Independence76
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The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:36 am

I've just finished reading "Naked Airport" by Alastair Gordon, which partially inspired me in recent weeks when it comes to airport design (a small interest in my aviation passion). One thing I've noticed (which has been asked or noticed before) is that airports in the United States do not have glass jet bridges.

A friend called the current designs in the US to be like "ugly, makeshift cargo containers to handle people and planes." Further research was explained in a post here in 2010 regarding Federal Regulations of glass jet bridges:

Quote:
From NFPA:
"Most bridges are designed and fire tested in accordance with NFPA 415, Airport Terminal Buildings , Fueling Ramp Drainage, and Loading Walkways. When built to the standard, the bridge provides a safe means of egress from the aircraft for a period of five minutes when there is a jet-fuel spill fire on the ramp. There has always been a prohibition on glass, except that a window is permitted in the ramp access door and one in the cab area in order to move the bridge around safely."

More specifically the regulation states;
"There shall be no transparent or translucent walls, windows, or surfaces, other than those windows located in the ramp access service door and in the cab area for the purpose of operating the aircraft loading walkway."

Is this regulation not outdated? European airports have used the glass jet bridge design for over a decade in multiple emergency and heavy weather conditions. This reliability and performance record should already debunk the majority of (if not all) claims in US regulation regarding "the dangerous use of glass."


In favor of glass jet bridges, one of the first things one will notice is the wide-open view and anti-claustrophobic feeling it creates. It not only looks nice - it feels nice. Being a resident of the US (who flies rarely internationally), being in a glass jet bridge for me is a more special occasion. The experiences I've had with FRA, LHR, ATH, and OTP gave me a very positive view on this design, as it has a new "modern" appeal that fits so well with the glass terminals it is connected to.

People have mentioned in the 2010 thread that "glass jet bridges are also tested to withstand elements - including fires and fuel spills." This should refute any claim made by US regulations regarding concerns. The FAA also requires strict practices regarding fueling in the US, ensuring that no major international airport should have a fuel spill large enough to take over a jet bridge of any kind with a fuel spill fire.

In the fire at DUS in 1998, the airport was closed for 3 days and heavily-revised and regulated fire evacuation plans, fire suppression systems, and fire control charts became mandatory across all airports within Germany. One of the major factors that BER will not open next year is due to these regulations (the fire-suppression system is not up to code). Why would a European country who is famed for engineering standards and is strict regarding airport fire safety allow glass jet bridges if they are truly considered "dangerous in fires?"

Glass jet bridges are not for everyone, as arguments against their usage are logical in certain portions of the country. Glass jet bridges without air conditioning would be a sauna and greenhouse in the PHX mid-summer heat. However, it's been said that in Europe that air conditioning units are often more expensive, and seldom are they installed in mass-quantities. In the past 25 years, A/C units on a commercial scale have been designed to greatly reduce power and the size they take up. Building them in glass jet bridges in the US should cost noticeably less than originally calculated for European use.

Another (albeit smaller) argument would be that conventional jet bridges allow advertising and a greater use of potential financial gains by the airport. Glass jet bridges would make this more difficult, more expensive, and more tacky if implemented. One could imagine a "hybrid" jet bridge which may solve the problem (it would contain an on-off series of walls and windows to allow space for advertisements on non-windowed portions on the jet bridge).


However, it would appear that regulation regarding fire codes in the US concerning airports will not change any time soon. The current state of government security and safety within airports has almost hit a state of "gridlock" regarding innovation and improvement of policies.


I'm eager to hear discussions regarding this topic.

[Edited 2012-10-09 21:36:54]

[Edited 2012-10-09 21:38:26]
 
usflyer msp
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:44 am

Glass Jetways are more expensive and it is difficult to justify the extra expense on an item that the customer usually spends less than 1 minute inside of. Does it really matter that much?...the majority of foreign airports don't have glass jetways either.
 
