Airside Safety | Using of Marker Cones and Aircraft Chocks

 

 

Marker Cones , Aircraft Chocks


One of airside safety practices is positioning of marker cones and aircraft chocks when an aircraft is arriving at the airport and come to complete its stop. Using of marker cones help ground handling personnel to draw the borders of the equipment restraint area (ERA). 


I will give you the definition of the equipment restraint area (ERA),then, I will give you the airside safety procedures for placing aircraft chocks and using of marker cones around an aircraft.

 

What is the Equipment Restraint Area (ERA)?


It's defined as the area of the airside which is bordered by a red line knowing as an equipment restraint line in which an aircraft is parked during ground operation.

This area must be free of obstructions and foreign object debris (FOD) before and after aircraft arrival and departure. 

Maintaining the equipment restraint area (ERA) keep the work environment safe from any ground damage to the aircraft or injuries to ground handling personnel/ground support equipment.

 

Now, you got an idea about the equipment restraint area (ERA). let's move to the aircraft chocks Placement.

 

What is Aircraft Chocks? 


Before reading about aircraft chocks Placement, you should know what do we mean by aircraft chocks?

 

Aircraft chocks are a triangular shape, with a high visibility color and with an approximate 45 angle at the point at which the aircraft tire makes contact.

Aircraft chocks is used to stop an aircraft from moving during parking time.

Placement of aircraft chocks is done according to aircraft manufacture guidelines and according to the airline airside safety policy.

 

Aircraft Chocks Placement


There are many dangerous areas in the vicinity of the aircraft wheels, and ground handling personnel must be aware of these dangerous areas, such as hot brakes, gears door, antennae, and protrusions, which could cause injuries to persons.

Before placing of aircraft chocks, ground handling personnel should follow these airside safety steps:

 

Step 1: You must not approach the aircraft to place the chocks until :

  • Aircraft engines have been switched off and spooling down.
  • Anti-collision lights switched off
  • Clearance is giving by the ramp operator responsible for aircraft arrival to approach the aircraft.

Step 2: Placing of chocks forward and aft of the nose gear. I can say that this action is the first action to take place around the aircraft, and shall be completely done before any other activities may take place. 

Placing of chocks forward and aft of the main gear following the applicable normal aircraft chocks placement diagram for each aircraft type. Aircraft chocks should be lightly touching the tire.

Remember that, in a situation of a high wind condition, it's recommended to place additional aicraft chocks or any approved measured to secure  aircrafts. 

Step 3: Notifying the flight crew that the aircraft chocks have been placed.

 

Aircraft chocks should not be removed from an aircraft until the clearance is giving by the ramp operator responsible for aircraft departure and they should be stored in a dedicated area so that they are not the cause of Foreign Object Debris (FOD).

 


What is Marker Cones?

Marker cones are the caution signs for drivers to maintain required safety clearance. 

You may ask, why using of marker cones around aircraft? Continue reading.


Marker Cones Positioning

Using marker cones around aircraft is to creates a safety buffer around a specific area on aircraft that is susceptible to ground damage.

Marker cones must have a special design such as conical shape and orange in color with reflective striping. In addition to, specific minimum height and weight.

Positioning of marker cones is depending on the aircraft type to be protected.

 In this article, I will explain the positioning of marker cones for wing-mounted twin-engine jet aircraft. 

Before Positioning marker cones around aircraft, ground handling personnel should follow these airside safety steps:

 

Step 1: they must not approach the aircraft to position the marker cones around the aircraft until :

  • Aircraft engines have been switched off and spooling down.
  • Anti-collision lights switched off
  • Clearance is giving by the ramp operator responsible for aircraft arrival to approach the aircraft.

 

Step 2: Marker cones should be positioned around aircraft:

  • Each wingtip.
  • In front of all wing-mounted engines
  • In front of other areas on an aircraft that conflicts with the normal flow of ground service equipment during handling operations
  • At areas where the proximity of the aircraft could impact on the follow of ramp traffic e.g., tail/roadway.

 

Marker cones should not be removed from around an aircraft until the clearance is giving by the ramp operator responsible for aircraft departure and there are no activities by ground support equipment or vehicles.


Marker cones should be stored in a dedicated area so that they are not the cause of Foreign Object Debris (FOD).

 

 

Conclusion 

In aviation, the safety of staff, passengers and the traveling public has always, as always, and will always be the priority. The airport environment is a highly complex work environment because it involves maneuvering aircrafts, especially a large jets with a sizeable wingspan.


The airside become very dynamic, with people and ground support equipment (GSE) to fast handling aircrafts, thus, need overall airside safety tools to be in place and the airside safety practices to be met.


When an aircraft is arriving at the airport and come to complete its stop, the aircraft chocks and marker cones must be positioned to create a safety buffer around a specific area on aircraft that are susceptible to ground damage and aircraft chocks protect aircraft from any movement during handling operations.

 

I hope you have benefited from this article, and I will be happy if you share this article or refer to the aviation professional website, so that knowledge can be circulated to all professionals in civil aviation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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