Tips for Passenger Stairs, Lifts and Boarding Bridges

Feb. 16, 2010
Some tips to keep in mind during regular maintenance checks

By Abe Padilla, president, A.P. Enterprise

Proper maintenance on passenger stairs, lifts and bridges is important to prevent potential injury to passengers. To ensure the equipment runs properly, the manufacturer’s preventative maintenance instructions should always be followed.

Useful Tips
By no means a comprehensive list, the following is intended as helpful tips to keep in mind during regular maintenance checks:

  • Wash it first: steam clean, degrease the entire unit to spot any potential hazards
  • Check the welds for cracks or breakage; if spotted, it must be repaired ASAP
  • Look for holes or cuts
  • Check the wheels and pressure seals for leaks (check anything with the potential to leak)
  • Check for any obvious damage
  • Check the stabilizing legs to ensure levelness and for any legs that are bent
  • Check that the unit is level (can be done with a level)
  • Check that all locks are working and secure properly
  • Replace any wiring that is frayed, disconnected or rotted
  • Check that the tires are in good shape
  • All lighting must be working properly
  • Brakes must be in excellent working condition
  • Check hydraulic system to ensure there are no leaks or contamination in the hydraulic tank
  • All safety decals must be installed
  • Grip tape should be present on all stairs and safety items
  • All bumpers in place (no metal showing to prevent damage to aircraft)
  • Unit should be painted once a year to thoroughly inspect and show potential safety hazards or damages

It is important to remember that if proper precautions are not taken with passenger stairs, lifts and boarding bridges, the potential for injury to passengers could far outweigh the time and money invested into the equipment.

Abe Padilla is president of A.P. Enterprise, a company specializing in GSE maintenance.

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a regular installment of monthly maintenance tips. Check future issues for more tips on various types of GSE.