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There is no more safety-critical or rigorous application for our window shades than air traffic control tower (ATCT) cabs. Plastic-View understands this because we are the original manufacturers of this very important and specialized product. ATCT cab window shades are required safety equipment for air traffic control towers (ATCTs). Over 98% of all U.S. ATCTs, both civil and military, have received our shades. Plastic-View window shades have also been successfully installed in ATCTs in over 90 nations worldwide. On average, we fill about 100 ATCT shade orders every year!

Plastic-View is the world's leading manufacturer for this highly technical and specialized application. In addition, our prices are very competitive, if not lowest, in the industry.


Plastic-View window shades dramatically reduce sun glare, while still preserving the full view out. This allows air traffic controllers to maintain visual contact with both air and ground traffic, without the eye straining glare. Conventional window coverings such as draperies and vertical blinds are only effective for reducing glare when they are drawn, which naturally eliminates the view out. This would create a tremendous safety hazard in airport control towers. Factory tinted/metallized glass or window film is also a safety hazard because they obstruct the view during overcast or nighttime conditions and do not have the flexibility to be raised in an emergency to allow for the light gun to be flashed from the tower.

In today's sophisticated airport control towers there are numerous computer and radar screens that can be very difficult to view due to excessive amounts of eye straining glare. Plastic-View window shades are the perfect solution for reducing this glare while still maintaining the full view out. Plus, our specialty materials also reject over 60% of the total solar energy, keeping temperatures more uniform throughout the tower and making the working environment far more comfortable.

Plastic-View window shades are a vital part of air traffic control safety and are manufactured in full compliance with current FAA and U.S. military specifications. They have been designated by the FAA and U.S. military as required safety equipment "for all ATC towers" and are to be installed on "all exposures of the cab" (U.S. Army FM 3-04.303 and FAA-ANI-300-380/FAA 12 24 12). They are also included in the the US NAVY T.I.P. (Tower Improvement Program).

In addition to the FAA, every major branch of the U.S. military exclusively calls for Plastic-View in their latest ATCT Design Guides.


F72 SR® and DS 8 SR® are designed specifically for the rigors of ATCT use. They are the results of decades of extensive research, development, and field testing. They are engineered to provide a clear and pure view out, with true outward color identification, for air traffic controllers. They have an industrial strength 5-Mil construction for maximum durability. Each features an SR (Scratch Resistant) hardcoat to protect against scratching and preserve visibility. F72 SR® and DS 8 SR® dramatically reduce sun, heat, and glare, all while preserving and actually improving the view out. Both are FAA and U.S. military approved and specified for ATCT use.


F72 SR® and DS 8 SR® are exclusive Plastic-View products. Don't be fooled by similarly named knockoff materials! Only Plastic-View and its authorized dealers offer these specialty products. If others claim to offer F72 SR® or DS 8 SR®, simply contact us for verification.


F72 SR® is designed for primary shade use in facilities that use one shade per window. For the growing number of ATCT cabs with double shades (i.e. two shades per window), we developed our DS 8 SR® for secondary shade use. This powerful combination provides the ideal amount of extra protection from sun, heat, and glare. Our innovative Double Shade System for control tower is widely recognized as the most effective, flexible, and safe in the industry. Over 100 ATCTs now have a Double Shade System as introduced by Plastic-View. 

Single shades with our U.S. FAA & military approved F72 SR® material  (Photo: Napa ATCT, CA)

Our Double Shade System featuring primary and secondary shades using F72 SR® (closer to glass) and DS 8 SR® (Photo: Ft. Lauderdale ATCT, FL)


While many other nations worldwide rely on motorized shades in their ATCT cabs, the U.S. standard remains manual shades. However, a growing number of U.S. facilities are moving toward motorization. Plastic-View has supplied the vast majority of these systems. There is no doubt that Plastic-View is the leading manufacturer of motorized shade systems for ATCTs!


For the budget-minded, we offer high quality motorized shades with Somfy motors and our F72 SR® or DS 8 SR® materials. However, for projects that call for the best, we offer our PV-128 SCS-400™ Motorized Shade System. This state-of-the-art system boasts advanced, patent-pending features not available anywhere else on the market.

An available option is high-speed motors that fully raise a standard cab shade in under 10 seconds. This maximizes safety in the event that a shade must be raised quickly in an emergency situation. By comparison, motorized ATCT shades supplied by other vendors can take 30-45 seconds to raise, presenting a potential hazard to air traffic safety.

The PV-128 SCS-400™ can include Spring Box™ technology that pulls shades taught and parallel to sloped cab windows with a single, thin steel cable. This eliminates the need for dirty and clunky ball transfers or wheels, as well as the clutter of multiple guide wires.

An alternative option replaces Spring Box™ technology with side channels and automatically expanding bottom hembars. This truly impressive system essentially eliminates all side light gaps! (Window mullions are required for side channel attachment.) Also available is a wheeled hembar option.

The PV-128 SCS-400™ also offers unprecedented customization of controls. Operators can raise shades individually or in user-defined groups. They can operate all shades in the cab at the same time. In double shade applications, all primary shades can be operated together, as well as all secondary shades together. The options are almost limitless!

Originally designed and implemented for LAX ATCT, we have since installed the PV-128 SCS-400™ at other high profile ATCTs, including those at San Francisco International (CA), McCarran International (Las Vegas, NV), and NATCT, Chicago-O'Hare International (IL). Our system can be adapted and customized to virtually any ATCT cab.

McCarran ATCT, Las Vegas
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PV-128 SCS-400™ with Spring Box™ technology

at McCarran International ATCT, Las Vegas, NV

PV-128 SCS-400™ with Wheeled Hembars

at NATCT, Chicago-O'Hare International, IL


Plastic-View—Creators of FAA & U.S. Military Specified F72 SR® and DS 8 SR® Window Shade Materials

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