PHX787
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:46 am

I think DTW's jet bridges are partially glass, until you get to the point where you board.
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Byrdluvs747
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:52 am

Glass jetways in PHX would be awful, especially on our 116+ degree days.
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Independence76
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:56 am

Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 3):
Glass jetways in PHX would be awful, especially on our 116+ degree days.

Hence why the implementation of A/C units would be considered for US airports like PHX.

The "hybrid" jet bridge concept would also reduce heat intake while allowing greater structural integrity to the bridge (and allowing advertisement placement as well).
 
COSPN
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:57 am

Too hot in the Summer too Cold in the winter..not to mention High winds, another thing is you want people to move down the Jetway not be looking out the glass and holding up the loading process
 
Alias1024
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:02 am

The new terminal at Santa Barbara (KSBA) has glass jetbridges.
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Prost
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:14 am

Considering how we skimp on maintenance of our structures in America, I can only imagine how dirts the glass would end up.
 
PHX787
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:20 am

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 4):
Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 3):
Glass jetways in PHX would be awful, especially on our 116+ degree days.

Hence why the implementation of A/C units would be considered for US airports like PHX.

It would cost too much. I think they'd think of some UV blocking windows or something.
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Byrdluvs747
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:53 am

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 4):
Hence why the implementation of A/C units would be considered for US airports like PHX.

So how do you justify the added cost of running a/c for multiple jetways just to have a great view while walking down to the aircraft? Glass acts like CO2 in that it lets in UV light and would trap the heat resulting in higher energy costs.

Quoting Prost (Reply 7):
I can only imagine how dirts the glass would end up.

Especially true in a desert like PHX where dust is everywhere.
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BMI727
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:59 am

Would glass jetways be kinda nice? Sure. But let's be honest and note that on the list of things that could improve air travel in the US, glass jetways rank at about number 1,387.
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TWA772LR
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:05 am

Imagine Houston's humidity and heat. Waiting to board a plane in a glass jetway in those conditions would be awful, some of the jetways now are pretty bad. Not to mention other weather phenomena like tornadoes, hail, hurricanes, etc...
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strfyr51
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:10 am

Quoting Independence76 (Thread starter):


I've seen and used the Glass Jet ways at YVR and YYC and they're Beautiful, BUT?? Who's going to Pay for them??
When we have perfectly serviceable Jet ways and Speedways here in the states already?? We Have no complimentary Meals already because nobody wanted to PAY for food . The Airlines Charge for everything EXCEPT Bathrooms (AT the MOMENT) So is there going to be a "charge" for Glass jet ways?? Or? Are the Airport commissions or the airlines going to do this because YOU think it's a good idea at cost to them?? Uhh, NO !!
 
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neutrino
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:15 am

Quoting Independence76 (Thread starter):
Another (albeit smaller) argument would be that conventional jet bridges allow advertising and a greater use of potential financial gains by the airport. Glass jet bridges would make this more difficult, more expensive, and more tacky if implemented.

Trans display film and mesh sticker would serve well. The best of both worlds; offering full advert possibilities across the whole structure & open view for the pax throughout. They also partially block out the sun, especially the mesh. Material-wise they cost much more than regular stickers but taken as a whole with design & installation charges, are only slightly more expensive.
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widget1580
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:19 am

AMA has glass jetbridges!
 
skipness1E
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:09 am

They have glass jet bridges in Dubai, the heat issue is not insurmountable and it is a much better experience for the passenger.
 
Independence76
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:52 am

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 12):
I've seen and used the Glass Jet ways at YVR and YYC and they're Beautiful, BUT?? Who's going to Pay for them??
When we have perfectly serviceable Jet ways and Speedways here in the states already?? We Have no complimentary Meals already because nobody wanted to PAY for food . The Airlines Charge for everything EXCEPT Bathrooms (AT the MOMENT) So is there going to be a "charge" for Glass jet ways?? Or? Are the Airport commissions or the airlines going to do this because YOU think it's a good idea at cost to them?? Uhh, NO !!

