Delta airlines currently use block chocks to prevent their aircraft from rolling away at the gate. While a process for placing these chocks currently exists, non-compliance by the ground crew with this procedure in addition to the fast-paced and dynamic environment of an airport leads to improper placement of the chocks or to jostling them out of position. Grounds crew are also responsible for notifying the pilot when chocks are placed, which has the potential to be done prematurely or in error. Chocks in incorrect positions lead to excessive strain on the parking brakes and wheels which reduces their life and allows for issues to develop. This means that more time and money must be spent on maintenance and leads to the opportunity for failure of parts unexpectedly, leading to delays that may cascade throughout an airline’s daily schedule. It may also present a safety risk as the plane has the potential to roll away if presented with force from the outside environment.
By producing a simple yet innovative design that eliminates the human element, we can reduce the wear and tear put on brakes in a safe and effective manner. It will be designed to have a long and reliable life in the outdoors, while also remaining easy and intuitive to use and maintain. It will clearly notify air and ground crew when the chocks are in proper position and ensure that they stay that way, while also ensuring that it does not disrupt the normal operation, is always clearly visible, and is safe to use. Providing a solution in this manner that improves upon existing hardware and procedures can save millions of dollars in unnecessary cost, reduce delays and downtime, and ensure the process of blocking the aircraft is consistent and effective.