August 28, 2009

Airport’s corrosive goop unidentified

Officials at a North Carolina airport said they have received many suggestions for dealing with a mysterious corrosive goop sometimes found on parked cars.

Raleigh-Durham International Airport has received sporadic reports of the unidentified white goop damaging cars in its seven-story garage since the facility was completed in December 2003, but no one has conclusively identified the substance, the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer reported Friday.

Officials said they have received dozens of unsolicited suggestions for handling the problem in addition to possible solutions suggested by engineering firm S&ME Inc., which has given the hub three reports on the problem since 2006. The firm recommended the ceilings of the facility be power-washed and coated with a substance to prevent the goop from dripping from the concrete. The company also suggested installing hot-air fans to dry the ceilings.

However, airport officials said they are skeptical of all recommendations because no one has identified the goop or analyzed a sample.

When this happens, it doesn't happen for long, said Steven Pittman, deputy director of the airport. If we do have some damage in the next few months, we'll take a much closer look at the cars.