I'm not sure why you have to be so aggressive with your response. The topic was not meant to be taken personally.

Cost is not the primary concern of this discussion - the regulations regarding them are. Besides, plenty of airports within the EU have glass jet bridges and do not complain about the price. One could speculate the glass jet bridges for US airports may cost less due to ease of national access of materials instead of requiring international shipments.
 
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:58 am

I read somewhere (maybe A.net) that glass bridges were not code in some USA building regs so insurers wouldn't write coverage for them. Maybe AMA and SBA found underwriters that would. We have them in OSL and they are beautiful. I must say the all-metal ones at LHR make me feel even more claustraphobic because of all the adverts in them.

Quoting neutrino (Reply 13):
Trans display film and mesh sticker would serve well. The best of both worlds; offering full advert possibilities across the whole structure & open view for the pax throughout. They also partially block out the sun, especially the mesh. Material-wise they cost much more than regular stickers but taken as a whole with design & installation charges, are only slightly more expensive

Brilliant!
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neveragain
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:55 am

Quoting Independence76 (Thread starter):
In favor of glass jet bridges, one of the first things one will notice is the wide-open view and anti-claustrophobic feeling it creates. It not only looks nice - it feels nice. Being a resident of the US (who flies rarely internationally), being in a glass jet bridge for me is a more special occasion. The experiences I've had with FRA, LHR, AND CURRENT: Athens - Eleftherios Venizelos (Spata) (ATH / LGAV), Greece">ATH, and OTP gave me a very positive view on this design, as it has a new "modern" appeal that fits so well with the glass terminals it is connected to.

The provision of glass vs traditional loading bridges surprisingly has little to do with climate, actually. Which is why Skipness1E accurately notes the presence of glass bridges in several warm-weather locations (Middle East, India, etc) as well as winter climates in northern Europe. They can be made to work despite hot/cold extremes.

I think the reason for lack of glass loading bridges in the USA has more to do with the ownership and operational structure of USA airports vs those in the rest of the world. Generally speaking, in the USA the provision of loading bridges at aircraft gates has been the responsibilty of the airlines instead of the airport. The airport leases the space, often on an exclusive-use basis for a long-term lease, to the airline and then the airline makes investments in the fit-out of said space (check-in area, gate holdrooms, office space, operations space on the ramp level, crew rooms, lounges, AND loading bridges). With few exceptions, airlines have generally taken a very functional view of their airport space and, branding excepted, have rarely invested in "iconic" terminal developemnts (especially since deregulation, although select exceptions do exist).

Moreover, the development and use of facilities is typically controlled via a master airline agreement that is signed by the major carriers operating from the airport. These agreements give the signatory airlines approval rights on major capital expenditures that will result in increased fees, encouraging (or, in cases where the airport-airline relationships are hostile) forcing the airport to make value engineering decisions. The quality of airport facilities tends to be a much less important consideration to an airline (which has many competing capital investment needs) than an airport, where passenger-facing facilities are likely to be a much more important. At every turn, the airlines want to know what project XX is going to mean to their cost of doing business at the airport. It's tough to justify the business case for the extra cost associated with glass bridges, particularly when they are not an integral part of a broader architectural concept. Can you imagine being MEM and selling Delta on a $50M project to replace solid-wall loading bridges with glass ones? Forget it!

The practice of airlines owning their own bridges in the USA is slowly changing, particularly as airports move toward more flexibile facility leasing arrangements with preferential use and common use facilities. In this model, airports now have increased responsibility for items such as gate holdrooms and loading bridges. Many airports are choosing to take over the responsibility for providing loading bridges (and enjoying the enhanced operational control that it gives them over their gates). During downturns in the airline business environment, one often reads about airline X selling YY loading bridges to airport ZZ in an effort to raise cash.

