A passenger boarding bridge is generally used at airports and ports as a movable connector, which usually extends from the airport terminal gate to the aeroplane and from the port to the ship without going outside. It is flexible and can be change according to operational requirement, such as airport terminal building design and its height, among others. Passenger boarding bridges provide easy and comfortable access to the aircraft and help enhance the security of terminal operations in all weather conditions.
Modern commercial aircraft entrances are usually 4 meters or more above the ground and the passengers include families with children, elderly and unwell passengers and it is hard for them to board the aircraft even with stairs, so the passenger boarding bridge is a better alternative at this place. These bridges consist of two to three bodies, which include a glass or steel tunnel, a hydraulic or electromechanical elevation system and a flexible telescope extension, which can be increased or decreased according to requirement. They can be used for all commercial aircraft, from small to big aircraft, such as an A380.
A passenger boarding bridge is connected to the airport terminal building at one side and the other flexible end is docked with the entrance of the aircraft. The gangway has a telescopic extension and is operated for alteration with the help of electric motors through power and cables located outside the gangway. Moreover, the travel system and elevation are engineered to provide optimum energy efficiency. The passenger boarding bridge structure is designed and prepared in such a way that it can receive ground support equipment, such as GPU (ground power unit) and PCA (pre conditioned air), which deliver electricity and preconditioned air to the aircraft and hence, reduce its energy consumption.
Increase in passenger traffic on seaport and airport agencies over the past few years has been a major driving factor for the development of better and efficient infrastructure and boarding facilities, including passenger boarding bridges. Also, high turnaround time of aircraft is putting immense pressure on airport agencies to update their facilities with better and effective solutions to reduce time lag and operational costs as well as add comfort to enhance passenger satisfaction. Another factor driving the passenger boarding bridge market is government initiatives directed towards modernization of airport complexes and facilities.
The high cost of passenger boarding bridges is a major restraint to this market. Also, it has limited usability in small airports, which restricts market growth to a certain extent. However, government initiatives pertaining to establishment of new airports to connect cities with air routes and increasing investments for the modernization of airports can be prospective opportunities for this market.
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North America, followed by Europe, holds a major share of the global passenger boarding bridge market. Asia Pacific is expected to show significant growth over the forecast period, due to growing investments in research and development to provide more comfort with technologically advanced passenger boarding bridges. North America and Europe also have a significant share in the passenger boarding bridge market, owing to their high air passenger traffic. The rest of the world is estimated to account for a relatively small share of the market.