top of page

Aircraft Arresting Control Systems

Phoenix Aircraft Arresting Control System for Monitoring & Control of Aircraft Barrier Arresting Kits


Ever since military airplanes began flying, there has been a need to safely bring them to a controlled stop when equipment malfunctions or emergencies arise. These situations can occur during takeoff or landing. An aircraft Barrier Arresting Kit (BAK) is used to stop military aircraft as a last resort when pilots are unable to, or are having difficulties bringing an aircraft to a stop on their own. BAK systems save life and limb of a pilot, prevent loss of or damage to expensive military equipment, and literally serve as a safety net for pilots by providing them assurance should their aircraft experience problems.


As planes get faster the need is greater than ever to provide a quick response. Control Tower Operators usually have only seconds to act when a pilot declares a state of emergency. That time is critical for the safety of the pilot and personnel onboard the aircraft, as well as for the safety of the aircraft equipment itself. Barrier Arresting Kits (BAK) were created to assist in these conditions. Under the direction of the DOD (Department of Defense), USANG (United States Air National Guard) and USAF (United States Air Force) bases in the US and overseas require BAK systems for all active runways. There are also a number of commercial airports that host USANG airplanes that also have the same requirements. GDS (Global Data Specialists) has been working with the US Department of Defense over the past 25+ years to install its radio-based control systems for BAK equipment placed on airport runways.


GDS’ Phoenix Aircraft Arresting Control System (PAACS) uses the Motorola ACE3600 Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) equipment and DOD approved custom operator panels in the Control Tower and Fire Station, allowing a single operator to manage up to four BAK systems simultaneously. Multiple operator panels are available for other locations inside the Control Tower cab.


A PAACS system provides more than just radio control. A separate fire station panel (no control capabilities) is used to monitor the air quality status of each barrier pit, and to show other safety indications to emergency personnel. It includes an audible warning buzzer, the ability to monitor air quality (oxygen, CO, and low explosive level gases) within BAK barrier pits at the end of runways, water alarm, fire alarm, and air pressure. To help ensure the safety of maintenance personnel, these sensors provide information if the safety limits have exceeded. GDS supplies these external monitoring devices along with its PAACS system.


A shop unit is included with the control system for the on-base electrical shop to monitor the system, and to provide spare if a system component were to fail. This unit also has the ability to allow remote dial-in access when off-site assistance is needed.

bottom of page