Outside of the USA, airports have much more active control over the development, funding, fit-out, and operations of their terminal facilities. They are also often more "at risk" in the funding of construction activities, so the passenger experience, perception, and ability to generate non-airline revenues is much more important to their viability as businesses. In Asia, airport operators place significantly more importance on the architectural quality of the facility than those in Europe and North America (again, speaking generally). Airports are also able to set airline charges and fees in a much more unilateral way than in the USA, so the airline viewpoint on capital expenditure can be more easily ignored if the airport chooses to do so.

And as far as advertising is concerned, there should not be a material difference betwene solid-wall or glass loading bridges. Glass bridges would simply require advertisements of the same variety (no idea what the technical term is for this) that are used on municipal buses, trains, etc over the windows.

While this is probably a more intricate question than my explanation above, I believe that the provision of glass loading bridges seems to map far better to the ownership structure of an airport and its traffic profile (LCC-heavy airports obviously would not provide high-quality glass loading bridges) than their location and climate. Said simply...USA airlines are cheap!
 
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:58 am

Even in the UK they are starting to pop up... LGW has quite a few glass bridges now. I imagine when BAA replace the bridges at T4 (which I imagine will be quite soon), they will be glass. It is such a pity that the T5 bridges aren't glass.... and the ones at the new T2 satellite aren't either. Shame
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par13del
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:03 pm

Quoting Independence76 (Thread starter):
Glass jet bridges are not for everyone, as arguments against their usage are logical in certain portions of the country. Glass jet bridges without air conditioning would be a sauna and greenhouse in the PHX mid-summer heat. However, it's been said that in Europe that air conditioning units are often more expensive, and seldom are they installed in mass-quantities.

The US due to its population density has a vast number of airports, due to its size the airports are deployed in areas / regions where the weather can match Europe, the Middle East and points inbetween, if a national standard is required by the Federal government for safety reasons, it is much easier to monitor and establish standards if one material type can be used as a base for all regions.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 10):
But let's be honest and note that on the list of things that could improve air travel in the US, glass jetways rank at about number 1,387.

And here I was thinking you were an eternal optimist  
Quoting neveragain (Reply 18):
I think the reason for lack of glass loading bridges in the USA has more to do with the ownership and operational structure of USA airports vs those in the rest of the world. Generally speaking, in the USA the provision of loading bridges at aircraft gates has been the responsibilty of the airlines instead of the airport.

Add to that is the fact that air travel in the US is more on the vein of train travel in Europe, airports were designed to accomodate planes and get pax on and off with litte or no catering to creature comforts. To some degree it is fortunate / unfortunate (depending on your side of the fence) that more pax in the US are spending time in the airport because of security sans 911 versus wanting to experience air travel.
Here's a question, did the fact that most airports were not constructed with secure intransit area's contribute to the requirement to do away with intransit visa, even on a slight basis?
 
rfields5421
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:25 pm

Quoting COSPN (Reply 5):
Too hot in the Summer too Cold in the winter..not to mention High winds,

I used to thing that also - but they are used in Sweden and other countries with airports colder than the US, and in the Middle East where temps make PHX look nice.

It is only a matter of design and how they are built. They can be as good or better at temperature control than the current tin cans.

Heck, I remember back when there was no heat or air conditioning in the jet bridges.

The energy costs won't necessarily be higher. Glass, or other transparent material, can be built as energy efficient as the current tin can technology.

-----------------------

Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 9):
So how do you justify the added cost of running a/c for multiple jetways just to have a great view while walking down to the aircraft? Glass acts like CO2 in that it lets in UV light and would trap the heat resulting in higher energy costs.

The real reason is that the companies building jetways in the US have experience with the current technology, and not much experience with using transparent materials.

As mentioned above, a couple airports in the US have these jet bridges - and the companies get more work of this type, we will see more.

As far as the added costs - every airport new build, redesign or update puts a significant percentage of the money into appearance items rather than just functional items.

