Aircraft Parking


Aircraft Parking

In this section, I provide some basic information to assist and support with the design of the aircraft parking. In particular how to choose the best aircraft position on the stand in relation to the ground services to be provided.

The ground services that are taken in consideration are the following:

  • 400Hz ground power;
  • Preconditioning air
  • Hydrant fueling

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines, there are three different methodologies of aircraft parking:

  • Co-located Cab
  • Wing-aligned
  • Common Stop Bar

The Co-located Cab method takes in consideration the position of the front passenger door. Each different aircraft shall be parked on the stand, so that the passenger door will be in the same location. This methodology is often used for the PBB “Pier Boarding Bridge”, and it leads to the following advantages:

  • allows the PBB to operate with minimal movements, saving time for operators and increasing apron safety by restricting the swing movement of the PBB
  • reduce the 400Hz cable length across the apron and minimize drop of voltage;

The Co-located Cab method causes to the following disadvantages:

  • often necessitates multiple hydrant pit and air conditioning pit locations, especially in the following condition:
  • when you want to park in the same stand very different models of aircraft, especially with very different length of the fuselage or different category of aircraft;
  • when dealing with a new layout;

The Co-located Cab method is depicted in Figure 1.

aircraft-parking-figure-01Figure 1 – Co-located Cab method

The wing-aligned method takes in consideration the hydrant fueling operation, the 400Hz pit service and the air conditioning service. The alignment of the aircrafts main wings is such that all the services are available:

  • the fuel ports are within a 12 meters radius (39-foot radius) of the fuel-pit;
  • the preconditioning ports are within a 15 meters radius (49-foot radius) of the preconditioning-pit;
  • the 400Hz Power ports are within a 20 meters radius (65-foot radius) of the 400Hz-pit.

The wing-aligned method leads to the following advantages

  • reduces fuel hose length across the apron and minimizes actions for refueling personnel;
  • increases safety for parking the cart at the same location and accessing the same fuel pit for each aircraft operation;
  • reduces air-conditioning hose length across the apron and minimizes cold dispersion from the hose (the aircraft’s air conditioning connectors are positioned under the fuselage, where the main wing cross the fuselage);

The wing-aligned method causes to the following disadvantages

  • because the 400Hz Power ports are located at the nose of the aircraft, in order to provide aircraft with short fuselage we need to extract all the 400Hz cable from the pit, which will lay on the apron for all the time of the service.

The wing-alignedmethod is depicted in Figure 2.

aircraft-parking-figure-03Figure 2 – Wing-alignedmethod

The common stop bar method, organizes the aircraft so that the majority of aircraft or groups of similarly sized aircraft are parked at the same stop bar.

The common stop bar method leads to the following advantages

  • provides the marshallers with minimal parking position options and reduces overall error;
  • in self maneuvering stands without marshaller service, provides the pilots with minimal parking position options and reduces overall error;
  • reduce the 400Hz cable length across the apron and minimize drop of voltage;

The common stop bar method causes to the following disadvantages

  • impossibility to use the same hydrant fueling, air conditioning pit and 400Hz pit, especially if we want to park in the same stand, aircraft belonging to different category: narrow-body (ICAO Category “C”) and wide-body (ICAO Category “E”);

The common stop bar method is depicted in Figure 3.

aircraft-parking-figure-02Figure 3 – Common stop bar method

Conclusion

In my opinion, the best solution is to use the wing-aligned method, minimizing the number of Stop Bar.

In the case of Stands used only for aircraft ICAO category “C”, we can optimize and reduce the number of the Stop Bar at two different one. In the Figure n.4 is depicted one of this solution.

aircraft-parking-figure-04Figure 4 – Wing-aligned method with minimum numbers of Stop Bar

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