BA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11158 posts, RR: 58 Posted (13 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7356 times:
From the Denver Post: DIA to spend $20 million on jet bridges
68 passenger-loading links falling apart, officials say
By Jeffrey Leib
Denver Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 06, 2002 - Denver International Airport, which last week marked its seventh anniversary, will spend about $20 million to replace 68 passenger-loading bridges that already are falling apart, DIA officials told the Denver City Council airport committee Tuesday.
DIA maintenance chief Dan Brown asked the committee to earmark an initial $1.8 million to replace the airport's worst six jet bridges this year. He said DIA hopes to replace an additional six or seven bridges each year for the next 10 years.
The hydraulically operated passenger bridges were made by Stearns, a company that is no longer in business, Brown said.
He showed council members pictures of Stearns' bridges at DIA with a variety of serious mechanical and structural flaws.
"They are definitely problematic," Brown said of the Stearns devices that DIA bought for the airport's opening.
In addition to the 68 Stearns devices, DIA has another 26 loading bridges made by FMC Jetway that are electrically operated.
About two dozen of the Jetway bridges were brought over to DIA from Stapleton Airport when the new airport opened.
They were refurbished, and even though they're much older than the Stearns bridges, they are far more reliable, Brown told council members.
DIA spends about $3,800 a year maintaining each Jetway bridge and about $13,500 maintaining a Stearns bridge, Brown said. The Jetway bridges each have been in use an average of 17 years, while the Stearns bridges have been used for only seven years.
Brown said DIA wants to replace all of the Stearns bridges with Jetway products over the 10-year period. Each new Jetway bridge costs about $300,000.
Asked why DIA bought the Stearns bridges, Councilwoman Cathy Reynolds recalled a vigorous debate within city government nearly a decade ago over which bridge supplier to use.
"I voted for Jetway," Reynolds said, adding that the council narrowly approved the Stearns contract.
Ginger Evans, a Denver city engineer who helped build DIA, said the city hired outside experts to evaluate which loading bridge company to contract with.
If Stearns met the technical specifications for jet bridges that were written by the consultants, and it was the low bidder, then it would have been difficult for Denver to not select Stearns for the project, Evans said.
Also at Tuesday's meeting, DIA officials asked the council committee for $700,000 to convert an A concourse gate used by Frontier Airlines into two gates. Frontier is acquiring new jets that need the extra gate space.
Frontier has 30 planes and operates mostly out of nine gates on A concourse. By converting one gate into two and sharing with other airlines' space at other A-concourse gates, the carrier can accommodate its expansion over the next two years, Frontier officials say.
DIA architect Reginald Norman said the airport will study the feasibility of adding 10 more jet gates and six commuter-airline gates on the west end of the A concourse at a cost of $200 million.
Norman said Frontier could occupy as many as eight of the new jet gates and all six commuter air gates.
If the expansion is approved, it could be completed by 2004. Frontier expects to have 45 planes in its fleet by 2005.
UA_727 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 215 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (13 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7189 times:
Very interesting post; thank you. I was unaware that the airport had such inadequacies in their airbridges. I was also unaware that Frontier, which has been the hot topic to rake coals over lately, forsees a fleet increase to total 45! Very exciting. Do you all think that Frontier, when the time comes, will then take over the whole A concourse at DIA? Damn, Frontier is awesome...
BA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11158 posts, RR: 58
Reply 2, posted (13 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7174 times:
They won't be able to take over Concourse A completely because the 8 international gates are located on Concourse A which are of course reserved for international carriers. Lufthansa, British Airways, and Mexicana use them (hopefully Air France soon).
Also, a while ago United Airlines wanted to move Continental Airlines to Concourse C so United could acquire a few more gates in Concourse A. However Continental replied to United quite harshly and said that they will not move at any cost.
So Continental seems put in Concourse A.
Almost all the new carriers that come to Denver want Concourse A because it is linked to the terminal via a pedestrian bridge aswell, while the only way to get to Concourse B and C is via th underground train which has had a few problems over the years.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
Flyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (13 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7106 times:
By the figures given in there, the cost to replace them would pay for maintaince on them for over 25 more years, not counting in the fact that the new jetbridges will also need to be maintained (although, at much lower costs). By the time this 25 years were to be up, we'd see them needing to be replaced again. Yet another time I can thank the government for wasting my tax money.
The 8 international gates on Concourse A are not reserved for international carriers only. They're reserved for whoever plans to fork up the $$ to lease them, including Frontier.
Iahcsr From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 3651 posts, RR: 39
Reply 4, posted (13 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 7021 times:
The City of Houston also aquired Stearns loading bridges for IAH terminal D (then called IAB).... They are several years older then those at DEN, and I am amazed they can keep them running. They are major pieces of JUNK !! All the bridges in terminal C are Jetways, and, while many of them are not in the best shape (Gate C46 comes to mind) most of them run better then the much younger Stearns.
Neojets From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (13 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 7003 times:
DIA is a very expensive airport for us here in Colorado. We paid up to 5 billions dollars started back in design study in 1980. Since then, debate after debate I knew their going to get some low cost or bidder and finished some sub-standard things around the airport. Air-bridges, concrete on the runways, baggage systems, and etc... I am not surprised to see some sterns there showing some fatigue that I know jetways are far better! I grew up flying in and out both stapleton and DIA. I like the architectural of DIA very much, and very disappointed by some news about air-bridges needed to replace so soon. Go figured!
Avt007 From Canada, joined Jul 2000, 2132 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (13 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 6967 times:
FlyF15; by your logic, I should keep my car or airplane or appliances forever, because the cost of new ones could be put towards repairing the old ones. Note that the article said the manufacturer for one bridge was no longer in business, that makes it very hard to repair without a parts supply. BTW, how much taxes do college students pay these days?
Flyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (13 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6921 times:
Avt007, I was mostly refering to extra taxes added onto airline tickets, they're already way too much.
You'll have to excuse me, I know my logic doesn't make much sense...I get quite angry every time I hear about Denver International spending another dime. Because of their massive spending and costs, it is $68 in fees every time I want to fly a 172 in there, about the same as it costs to rent the plane for an hour.
I'm just quite peeved that us GA pilots, who do by far the most flying of any group in the US, can't reasonably fly into the greatest airport in the state.