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A jet bridge (also termed jetway, gangway, aerobridge / airbridge, air jetty, portal or passenger walkway) is an enclosed, movable connector which extends from an airport terminal gate to an airplane, allowing passengers to board and disembark without going outside. Depending on building design, sill heights, fueling positions and operational requirements, it may be fixed or movable, swinging radially or extending in length.
Prior to the introduction of jet bridges, passengers normally boarded an aircraft by walking along the ground-level ramp and climbing a set of movable stairs, or up airstairs on aircraft so equipped. Mobile staircases or "ramp stairs" are still employed at many airports around the world, particularly smaller airports and terminals supporting low cost carriers.
Loading bridges provide all-weather dry access to aircraft and enhance the security of terminal operations. They are often permanently attached at one end by a pivot (or "rotunda") to the terminal building and have the ability to swing left or right. The "cab", located at the end of the loading bridge, may be raised or lowered, extended or retracted, and may pivot, in order to accommodate aircraft of different sizes. These motions are controlled by an operator's station in the cab. The cab is provided with an accordion-like canopy, which allows the bridge to dock with aircraft with differing shapes, and provide a nearly weather-proof seal. Additionally, many models offer leveling devices for the portion of the floor that makes contact with the aircraft; this allows passengers to slowly transition from level aircraft floor to sloping jet bridge floor. As such, jet bridges provide enhanced access to aircraft for passengers with many types of disabilities and mobility impairments, as they may board and disembark without climbing stairs or using a specialized wheelchair lift.
Some airports with international gates have two bridges for larger aircraft with multiple entrances. In theory, this allows for faster boarding and disembarking of larger aircraft, though it is quite common to use one bridge for only passengers in first class and business class, while the other bridge is only for the use of passengers in economy class. With the arrival of the full double-deck airliners such as the Airbus A380, it is expected that each deck will have one or more loading bridges. Such connectors are being constructed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and Johannesburg International Airport. These are already in use at Dubai International Airport, Jinnah International Airport, Melbourne Airport, Queen Alia International Airport , Sydney Airport, Auckland Airport, Singapore Changi Airport, Toronto Pearson Airport, Montreal-Trudeau Airport, Incheon International Airport, Beijing Capital International Airport, Hong Kong International Airport, Narita Airport, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and Suvarnabhumi Airport with the A380. King Shaka International Airport has 2 A380 jet bridges but no A380 use them
Though loading bridges are usually permanently attached at their terminal-building end, leaving only the cab free to move, this is not always the case. Those at Melbourne Airport's international terminal and Hong Kong's old Kai Tak Airport are anchored in the middle and movable at either end – the terminal building-end can be raised or lowered to connect with either the departures level or the arrivals level of the terminal building.
Loading bridges restrict aircraft parking to spots immediately adjacent to the terminal. Thus, airports still use mobile staircases to facilitate boarding at hardstands (remote parking positions).
Loading bridges may pose hazards to aircraft if handled improperly. If the bridge is not retracted fully prior to departure, it may contact protruding parts of the taxiing aircraft (e.g. a pitot tube), requiring repair and delays. Furthermore, during cold weather, the loading bridge may become frozen to the aircraft. In this case, when the jet bridge retracts, it could damage the aircraft if that area has not been properly de-iced.
When regional jets are used, jet bridges have another disadvantage, since they only allow one aircraft to park at the gate at a time. Several airlines have removed jet bridges at regional jet gates at airports such as Atlanta which are short on gates. When boarding on the ramp, airlines can fit two or more regional jets per gate. In many other airports like Beijing Capital Airport and Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport, a gate for large aircraft can be used to accomendate two smaller aircraft like Boeing 737s or Airbus A320s.
