Why SafeScan?

Benefits & advantages over current methods

Because SafeScan provides the precise nature, location, and magnitude of surface contamination, it eliminates guesswork for maintenance personnel and enables them use FPDs more efficiently and effectively, without compromising safety. Airfield crews can restrict treatment to areas that need it rather than blindly treat them all, and can treat surfaces in proportion to their level of contamination. For airports that spend millions of dollars on FPDs every year, the potential cost savings are significant.


SafeScan also mitigates accident risk, as it can identify contamination missed by other means of assessment. SafeScan’s ability to measure contaminant coverage, type, and depth far surpasses that of other measuring techniques, which can fail to detect unsafe conditions until ice has already bonded to the pavement.

Although much emphasis is placed on runway surface conditions and safety, it is important not to overlook the importance of secondary airfield surfaces. By providing information about surface conditions across the entire airport, SafeScan helps ops personnel ensure safe working conditions for luggage handlers, security teams, and other staff members operating in inclement weather, as well as the safety of commercial aircraft on taxiways, ramps, etc.

SafeScan friction forecasts provide airports and carriers with multiple opportunities to make well-informed decisions that increase safety, operational efficiency, and cost savings. For example:

  • Early warnings can help airports stay ahead of winter storms and apply preventative anti-icing treatments, rather than deicing treatments once snow and ice have already bonded to the pavement. Preemptive anti-icing treatments improve safety and should reduce airport costs, given that deicing normally requires a larger quantity of FPD to be effective.
  • Enhanced visibility gives airports and airlines the ability to collaborate through ATO, A/P to shift runway maintenance to more optimal times in order to avoid closures during high traffic or high-value traffic, limiting delays and diversions and improving schedule reliability.
  • Air carriers will benefit from having insight into current landing conditions and developing trends at the airports from which they operate. Benefits include improved flight operations decisions, visibility on pilot and crew sequencing issues, better fuel and cargo weight management, and cost savings from reduced holding patterns, and optimized landing and taxiing sequences. 
  • Having insight into developing trends can help airports and carriers recognize inevitable diversions sooner and take steps to reduce associated costs and disruptions.

What SafeScan is

SafeScan uses non-invasive vehicle-mounted optical sensors to measure and report surface contamination across all airport surfaces—full-length departure runways, end-of-landing runways, taxiways, ramps, aprons, etc. The sensors measure contaminant coverage, type, and depth to a thousandth of an inch and also record air and surface temperatures.

SafeScan converts this data into user-friendly, color-coded reports that allow quick and easy interpretation. Runway conditions are reported for each 1/3 of the entire runway length, using standard TALPA nomenclature: 6—Dry, 5—Good, 4—Good to Medium, 3—Medium, 2—Medium to Poor, 1—Poor, and 0—Nil. All reports include recommended treatment options to prevent friction-related events—e.g., overruns, hydroplaning. 

  • Measurements formatted in an output that enables both manual and automated uploading of FICON reports
  • Data is available via SafeScan reports and/or through existing reporting systems
  • Provides real-time display to airport personnel on any device
  • Users can set up alerts to receive notifications when a RwyCC below a certain threshold is reported; users can set the relevant threshold and specify e-mail, SMS, or both as the delivery mechanism
  • Certified compliant to AC 150/5200-30D (Sec.3.3.2) provision, which requires mobile sensors to meet performance standards of SAE ARP 5623
  • Sensors do not put additional stress on host vehicle