Airside Safety | Use of Marker Cones and Chocking of Aircraft - Aviation Professional

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Friday, March 26, 2021

Airside Safety | Use of Marker Cones and Chocking of Aircraft

 

 

Coning and Chocking of Aircraft

In aviation, the safety of staff, passengers and the public has always, as always, and will always be the priority. The airport environment is a highly complex work environment because it involves maneuvering aircraft, especially a large jet with a sizeable wingspan, the airside become very dynamic, with people and ground service equipment (GSE) to fast handle aircraft, thus, need overall safety tools to be in place and the safety practices to be met.

 

When an aircraft is arriving at the airport and come to complete its stop, the safety wheel chocks and marker cones must be positioned. By using Marker cones, it helps us to draw the borders of the equipment restraint area (ESA). I should give you the definition of the equipment restraint area (ESA), so that, you can understand the importance of placing chocks and the using of marker cones around an aircraft.

 

What is the Equipment Restraint Area (ESA)?


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 (ESA) will keep the work environment safe from any ground damage to the aircraft and ground handling staff/ground service equipment.

 

Now, you got an idea about the importance of the equipment restraint area (ESA), let's move to the chocking of aircraft.

 

Chocking of Aircraft


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

 

Wheel 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. It is used to stop an aircraft from moving during parking time. Placement of wheel chocks is done according to aircraft manufacture guidelines and according to the airline safety policy.

 

Wheel Chocks Placement


There are many dangerous areas in the vicinity of the aircraft wheels, and you 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 chocks, you should follow these 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. 

 

Step 3: Placing of chocks forward and aft of the main gear following the applicable normal chock placement diagram for each aircraft type. Wheel chocks should be lightly touching the tire.

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

Step 4: Notifying the flight crew that the wheel chocks have been placed.

 

Wheel 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).

 

Marker Cones Positioning


Marker cones are the caution signs for drivers to maintain required safety clearance. You may ask, why using of marker cones around aircraft?

 

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 Around Aircraft 

The 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, you should follow these safety steps:

 

Step 1: You 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 service 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 


When an aircraft is arriving at the airport and come to complete its stop, the safety wheel chocks and marker cones must be positioned. By using Marker cones, it helps to create a safety buffer around a specific area on aircraft that are susceptible to ground damage and wheel 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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