This is why we board planes from the left-hand side

Tehran Times - - HERITAGE & TOURISM -

It feels au­to­matic. Go to the air­port, board the plane. It may never have oc­curred to you that you al­ways board from the left hand side.

And there’s a rea­son for that. Ex­perts say it might even date back cen­turies to tra­di­tional nau­ti­cal cus­tom.

“Early air­ports were set up so that air­craft could taxi in front of the ter­mi­nal and stop to dis­charge passengers,” wrote a former U.S. air force pi­lot on Quora.

“It was use­ful for the pi­lot to be able to judge wing clear­ance from the ter­mi­nal build­ing and to put the air­craft door in front of the ter­mi­nal doors. Some early trans­ports had right-side doors into the pas­sen­ger cabin, but the logic of the pi­lot’s field of view pre­vailed.

“At some air­ports, stairs may be placed at for­ward and/ or aft doors, but to avoid passengers wan­der­ing around a busy park­ing ramp, the load­ing/un­load­ing is al­ways on the same (al­most al­ways the air­craft’s left) side.

“Also for safety rea­sons, pas­sen­ger move­ment is kept on one side while fu­el­ing is car­ried out on the other. It is also use­ful to un­load/load bag­gage and cargo on the op­po­site side from pas­sen­ger move­ment and the load­ing bridge or stairs.”

How­ever, An­drew Stagg, call­ing him­self a com­mer­cial pi­lot on the site, had a dif­fer­ent take.

“I be­lieve the rea­son­ing goes back to ships, which have a port (left) and star­board (right) side. The port side was the one you would em­bark and dis­em­bark from, so most air­plane and jet­way de­sign­ers fol­lowed the same con­ven­tion.

“While most larger trans­port cat­e­gory air­craft have two front and two rear ex­its, the place­ment of cater­ing trucks and bag­gage load­ing equip­ment on the right, makes us­ing the right doors im­prac­ti­cal.”

Adrian Young, se­nior avi­a­tion con­sul­tant at To70, told The In­de­pen­dent: “The vast ma­jor­ity of mod­ern aero­planes board/de­plane on the left hand side and are ser­viced on the right hand side.

“This is some­thing that has de­vel­oped over the years. Some peo­ple point to the fact that on [ocean] lin­ers passengers left from the port side. Un­til the 1960s, prior to the con­struc­tion of jet bridges, aero­planes would of­ten park with close to and par­al­lel to the ter­mi­nal.

“With the cap­tain sit­ting on the left and of­ten the pi­lot tasked with taxi du­ties, park­ing with the left side clos­est to the ter­mi­nal is eas­i­est to judge for the cap­tain. Jets like the DC-8 even parked like this at Schiphol when the first jet bridges were in­stalled.

“Nowa­days, aero­planes have stan­dard­ized this his­toric habit. Aero­planes are fu­eled on the right, bags are loaded on the right and most of the clean­ing & cater­ing ve­hi­cles also park on the right hand side.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Iran

© PressReader. All rights reserved.