The visual appearance of an airport is a vital part of marketing. Transparent jet bridges will enhance that marketing. It will be a couple decades, but I expect we will see a move to such jet bridges across the US by the late 2020s and 2030s.
 
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727tiger
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:49 pm

SGF has partial glass jet bridges. Glass from terminal out to mid-point, where apron access provided, then the standard enclosed metal bridge from there to the aircraft:

 
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LAXintl
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:54 pm

You guys are making this too complex.

Fire codes prevent glass bridges in the US.

Why No Glass Jetbridges In The US? (by Coal Aug 12 2007 in Civil Aviation)


In most cases they cannot meet US National Fire Protection Authority standards.

From NFPA:
"Most bridges are designed and fire tested in accordance with NFPA 415, Airport Terminal Buildings , Fueling Ramp Drainage, and Loading Walkways. When built to the standard, the bridge provides a safe means of egress from the aircraft for a period of five minutes when there is a jet-fuel spill fire on the ramp. There has always been a prohibition on glass, except that a window is permitted in the ramp access door and one in the cab area in order to move the bridge around safely."

more specifically the regulation states;
“There shall be no transparent or translucent walls, windows, or surfaces, other than those windows located in the ramp access service door and in the cab area for the purpose of operating the aircraft loading walkway.”'
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rfields5421
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:13 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 23):
You guys are making this too complex.

Fire codes prevent glass bridges in the US.

The purpose of the thread from the OP was to debate if that regulation is outdated and based on old data, no longer supported by the current data.

Quoting Independence76 (Thread starter):
Is this regulation not outdated? European airports have used the glass jet bridge design for over a decade in multiple emergency and heavy weather conditions. This reliability and performance record should already debunk the majority of (if not all) claims in US regulation regarding "the dangerous use of glass."


Especially in view of some of the recent construction in the US

Springfield Missouri

http://www.flyspringfield.com/scrapbook/042009/slides/DSC_0248.html

Santa Barbara California

Big version: Width: 904 Height: 638 File size: 87kb
KSBA Jet Bridge


[Edited 2012-10-10 07:28:34]
 
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canadianpylon
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:21 pm

The new terminal here in YWG uses glass jet bridges.

http://i1099.photobucket.com/albums/g397/canadianpylon/Hamilton2012/IMG_TR1006.jpg

Any fire code regulations must be specific to the locale or a national jurisdiction. Not here in Canada, though!  
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jfklganyc
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:28 pm

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 15):
They have glass jet bridges in Dubai, the heat issue is not insurmountable and it is a much better experience for the passenger.

Is it really a much better experience for the passenger? Honestly, I look at everything in the airport...and this one is really low on the "needs fixing" totem pole.

In general, US airports lag behind most other developed world countries in terms of asthetics. In the US, with few exceptions, we build transportation for utility.
 
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b727fa
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:32 pm

Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 3):

Glass jetways in PHX would be awful, especially on our 116+ degree days.

That would be like a hamster in a habitrail!

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 10):
Would glass jetways be kinda nice? Sure.

I don't do windows! (lol)

They are kind of cool, but not a big deal!
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blueflyer
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:40 pm

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 16):
Cost is not the primary concern of this discussion - the regulations regarding them are.

Regulations don't change in a vacuum usually, they change because someone affected puts the right pressure at the right time to make them change.
This is why your statement that cost isn't the primary concern is incorrect. Make glass bridges the cheapest option to install and operate, and all affected will lobby fiercely to have fire codes updated. As long as glass bridges aren't the cheapest option, and as long as cost will be the primary factor, as eloquently explained by neveragain, there is no meaningful constituency for changing the fire codes, outdated or not.
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ORDJOE
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:32 pm

I am in the mindset airports should be fairly cheap as they are built with a combination of taxes and PFC fees, so anything that could make an airport cheaper I am all in favor. To me this seems like frivolous expenditure to start using glass for the jet bridges
 
strfyr51
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:38 pm

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 16):

Since When isw cost NOT the rimary concern for anything??
 
roseflyer
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:38 pm

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 16):
Cost is not the primary concern of this discussion - the regulations regarding them are. Besides, plenty of airports within the EU have glass jet bridges and do not complain about the price. One could speculate the glass jet bridges for US airports may cost less due to ease of national access of materials instead of requiring international shipments.

