”
“It is vital to transition to more effective firefighting procedures that also place less burden on the environment. Together with Vienna Airport we will combine our rich experience and knowledge and offer to the education market a high-quality, innovative programme for training airport firefighters that’s in line with the related environmental guidelines,” said Ms Mateja Košak Maljevec, Head of Fraport Slovenija Aviation Academy.
Fifty firefighters – 25 from Ljubljana Airport and 25 from Vienna Airport – as well as four instructors will be involved in developing the programme. Both partners will jointly design the theoretical education part, whilst the practical part will be carried out by Fraport Slovenija as the lead project partner under the aegis of its Aviation Academy. The pilot project will include training with 3D technology in a simulator for operating heavy fire engines, an approach that the modern training centre at Ljubljana Airport prides itself.
Extinguishing fire with fluorine-free foams
The Fraport Aviation Academy offers a programme for fighting fires with fluorine-free foams in partnership with the Dr. Stahmer company, one of the leading researchers, developers and manufacturers of firefighting foams. The most commonly used foams that contain fluorine, known as AFFFs (Aqueous Film Forming Foams), are now gradually being replaced with fluorine-free foams in accordance with the new European legislation. Fluorine foams are high performance foams as they are based on fluoro-organic compounds such as fluorine binders and fluoropolymers. As these chemicals make foam bubbles fuel-repellent, the fluorine foams are very efficient at extinguishing chemical and petrochemical fires, but lack biodegradability and pose hazards to the health of the firefighters and environment. That is why their use is becoming more and more limited. Fluorine-free foams have been marketed for some time now, and their properties have significantly improved in the recent years making them almost as efficient as fluorine foams when applied correctly by firefighters. The new generation of foams requires the development of new extinguishing and application methods and tactics. This is the only way to increase their extinguishing capabilities. The Academy and Dr. Stahmer are working together on developing these tactics, raising awareness of both the stricter environmental standards and the new generation of fluorine-free foams.
The EcoFoamFight programme is funded by the European Union. The views and opinions represented here are those of the authors only, and do not express the views and opinions of either the European Union or the Erasmus+ programme, and thus these institutions cannot be held responsible for them.