Aircraft Parking Mirrors
Developed in conjunction with Gatwick Airport, Mirror Technology can offer a low cost, fail safe
method for the precision parking of commercial aircraft. Successfully used for docking
aircraft up to A300 size.
Traditionally marshallers have carried this out; indeed at many airports this remains the most
common method of parking aircraft. However with increasing pressure on manpower and shorter turn
round times automated systems are now required. Electronic systems are complex and need
sophisticated maintenance procedures.
Consequently various simpler guidance systems have been developed to provide accurate positional guidance with
lower costs and less complexity. Many such methods are in common use but mirrors have the advantage of giving the
pilot a true view of his nose wheel approaching the correct stop position.
Maintenance is straightforward with cleaning being required regularly depending on pollution levels. The only
other check is alignment and this can be automatic. No doubt pilots will be quick to point out any misalignment! It
is worth noting that a mirror system is failsafe. It cannot give a dangerous image; either the wheel is visible or
not. Some airports have barriers around the mounting post to help prevent impact damage.
Mirrors provide an excellent method of automatically assisting aircraft parking. Provided care is taken on the
initial installation they can give many years of low maintenance service. They are especially suitable for use in
airports experiencing expansion with low cost airlines.
Mirrors are made in a variety of sizes to accomodate differing aircraft types.
Generally the maximum size is the A300. Where a stand is used for a wide variety of aircraft, a two-high
mirror set-up may be used, thus allowing both smaller RJ 80 types(lower mirror) and medium bodied aircraft (upper
mirror) to be guided to the same stand.