Use at small airports
Jet bridges are occasionally used at smaller, single story airports. This is accomplished by use of a flight of stairs, and in some instances, a wheelchair lift. In this scenario, a passenger proceeds through the gate, but then up a flight of stairs to meet the height of the jet bridge. An example of this can be found at South Bend Regional Airport in South Bend, Indiana. Alternatively, a ramp can be used within the terminal building to bring the passengers from the waiting area to the height of the jet bridge. Sawyer International Airport which is located near Marquette, Michigan in Michigan's Upper Peninsula has jet bridges that can load passengers onto smaller passenger aircraft such as the Saab 340 turboprop. The Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport at Ithaca, New York has two gates using this approach. This can be done to attract larger airlines that require use of a jet bridge to the airport, to make boarding smaller planes easier for disabled people, and to improve the boarding process in bad weather.
Use and appearance
At the airport terminal, the bridge is connected to a portal (called a "gate") in the terminal wall behind the gate desk. Once airplane boarding starts, passengers hand in their boarding passes to the gate's attendant, who lets them pass through.
Inside, the bridge looks much like a narrow but lighted hallway in an office building, without doors. Loading bridges usually have no windows, but glass walls are becoming more common. The walls are normally painted in accordance with airline standards, generally with relaxing colours. Some bridges have advertisements on interior or exterior walls. The floor is generally uneven with many bumps, creating a hazard for wheelchairs, etc.
By using a retractable tunnel design, loading bridges may retract and extend varying lengths. Some airports use fixed walkways to effectively extend the reach of a loading bridge. The fixed walkway extends out from the terminal building and connects to the loading bridge rotunda. Occasionally, fixed bridges lead to multiple loading bridges. Also, there are some jetways (such as the ones at Edmonton International Airport and Calgary International Airport) that sit directly on the ground, as opposed to supports. These jetways are often used by small airlines or airplanes that are sometimes too low for conventional jetways (such as the Dash 8 and CRJ).
The cab of the loading bridge is raised and lowered in order to dock with aircraft of differing sill heights. The height of the cab is matched to the height of the aircraft door sill height. This often results in a slope along the length of the loading bridge.
Controls in older systems contain a large number of individual motor control buttons, with efficient operation requiring a high degree of operator skill and experience. Modern control consoles are much simpler, with only a few buttons, a graphic display console, and a single multi-axis joystick, with an overall appearance similar to that of a video game console in a video arcade.
Peter Stringham, Head of Marketing for HSBC worldwide, worked closely with Lowe's, the Group's global agency, in developing the campaign which required a single global platform. Stringham noticed jetways were a global medium which had not been tapped into.
HSBC thus bought the rights to jetways across major localities in 81 countries and territories. Hence, the vast majority of advertising on jetways globally display HSBC advertising.
Adaptation of airport equipment for all-weather ship access, Kobe, Japan
ADELTE's Modern glass walled PBB at Valencia Airport
Glass walled bridge at Adelaide Airport
Older Jetway at Orlando International with ramp equipment below.
A short fixed bridge connected to a loading bridge at Sea-Tac Airport
Jetway in Turkmenbashi Airport
- Covered bridge
- Ground support equipment
- Mobile lounge
- Moveable bridge for a list of other movable bridge types
- Gesell, Laurence E. (1992). The Administration of Public Airports. Chandler, Arizona: Coast Aire. pp. 114–115. ISBN 0-9606874-7-5.
- "US Centennial of Flight Commission Aviation History Facts: July". Retrieved 2011-09-26.
- "Investigations begin into collapse of Sydney airport walkway". 2001-02-01. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "NSW: Singapore Airlines jet damaged when aerobridge collapses". 2001-02-01. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "2 injured when jet bridge collapses at LA airport". Associated Press. 2011-08-25. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- World's Global Bank
- New Campaign for World's Global Bank
- Pandey, Rayana (2012-02-07). "Marketing, HSBC: The World's Local Bank no more, GLOBAL, ADVERTISING, Campaigns, Branding, Brand reputation, Competitions, | Market-interactive.com". Marketing-interactive.com. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
- Seeb, Eric (2012-02-26). "HSBC Different Points of View Campaign | UW Marketing 555". Marketing555.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
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