ICAO 758x200px

ICAO Levels A, B & C - Onshore Civilian Airports

In the UK, the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) requires a foam concentrate for use in Civilian Airports to be tested using potable (fresh) water to ICAO Level A, B or C.

  • ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) approved products are not conformance monitored after accreditation.
  • ICAO Level A requires a 2.8m² fire to be extinguished at an application rate of 4.1L/min/m².
  • ICAO Level B requires a 4.5m² fire to be extinguished at an application rate of 2.5L/min/m².
  • ICAO Level C requires a 7.32m² fire to be extinguished at an application rate of 1.75L/min/m².
  • All levels require a heptane fire with a 60 second pre-burn and using potable (fresh) water.
  • For further information, please visit the ICAO website.

Contents:


Aberdeen Foam's range of ICAO approved foams

Aberdeen Foam's range of C6 AFFF foams approved to ICAO Standards are:

To download a chart of our complete foam standard listings, please click here.

Back to top


What is the difference between ICAO Levels A, B & C?

ICAO Level A

In order to obtain ICAO Level A certification the foam concentrate, once proportioned correctly, must extinguish a 2.8m2 hydrocarbon fire within the given specifications (see table below).

The application rate for the ICAO Level A test is 4.1 L/min/m2.

ICAO Level B

In order to obtain ICAO Level B certification the foam concentrate, once proportioned correctly, must extinguish a 4.5m2 hydrocarbon fire within the given specifications (see table below).

The application rate for the ICAO Level B test is 2.5 L/min/m2.

ICAO Level C

In order to obtain ICAO Level C certification the foam concentrate, once proportioned correctly, must extinguish a 7.32m2 hydrocarbon fire within the given specifications (see table below).

The application rate for the ICAO Level C test is 1.75 L/min/m2.

ICAO Level C test has been designed to permit substantially reduced quantities of foam and water to be available on fire trucks (for further information, please refer to the OTAC document on Rescue and Fire-Fighting Management of Extinguishing Agents here.)

Comparison of Test Protocols

Specification

ICAO Level A

ICAO Level B

ICAO Level C

  • Branch Pipe

“Uni 86” Foam Nozzle

“Uni 86” Foam Nozzle

“Uni 86” Foam Nozzle

  • Fire Size

2.8m2

4.5m2

7.32m2

  • Tank Shape

Circular

Circular

Circular

  • Pre-burn time (seconds)

60

60

60

  • Application Type

Forceful

Forceful

Forceful

  • Application Rate (L/min/m2)

4.1

2.5

1.75

  • Foam Application Time (secs)

120

120

120

  • Extinguishment Time with flickers (secs)

<60

<60

<60

  • Full Extinguishment Time (secs)

<120

<120

<120

  • Burnback Waiting Time (mins)

2

2

2

  • 20% Re-ignition Time (mins)

>5

> 5

> 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ICAO Level C places increased emphasis on

  • Impacts of fluctuating water pressure

  • ARFF vehicle monitor application rates, i.e. regular produced foam testing.

Back to top


ICAO Levels B & C - a comparison of application rates

As discussed above, the application rates for the new ICAO Levels B & C tests are different.

For Level B the rate is 2.5L/min/m², compared with 1.75L/min/m² Level C - a reduction of 30%!

But how does this difference affect foams in use?

An article published in OTAC (Overseas Territories Aviation Circular) provided guidance on the amount of foam needed in use, directly comparing foams meeting both ICAO Level B and Level C – a summary of which can be seen below.

In summary and in line with the testing specifications, 30% less foam is required of a Level C foam compared with one that meets only Level B – a considerable saving!

Aberdeen Foam 3% AFFF-C6 Airport Foam meets ICAO Level C – so why choose anything else? For further information please click here or contact us.

 

Foam meeting ICAO Level B

Foam meeting ICAO Level C

 Size of Aircraft (metres)

Water (litres)

3% foam concentrate (litres)*

6% foam discharge (litres)*

Foam discharge (litres / minute)

 

Water (litres)

3% foam concentrate (litres)*

6% foam discharge (litres)*

Foam discharge (litres / minute)

 <9

230

14

28

230

 

160

8.5

19

160

 >9 - <12

670

40

80

550

 

460

27.5

55

360

 >12 - <18

1200

72

144

900

 

820

49

98

630

 >18 - <24

2400

144

288

1800

 

1700

102

204

1100

 >24 - <28

5400

324

648

3000

 

3900

234

468

2200

 >28 - <39

7900

474

948

4000

 

5800

348

696

2900

 >39 - <49

12100

726

1452

5300

 

8800

528

1056

3800

 >49 - <61

18200

1092

2184

7200

 

12800

768

1536

5100

 >61 - <76

24300

1458

2916

9000

 

17100

1026

2052

6300

 >76 - <90

32300

1938

3876

11200

 

22800

1368

2736

7900

* Volume of foam concentrate is at required aerodrome availability of 200%

For a copy of the full OTAC article, please click here.

Back to top


 ICAO requirements on foam testing

According to ICAO Doc 9137-AN/898 Airport Services Manual Part 1: Rescue and Firefighting, Fourth Edition, 2015, paragraph 8.1.7, in order to "to ensure the on-going capability of the foam production system", testing of your system "should be performed at least every twelve months."

Back to top


CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) requirements on foam testing

According to CAA CAP 168, 11th Edition, 2019, paragraph 8.84: “any stocks of fire extinguishing agents […] should be assessed for continued satisfactory performance by taking samples from each batch and having these analysed at regular intervals by a competent person”.

Paragraphs 8.87, 8.87 & 8.93 also state “In order to ensure that foam production by an RFFS vehicle is of an acceptable standard a Foam Production Performance Test […] should be carried out [to confirm] the induction percentage for all foam-making devices […] In-service test should be conducted to ensure the ongoing capability of the foam production system at least every 12 months.”

Back to top


Useful links

Back to top