If someone was pushing for glass bridges, I would expect the requirements would be revisited. The reason I could see someone wanting to have the requirements revisited is due to cost. If glass was cheaper, then you’d see airlines (especially ones that own their own terminal) advocating for full glass bridges, but they aren’t cheaper. Jetways range in price from $300,000 to $500,000 with glass jetways being on the higher end. United, American, Delta and Southwest are huge advocates for keeping airport costs low and heavily lobby against unnecessary costs associated with airport infrastructure, so I think that is why you don’t see anyone pushing for glass jetbridges apart from small local airports that try to attract airlines and passengers.
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FFandFlyer
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:10 pm

I fly a lot, and I think glass jet bridges are nice (my total qualification on the aviation-industry-related economic aspects); however, I'll add a couple things that might be relevant, from a different perspective (fire officer):

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes are consensus standards, not regulation. Basically, fire service, industry, and other interested parties (see http://www.nfpa.org/AboutTheCodes/Ab...Codes.asp?docnum=415&tab=committee for who the parties are for NFPA 415) hammer out something they can all live with and that becomes the standard; this is revised every few years, so the current one is NFPA 415 (2013) and the next one comes out in 2016.

Tribal, State, local and (where applicable) Federal regulators may adopt all or part of the standard by transcription (copy 'n' paste) or reference when they make their rules. Fire and building codes are generally determined at the State and local level - depends on the State how much authority a locality has on either. In my state, building codes are the province of a State board that sets the (regulatory) code for the State, localities may not change the State's code, and the builders are pretty much who ends up on the State's board. Few people use the NFPA's model building code as a base, but most model building codes reference certain NFPA standards by reference (another similar organization, the International Code Council's, writes probably the most commonly-used model building code - see http://www.iccsafe.org/Pages/default.aspx). So, if an organization adopts a standard directly or indirectly, edition matters - if NFPA 415 (2008) - versus "current edition of" - is in the code adopted by the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ), it doesn't matter that the current edition of the standard is 2013, the 2008 standard will apply.

Renovations and re-fits muddle the waters further, if you don't change too much in a renovation you may not have to meet the current codes.

Most AHJs use model codes and consensus standards in their adopted regulations, much easier than writing their own to the level of detail needed plus vendors don't tend to bid if they need to use different wiring colors in one place than in every other. However, that's the AHJ's call - an AHJ could almost say every ceiling needs to be made of papier-mache, and that would be that.

So, there isn't a simple answer even absent the economic aspects.

(The NFPA Committee on Airport Facilities IS seeking members in all interest classifications except Manufacturer, Special Expert, and User.....)

[Edited 2012-10-10 13:20:31]
 
musang
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:23 pm

Quoting COSPN (Reply 5):
another thing is you want people to move down the Jetway not be looking out the glass and holding up the loading process

As one who often has the chance to sit and observe, I've never seen passengers dawdling on the way down (or up).

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 11):
Not to mention other weather phenomena like tornadoes, hail, hurricanes, etc...

I assume the implication here is that such weather might harm glass airbridges, yet the United States contains other types of structures with huge amounts of glass siding. Is a glass airbridge more vulnerable than an office block? Or a bus shelter? If anything I would have thought airbridges, due to their flexible structure, would stand up to extreme weather better.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 23):
You guys are making this too complex.

Fire codes prevent glass bridges in the US.

Yes but haven't we been told about some US airports which do have them?

