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Safer aircraft landings – thanks to recycled glass

Sweden – Swedish firm Runway Safe has produced what it describes as the world’s most sustainable aircraft arresting bed, made from recycled glass. This new solution effectively stops any planes from drifting off the runway on landing.

The innovative system uses lightweight aggregate silica foam made from recycled glass to arrest aircraft in the instance of an overrun. The system is called greenEMAS and has been officially approved by the US Federal Aviation Administration. The first foam-glass runway section was installed at Chicago airport in November 2014; four more have followed this year, including at Zürich airport.

Aircraft arresting systems provide an alternative when a runway end safety area is not possible, according to Runway Safe’s ceo Anders Lundmark. ‘The foam-glass product has been used as an insulating material for decades but we’ve taken it into the next century by producing a product that has unique properties to slow down, and stop, an aircraft,’ he says.

‘Extremely low’ installation and maintenance costs make this option suitable for small as well as large airports, Lundmark adds.

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