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Escalators Instead Of Stairs

Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:00 am

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?

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RE: Escalators Instead Of Stairs

Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:11 am

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.
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RE: Escalators Instead Of Stairs

Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:34 am

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.

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RE: Escalators Instead Of Stairs

Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:44 pm

Maintaining a unit for frequent usage would be expensive considering the climatic conditions existing at the airports.
This could def be used for VVIPs though  
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RE: Escalators Instead Of Stairs

Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:23 am

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 3):
climatic conditions

They are indeed exciting conditions.

The way airlines are trending, I'd be surprised if they didn't kick you out the door onto the ramp in the near future.
Slower traffic, keep right
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RE: Escalators Instead Of Stairs

Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:44 pm

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?

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