Practicing a Safe Aircraft Approach – Without the Aircraft

Dec. 22, 2022
Mallaghan’s Airside Training Unit increases operator awareness and reduces potential aircraft damage.

Mallaghan’s Airside Training Unit can be used to practice the correct positioning of passenger bridges. It’s also useful for ground handlers to carry out operator training to ensure safe aircraft approach and docking.

“The aim of the training unit is to reduce potential aircraft damage. It increases operator awareness and experience to ensure a safe aircraft approach procedure without using a real aircraft,” says Marcel Bernhardt, regional sales manager at Mallaghan.

“It is also suitable for testing of various GSE with aircraft damage prevention systems.”

A bespoke training unit was delivered to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in 2021, the first of its kind for the Dutch hub. The unit facilitates training for operational teams with passenger bridges and aircraft door opening procedures. The project was completed by Mallaghan with a Mercedes chassis supplied by Gomes Trucks.

The Schiphol team had specific requirements and Mallaghan worked to modify the existing Airside Training Unit product to cater to those exact needs, Bernhardt says.

Some examples of the bespoke technical requirements included:

  • Realistic shape of side panels for B737 & B747 aircraft types
  • Sensor and warning light if passenger airbridge is incorrectly positioned on B737 side panel
  • Electro-hydraulic motor to operate superstructure “emission free” - without use of truck diesel engine / power take-off (PTO)

The Airside Training Unit with its fully electric zero-emissions superstructure can be driven on public roads and features fully operational L1 Aircraft doors to train in B737 and 777 door opening procedures.

The unit can be mounted on any commercial truck chassis including Mercedes, MAN, Volvo, IVECO and others upon request. Drive interlocks as well as operational interlocks ensure operator and machine safety.    

Potable water and lavatory service connection points are available.

As a compact unit, it can be easily moved across airport sites and can be transported to other airports, Bernhardt says, meaning it can quickly and easily be set up at any training location.