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Future of A380 capable gates

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:40 am
by filipinoavgeek
With the A380 living mostly on borrowed time for any airline not named Emirates and with them likely to become a rare sight as soon as the end of this decade (especially now with the effects of the pandemic), what will happen to A380-capable gates once the A380 has disappeared from airline fleets? While obviously the bottom two bridges can be used for other widebodies, the real question is what will happen to the top boarding bridges. AFAIK they aren't used on the 747-8i (which are a flop anyway) and a new VLA is unlikely to enter the market in the short-to-medium term, so what purpose will these bridges have when the A380 is gone? Will they be left as is or will they be dismantled?

Re: Future of A380 capable gates

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:15 am
by TSS
Interesting question.

Pure speculation: Initially I would assume the upper boarding bridges would get repurposed/moved to other gates as needed, but as they are built for use on an aircraft's upper level they might not be easily adaptable for lower level use at another gate.

On the other hand, since they're already a "sunk cost" they might simply be left where they are, blocked off and unused, until the gates or terminal where they're located gets remodeled or torn down because it is more trouble than they're worth to move them.

Side note: Many years ago someone asked a similar question on here about nearly-new boarding bridges (in place for a year or less IIRC) on a terminal that was due to be torn down and replaced with a newer, nicer, larger terminal and I suggested the same thing, that they'd probably be reused elsewhere at that airport (replacing the oldest/most decrepit bridges at other terminals) or saved and fitted to the forthcoming new terminal, and I got blasted for that.

Re: Future of A380 capable gates

Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 6:44 pm
by Flaps
TSS wrote:
Interesting question.

Pure speculation: Initially I would assume the upper boarding bridges would get repurposed/moved to other gates as needed, but as they are built for use on an aircraft's upper level they might not be easily adaptable for lower level use at another gate.

On the other hand, since they're already a "sunk cost" they might simply be left where they are, blocked off and unused, until the gates or terminal where they're located gets remodeled or torn down because it is more trouble than they're worth to move them.

Side note: Many years ago someone asked a similar question on here about nearly-new boarding bridges (in place for a year or less IIRC) on a terminal that was due to be torn down and replaced with a newer, nicer, larger terminal and I suggested the same thing, that they'd probably be reused elsewhere at that airport (replacing the oldest/most decrepit bridges at other terminals) or saved and fitted to the forthcoming new terminal, and I got blasted for that.


The folks blasting you would be the dumb ones. Jetbridges get moved and repurposed all the time. My home airport once had a facility just for rebuilding airbridges. The rebuilds were either reused here or sold off to other airports. While certainly not a common or regular occurrence I have seen jetbridges here moved from concourse to concourse when airlines relocated.

Re: Future of A380 capable gates

Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 7:17 pm
by unimproved
With longer frames (such as the 77W) taking over they might be used for boarding the rear doors with some changes.

I haven't seen it lately, but we used to have overwing bridges for the 747 door 4.

Re: Future of A380 capable gates

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 1:04 am
by patdt146
unimproved wrote:
With longer frames (such as the 77W) taking over they might be used for boarding the rear doors with some changes.

I haven't seen it lately, but we used to have overwing bridges for the 747 door 4.


The 744 is also a victim of COVID. Could they be used with any aircraft with 5 sets of doors? Or even with 4 sets? If so, there's definitely a case for repurposing them for reuse as most of the widebodies in widespread use these days have at least 4 sets of doors (save the 767) and could present a resolution to the continued boarding challenges faced in the U.S., for example.

Re: Future of A380 capable gates

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 4:25 am
by FGITD
Problem with that idea is most 380 gates are more vertical than horizontal. Would basically require rebuilding a uniquely purposed gate into a new uniquely purposed gate. Plus with gates already capable of going to door 1L and 2L, I'm not sure you'd really gain much.

