Operation of passenger boarding bridges increasingly efficient

Airports such as Schiphol innovate constantly. Improvements to the terminals and platforms are taking place in line with a new generation of aircraft such as the Airbus A380, the Boeing B787 and the Airbus A350 family. Passenger boarding bridges play an important role in this respect. They literally and figuratively form the bridge between the airport terminal and the aircraft of the airline.

Handling procedure

New passenger boarding bridges must correspond with the seating capacity of the selected aircraft from the various categories and thus contribute to a more efficient handling procedure. In particular, they have to be quickly coupled (and uncoupled) to the aircraft in conjunction with the other systems on the platform. The faster this takes place, the faster the flow of passengers. This results in a faster turnaround time and therefore more passenger handling at the same gate. To enable an efficient handling procedure, the position of the passenger boarding bridges in the design are in alignment with apron systems such as 400 HZ and PCA (Pre Conditioning Air).


During the designing stage, the EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) and ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) standards are taken into account along with any requirements and preferences of the various stakeholders and users. The design of the passenger boarding bridge, possibly in cooperation with the architect, is, for example, adapted to the design of the environment, such as the pier/terminal and the platform. This also applies to the interior, which is intended to make the experience as pleasant as possible for the passenger.

National and international projects

Deerns is involved at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol with the redesign of the platforms at the E, F and G piers, which are important piers for Air France-KLM and partners. So-called gatehouses have been placed on these platforms comprising of a prefabricated building in which passenger flows at the pier are guided to the appropriate floor. The existing over-the-wing passenger boarding bridges will make room for new apron drive passenger boarding bridges. Meanwhile, this concept has also captured the interest of other airports.

We have also assisted Aeroporti di Roma, manager of Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, in the tendering procedure for the passenger boarding bridges and two piers (in total 18 gates), and Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv, for the new Pier (11 passenger boarding bridges).

7 février 2017

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