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Air Traffic Control Tower Shading

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Reflex-Rol (UK) & Mermet (UK) are the trading divisions of De Leeuw Ltd. Copyright © De Leeuw Ltd 2015 All rights reserved. Database rights protected.

Registered in England: 2101048 | Registered Office: Ryeford Hall, Ryeford, Ross-on-Wye, HR9 7PU


T: +44 (0) 1989 750704              E: info@reflex-rol.co.uk

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Aviation Shading


For many years it was considered ‘risky’ to install electrically operated shading systems in Air Traffic Control Tower Cabs….VCR’s. (Visual Control Rooms).

The main reason was that shades / blinds had to have the ability to be raised very quickly if clear visibility was needed in case of an emergency, so manually operated systems were the norm.


Norms don’t seem to change very quickly, regardless of the advance of moderns materials. We have to bear in mind in those days the air traffic controllers had to make do with shades that were almost impossible to see through.  That has all changed over the last 20 or so years.


98% of the systems we now install in towers Worldwide are motorised by either 24V DC motors or 110V AC/ 220V AC motors, depending on the sizes of the units and local supplies.

The reason shades/blinds do not have to be raised quickly anymore is because the materials used these days are practically transparent, allowing controllers full visibility but without the glare and dazzle issues normally associated with VCR’s.


We have two different ‘daylight filters’ available with the Type AR760 being the most widely used one and has become more or less the industry standard.

The slightly darker AR762 would only be used in extreme situations like the Arctic or Ant-Arctic where the Sun can be very low all day long and glare bouncing off the ice and snow.


The REFLEX-ROL ‘AVIATION’ system is not an adaptation of a standard, domestic type shade or blind. The AVIATION system was purposely designed and developed for control towers with all parts being made of aluminium and stainless steel rather than domestic type plastics. Each unit is hand made for a specific window opening, the bottom bar or hembar is weighted taking into account the size of the unit, the angle under which the unit has to run and the type of motorisation used. The bottom bar is then guided up and down by means of either stainless steel wires fitted along the edges of the units or solid stainless steel rods of up to 6 mm, again depending on sizes.


We invite you to take a look at the projects page and see some of the towers we have ‘shaded’ and their geographical locations….you will find them all over the World.