Ramp Up the Passenger Boarding Process

Feb. 16, 2017
Aviramp’s International mobile boarding bridge services wide-bodied aircraft and provides a smoother, safer loading process for all passengers.

Regardless of where an airplane is located or what type of aircraft it is, officials at Aviramp GSE believe they have the solution to get people onboard – even if that passenger has reduced mobility.

The Aviramp International acts like a fixed finger bridge, but for remote stands, explains Terri Smart-Jewkes, global sales and marketing director with the UK-based company, adding the International model is a fully mobile, motorized boarding bridge.

“The International is a world first in terms of being able to service wide-bodied aircraft,” she says, noting the ramp is patented in both Europe and the United States.

The mobile boarding bridge is capable of servicing a range of aircraft from an Airbus A380 lower deck to an A320, as well as Boeing’s B787, B777 and B757, according to Aviramp GSE.

The International model incorporates a 360-degree, switch-back design to provide passengers a gradual slope, which makes ascending and descending the boarding ramp easier for both able-bodied passengers as well as passengers with reduced mobility (PRM).

Smart-Jewkes says in addition to providing a more dignified way for PRM to board the plane, an increased level of safety is afforded because the boarding ramp eliminates the possibility of tripping on stairs.

“It also increases operational efficiency for the airport and handlers, not to mention greater consistency in on-target performance for airlines,” Smart-Jewkes says. “It helps a great deal with airport infrastructure, too, as terminal buildings can be costly, and the International allows an easier, safer and quicker boarding and deplaning experience.”

Part of the Aviramp International’s inspiration came from a ski trip taken by company CEO Graham Corfield. He witnessed people who suffered injuries on the slopes having difficulty boarding their plane effectively. Spurred by this experience and with other outside interests, Corfield’s multi-sector ramp business turned its attention to the aviation industry.

The International boarding bridge is motorized and can be equipped with solar-power functionality. One person can steer the passenger ramp remotely while positioned on the ground, and a number of safety overrides are in place to provide further assistance.

The flooring is serrated with non-slip qualities to improve safety in wet and icy conditions.

“And we work with our clients to customize our products to suit specific weather conditions and requirements,” explains Smart-Jewkes. “So there are fully enclosed roofing, lighting and extra safety features installed on request.”

The safety measures and all-inclusive boarding opportunities achieved by the ramp allows passenger handlers to be more effective and ensure consistent on-time departures, according to Smart-Jewkes, which provides significant cost savings to airports and airlines.

A part of Aviramp’s suite of products for about two years, Smart-Jewkes says the International can be found at airports around the world, including Europe, Asia, Australia and North America.

She says feedback from airports, airlines and ground handlers has been positive, especially in regards to the speed and safety of the boarding/deplaning process.

“Most of the lift-on passengers have become assist-only passengers,” Smart-Jewkes says. “So again it has enabled a smoother boarding and deplaning experience to ensue.”

About the Author

Josh Smith | Editor