contrails67 From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 67 posts, RR: 0 Posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2499 times:
I'm not sure which airport it was, but I happened to be flipping the channels and I saw King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and the President Assad of Syria descending from the plane on an "escalator" type equipment onto the tarmac. Why don't more airports which don't have jetbridges use these "escalators" instead or is it cost prohibitive?
kanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2467 posts, RR: 21 Reply 1, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2496 times:
Quoting contrails67 (Thread starter): I saw King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and the President Assad of Syria descending from the plane on an "escalator" type equipment onto the tarmac
I believe what you saw was built into the aircraft and was more of a slanted elevator allowing the King to descend gracefully .
the problem with escalators is they would be heavy, and prone to failure ... yes stationary units run for years but try dragging them around a dusty rainy tarmac bouncing over cement joints etc. and they will break.
jetplaner From Canada, joined Mar 2008, 158 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2442 times:
You would also have to worry about supplying power to the escalator, whether it is an onboard generator or external power, which could present a problem at remote stands and small airports. Definitely more economical to use conventional airstairs.
bohica From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2409 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2051 times:
Escalators were made for the consistent flow of people who know how to step on and off one. Putting an escalator to the door of an airplane is asking for trouble. As we all know, the boarding process is known as "hurry-up-and-wait." Everyone rushes to stand in line at the door to the jetway/ramp, then after passing that door, they wait at the door of the airplane while everyone funnels through and those sitting in the back block the aisle by putting all their carry-ons in the front overhead bins. With an escalator, everybody will be piled up at the top next to the door with nowhere to go. If passengers are not piled up at the top, then you would have someone who stops at the top of the escalator to admire the view before boarding causing another pileup on the escalator.
Deplaning is another issue. Now you have mommy carrying her baby, a car seat, a stroller, a diaper bag, and two weeks of clothes for a three day trip trying to step on the escalator. Ramp boarding/deplaning is a favorite photo opportunity for travelers. I can see the family photo being taken right at the bottom of the escalator causing another logjam.
Another thought: If the escalator is going up and it's unattended, how do you evacuate the airplane through that door?