The main consideration is that the pilots can sit in the flight deck and scope the passengers. Reminds me of a story. We had a non-rev senior captain waiting to come in and ride the jumpseat. He was standing in the flight deck doorway. The first officer pointed out two rather attractive young ladies waiting in the glass airbridge, and a couple of totally respectful observations were vocalised. The jumpseater then leaned in and said "any sign of my daughters yet? They've got cabin seats..." They were indeed his daughters. It could have been a very quiet cockpit that sector!

Regards - musang
 
Byrdluvs747
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:50 pm

Quoting 727tiger (Reply 22):
SGF has partial glass jet bridges.

That portion is technically not a jetbridge. Its a fixed structure just like the main terminal itself.
The 747: The hands who designed it were guided by god.
 
tys777
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:55 pm

Like some others have said, cost would be the main issue. Glass that needs to be fire-coded has to go through a special manufacturing process. This process adds a significant amount to the cost. When I sold some fire-coded glass to a client last month, a 30"x48" double pane unit cost them upwards of $2000. The same thing in a non fire-coded rating was $200-$300.

I just don't see many airports going for this when their are cheaper alternatives available, at least not in these economic times.
 
phileet92
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:40 pm

Do the piers at JFK T4 count? They're glass, and lead to the regular jetways.
 
aklrno
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:16 pm

Quoting phileet92 (Reply 36):
Do the piers at JFK T4 count? They're glass, and lead to the regular jetways.

The glassed in areas are not bridges, they are part of the building with full fire safety provisions such as multiple exits and sprinklers. They are also much wider and with a floor constructed like a normal building, thus a much safer place if there is a jet fuel fire underneath them. The issue with a jet bridge is that it is a very long confined area with limited exits (I don't count the aircraft door as one of them.)

The new TBIT at LAX has a similar arrangement, a glassed in pier leading to a steel jet bridge.
 
GSPSPOT
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:26 pm

My home airport GSP seriously considered glass jet bridges for its $100 million renovation, but as mentioned above, cost was the sole reason they voted them down.
Great Lakes, great life.
 
BC77008
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:56 pm

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 4):
Hence why the implementation of A/C units would be considered for US airports like PHX.

That would be VERY expensive, not just the A/C unit itself, but the cost of the electricity to keep it running.
MY favorite airline and hub is bigger and/or better than YOUR favorite airline and hub!
 
Viscount724
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:22 pm

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 16):
Besides, plenty of airports within the EU have glass jet bridges and do not complain about the price.

But airport taxes and related fees are often much higher in Europe.
 
Gr8Circle
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:27 pm

I think a few windows in the sides would suffice to make it more attractive for passengers who care for the view......why have entire glass structures....?
 
ginger727
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:02 am

Based on some recent bids that airports have done for new loading bridges, the cost is no longer always higher for glass than traditional steel walls. Jetway and Thyssen both make glass now and are very interested in selling them, so competition is driving prices down. In addition, some tests have been done by fire authorities that have proven the old NFPA standards and beliefs against glass are not necessarily accurate from a safety standpoint. Thus, the fire marshals in a number of US cities have approved the installation of glass bridges. Wichita has been approved for glass and will bid 12-16 bridges next year for its new terminal. However, air conditioning issues are a problem, and some airports have had to install either additional AC units for cooling, and/or have had to ask their airlines to fire up the AC before a plane arrives so that the bridges are cool prior to the pax arriving.
 
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cosyr
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:47 am

Who's going to clean the glass? Metal jet bridges can be neglected. Painted every 10 years, vs glass needing to be washed once a month...week? And I don't think the expense and heat issues are small ones. Above all, I spend maybe one minute in a jetway. I really hope the airport saves the money on glass bridges and replaces carpet/paints the terminal more often. Give me nice big windows on the concourse while I'm waiting for an hour, rather than a minute while I'm arranging my luggage and putting my boarding pass away, etc.
 
