Why is boarding on the left side of the plane?
It seems all automatic. You go to the airport, do the formalities and board the plane. But did you realize that boarding has always been done on the left? Have you wondered why boarding is on the left side of the plane? This procedure aroused our curiosity and we sought the answer.
Commercial aviation is subject to rules established for decades. The aeronautical field is a sober, mathematical one, calculated per millimeter. Nothing is left to chance. Which has aroused many curiosities.
In this article we will try to answer the question: "Why is the boarding on the left side of the plane?".
We would be tempted to say that everything has to do with the first military flights. Conformable Air Dolomiti, there are some legends that say the pilots of the first military planes were boarding the left side of the plane, as a tribute to the cavalry. It is said that the horse riders were climbing on the left side of the horse. On the right they had the weapon.
We would be tempted to believe that everything has to do with the fact that most people are right-wing. When you get on the plane, take the first one on the right :). But that's not the reason.
The boarding on the left side of the aircraft was established by convention
The real answer lies in ground operability, technical reasons. We could say that it is a more plausible answer. Following a global agreement, it was established that boarding / disembarkation would be done on the left side of the aircraft.
But how did this convention come about? Well, at first, the airports were small, and the planes parked in front of the terminal, on the side, with the door on the left side of the plane to the terminal. The commanding pilot could execute the parking in relation to the airport terminal. He had the best visibility for this procedure.
And how did this maneuver come to be? Okay, here we go back to the naval sector. The reasoning behind this convention has its origins in the maritime area. At one time, ships were docking in the port on the left.
Returning to aviation, the airports have adapted their logistics to allow boarding / disembarkation on the left side of the aircraft, according to the convention. But the aircraft manufacturers also took into account the convention and built the planes on the same principles.
Working procedures around the aircraft
After landing the aircraft, the pilots maneuver it to the landing gate / position. Position it so as to facilitate and accelerate all flight preparation procedures for the next flight.
The first ones, which are approaching the aircraft, are the ones responsible for landing passengers. Almost simultaneously, on the right side, all other activities continue to be undisturbed in perfect succession.
On the right side the following actions take place: the fuel supply, the luggage are unloaded / loaded, and the catering machine provides the preparations for the next flight. And now, seriously, we really don't want people to get mixed up between cars and machines on the ground.
And look, a plane can be prepared for flight in just 30-45 minutes, if we talk about short and medium flights. For long-haul flights, the preparation period is slightly longer.
The first boarding bridges were mounted at Schiphol International Airport in the 1960 years. And in the picture you can see the DC-8 aircraft connected to the terminal.