Re: Future of A380 capable gates

Posted: Mon Aug 10, 2020 6:58 am
by FlyingHonu001
At atleast three gates at AMS, the jetways were refitted to accomodate the A380. However these gates are also interchangable with other widebody sizes. So if the A380 no longer visits, they can practically leave everything as is. No extensive rebuilding might be necessary.

Re: Future of A380 capable gates

Posted: Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:23 am
by Starlionblue
patdt146 wrote:
unimproved wrote:
With longer frames (such as the 77W) taking over they might be used for boarding the rear doors with some changes.

I haven't seen it lately, but we used to have overwing bridges for the 747 door 4.


The 744 is also a victim of COVID. Could they be used with any aircraft with 5 sets of doors? Or even with 4 sets? If so, there's definitely a case for repurposing them for reuse as most of the widebodies in widespread use these days have at least 4 sets of doors (save the 767) and could present a resolution to the continued boarding challenges faced in the U.S., for example.


While more doors can speed up boarding, it isn't always as simple as using an extra door or two. Many doors are smaller, e.g. door pair three on the A330. And in many cases there is no "lobby", just seats left and right as you enter, with maybe a jump seat. So there is no space to sort out pax and send them on their way.

Not saying any of that is insurmountable but it might be more trouble than it is worth.

Re: Future of A380 capable gates

Posted: Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:38 am
by unimproved
Starlionblue wrote:
patdt146 wrote:
unimproved wrote:
With longer frames (such as the 77W) taking over they might be used for boarding the rear doors with some changes.

I haven't seen it lately, but we used to have overwing bridges for the 747 door 4.


The 744 is also a victim of COVID. Could they be used with any aircraft with 5 sets of doors? Or even with 4 sets? If so, there's definitely a case for repurposing them for reuse as most of the widebodies in widespread use these days have at least 4 sets of doors (save the 767) and could present a resolution to the continued boarding challenges faced in the U.S., for example.


While more doors can speed up boarding, it isn't always as simple as using an extra door or two. Many doors are smaller, e.g. door pair three on the A330. And in many cases there is no "lobby", just seats left and right as you enter, with maybe a jump seat. So there is no space to sort out pax and send them on their way.

Not saying any of that is insurmountable but it might be more trouble than it is worth.


The A330 isn't exactly long enough to warrant it either, but on the 77W door 4 is a normal entry door that ends in the galley just like 2.

Re: Future of A380 capable gates

Posted: Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:54 am
by Starlionblue
unimproved wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
patdt146 wrote:

The 744 is also a victim of COVID. Could they be used with any aircraft with 5 sets of doors? Or even with 4 sets? If so, there's definitely a case for repurposing them for reuse as most of the widebodies in widespread use these days have at least 4 sets of doors (save the 767) and could present a resolution to the continued boarding challenges faced in the U.S., for example.


While more doors can speed up boarding, it isn't always as simple as using an extra door or two. Many doors are smaller, e.g. door pair three on the A330. And in many cases there is no "lobby", just seats left and right as you enter, with maybe a jump seat. So there is no space to sort out pax and send them on their way.

Not saying any of that is insurmountable but it might be more trouble than it is worth.


The A330 isn't exactly long enough to warrant it either, but on the 77W door 4 is a normal entry door that ends in the galley just like 2.


Fair, but to be honest, I don't think any current widebody apart from the A380 warrants more than two entries. Boarding is seldom the bottleneck.

Re: Future of A380 capable gates

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:02 am
by Zkpilot
Some airports have the ability to use them as swing gates... they mark them out so that you can have 2x A320/737 aircraft in a gate designed for the A380. The larger aerobridge is then stretched out for the rear (offset to the side) aircraft.
AKL is one place that does this albeit they have dual rather than triple aerobridges on their A380 gates.

Re: Future of A380 capable gates

Posted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:21 pm
by HAWK21M
When the A380s no longer operate to that particular Airport, its most likely that the Aerobridges would be modified gradually to eliminate the Upper deck bridge.