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zippyjet
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:14 am

Believe it or not I remember back in the day BWI then BAL had jet bridges with medium sized windows the length of the jet bridge to the plane. They were in the old main concourse which handled Eastern, National, Allegheny (pre US Air), Northeast and some DL flights. Now this concourse is C. They may have had a few on what eventually became B. I believe the days of the glass window jet ways at BWI were doomed when the current physical structure of BWI opened in 1979.
Glass jet ways would be cool but, they would have to be able to have climate control going while the plane is at the gate as well as the jet way. Most of our current jet ways blessed with supply vents in the jet way only blow into the jet way when the GPU is NOT connected to the aircraft. Running both inside the plane and jet-way would be prohibitive with today's rising energy costs. And remember even with outdoor temps as low as the 60's (F) if the sun is beating down on the jet way it would be like a Bikram Yoga Studio. And, not to pee in one's ear and tell you it's raining. Imagine the extra labor costs in cleaning the glass. Birdies dropping ploppies are an ever present occurrence at the airport. As it is now half the time those birdies decide to nest on top, and under the jet ways. Luckily I was off but several years ago on E pier (International) tweedy birds nested underneath. When the jet way was moved shall we say those birdies got "Gold-fingered"
and I was told it was like a Birdy Auschwitz!   
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qblue
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:45 am

So who was the first airport to install the first glass jetway. I know that YVR has had them may since 98-99 when the new terminal was built.
 
allegiantflyer
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:59 pm

RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:01 am

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 21):
and in the Middle East where temps make PHX look nice.

Lets be honest, Phoenix is located on the Sunbelt. And when you look at graphs and other charts you will see that temps in the middle east and Phoenix are very similar and its just getting worse, Especially with how the Phoenix Metropolitan Area has become a boom town over the past few years adding more concrete to the area. So really there isn't much of a difference during summer its just about above 110 almost everyday.
 
mpdpilot
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:42 am

First off, I am a big fan of the glass jet bridges.

Secondly, I don't think anyone is expecting airports to change out the jet bridges they have for glass ones tomorrow if the law changed. That doesn't even make sense if they are not glass. I think the discussion is about new terminals. Take the new TBIT in LAX for example, perhaps had the codes been different they would have used the glass there.

Now people are saying it is the cost, but when you are thinking about a new terminal, costs for aesthetic things become normal and even required. If building airports like people here are saying we wouldn't have any nice terminals anywhere. When airports and airlines spend billions of dollars on new terminals they want them to look good and pay millions extra to have that. They would surely pay extra for glass jet bridges as well. There is a reason why airports have them, and it isn't because they love throwing extra money away.
One mile of highway gets you one mile, one mile of runway gets you anywhere.
 
aviateur
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RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:49 am

I'd love to see glass bridges, or at least ones with windows, here in the US.

Have you ever noticed how OVER-ENGINEERED jet bridges are in the first damn place? What ought to be just a simple gangway is this hideously overbuilt structure of steel and cables and hydraulics....


PS
Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
 
rfields5421
Posts: 5933
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

RE: The US's Culture & Glass Jet Bridges

Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:36 am

Quoting aviateur (Reply 48):
Have you ever noticed how OVER-ENGINEERED jet bridges are in the first damn place? What ought to be just a simple gangway is this hideously overbuilt structure of steel and cables and hydraulics....

I'm not so sure they are over-engineered. It is more of a one size fits all.

When you have the requirements for movement - closer and farther, up and down for different aircraft - that imposes additional strength requirements. The jet bridge has to be able to hold the weight of 50 or more people - say 2 1/2 tons.

But one reason for the extra strength is wind resistance. A jet bridge is perfectly positioned for strong thunderstorm downbursts and gust fronts to sent it flying. The wind can get under it and try to twist it lose from its mounts. As the tornado in St Louis showed, the weight of the jet bridges helps keep them from becoming a danger to passengers or aircraft.

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