Infrastructure, Construction & Developments

Stephen1991

New Member
Sep 15, 2017
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UK
Hello, just found some older posts as follows:

IanFarquharson
"Are all being removed, stand 15 already lifted off by crane, this stand will now be A320 size

I understand that it is to make more ramp space on South terminal as well as the fact they are no longer used !

Rumour has it that Easy, Blue Air & CSA maybe moving accross from TI another rumour is FlyBe are moving out and Jet2 maybe moving in !

Time will tell !"

&
Sam1988
"jet2 won't be coming down t2, it is to allow front steps on the a319 for when Czech and possibly Easyjet start on May 1st"

&
Ray Finkle
"The T2 jet bridges are well past the end of their working life and beyond economical repair. I think that most haven't been used for quite a few years.

It's a sign of the times I guess where most airlines just don't want them, if removing the jet bridge allows larger aircraft to use the stands then it seems a good move.

A new loco terminal does seem the logical next step but I imagine the business case would need to be quite solid before they spend that kind if money."
 

Stephen1991

New Member
Sep 15, 2017
10
3
31
UK
From passing through Birmingham airport aswell as Google Earth I believe the airbridge on stand 15 was the first to go. I am unsure what Blue Airs operation is at BHX now, but I know CSA (Czech) when they did operate it wasn’t a big operation and when I flew to Prague in 2018 it was an evening flight when the airport was quieter anyway.

I have looked on Google Earth and used the history feature, it did look like in 1999 T2/Eurohub/South had no remote stands or no none-airbridge stands (obviously the much smaller propeller planes would not be connected to an airbridge in the UK, maybe in the US with adaptations).

I am no expert or never worked at an airport but if the airbridges were removed to accommodate larger aircraft they could keep the other airbridges in use (Google Earth shows April 2021 8 airbridges then 10 airbridges in 1999), obviously I doubt any were in use last year.

I am unsure if it was ever used (as in airbridge connected) but stand 8 looks like a dual airbridge stand (like stand 55, 2 x airbridges, 2 x short haul planes on airbridge or 1 x long haul plane with 2 x airbridges connected, doubt 2 x 757’s without winglets but maybe 2 x 737’s).

I am aware Flybe used the airbridges occasionally on the Embracer jet aircraft, in the USA to my understanding they still have airbridges in use that were built in 1980’s/1990’s, the airbridges at Barcelona Terminal 1 were installed in 1991 to my understanding just like the Eurohub (July 1991).

In regards to the airbridges being scrapped I believe an airbridge or 2 from Terminal 1/North old pier was sold to Cardiff years ago.

Ideally it would be great if there was a new full functioning pier on terminal 2 with flexibility like the North pier (airbridges optional to use depending on the airlines preference), more airbridges would be used overall, the new Flybe I don’t think it’s a huge operation, Ryanair isn’t the bigger airline at BHX, Jet2 seem to use one on the front door atleast, TUI and most other airlines use them when available.

Controversial :p :p but I personally think any planes that are too small to use an airbridge or an airlines that prefers not to should be on a remote, steps and buses, it is annoying to see airlines at different airports in Europe who park on an airbridge stand, no utilize it then an airline that generally uses airbridges has to park on a remote (equivalent of people who reserve a sunbed but don’t use it in my opinion).

They should be maintained/restored or replaced where possible; it just seems very backward considering BHX is a 2nd city airport that attracts a mixture of airlines, fair enough if low cost carriers were the main airlines. Obviously costs and Covid losses won’t contribute to the work taking place anytime soon.

Realistically forgetting T2/Eurohub/South they could depending on measurements put extra airbridges a few places on the Terminal 1/North new pier (especially stands 56 and 57, unsure space regarding long haul single airbridge stands 41 and 42) and maybe move the glass airbridge from stand 59 to elsewhere if it’s still functional.

Obviously London Gatwick I guess have more £ but their terminal development in the last 16 years is out of this world compared to Birmingham such as Pier 6 on the North, a new pier or gate area to replace an older facility on the South and more gate/pier development planned.
 

Coathanger16

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Sep 29, 2016
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I think over the next few years we’re likely to see some changes as to which airlines operate from which terminal.

At the moment, Jet2 check-in is in T2/Eurohub, and the majority of their flights depart from either T2 or the remote stands to the east. Of these stands, 13 can accommodate the B737, however there’s only 1 stand that can accommodate the A321, hence why the majority of Smartlynx Jet2 flights operate from T1.

This is worth remembering as Jet2 transition their fleet to the A321NEO. Given BHX is one of Jet2’s top 3 bases by seats this summer and currently has the largest number of A321s operating for Jet2, BHX will likely be one of the first bases to get the A321NEO when they start arriving next year. If BHX becomes an all A321 base, the aircraft are too long for all but one of the T2 stands and so will have to depart from either T1 or the remote stands to the north of the terminal.

This would then be an opportunity to combine most low cost operations in T2, and I wonder if we may not see an EZY base until Jet2 vacate T2.

Additionally the 2018 master plan talks about reconfiguring the stands around T2 to accommodate more A320/B737 sized aircraft. It’s only a render, but the master plan seemed to suggest the stands on the end of T2 (between the terminal and the runway) would be reconfigured into 4 MARS stands (multi aircraft ramp system) that could accommodate 4 widebodies or 8 narrowbodies. These would be long enough for the A321 and so all low cost airlines could move to T2, leaving T1 for TUI, Jet2 and legacy carriers.

This is all a very long way about saying that in the future, airbridges on T2 will largely be redundant and so may as well be removed sooner than later. The airlines that currently and likely in the future will use T2 aren’t fussed about airbridges - both Jet2 flights I flew on a few weeks ago used steps despite being on stands with airbridges - and there are enough stands with airbridges in T1 for airlines that do want to use them.
 

tompo

Member
May 26, 2015
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18
Shouldn't the ‘passenger experience’ be an important factor here? When it comes down to the ‘airline journey’, particularly to first-time International arrivals, the first few minutes set the scene. The welcome must be inviting and having to negotiate dangerous, slippery airline steps in sub-zero temperatures with young children is no joke! I understand the technical and efficiency factors at play here, however, I believe that it is overall regressive and will not necessarily create the image that forward-thinking competitors aspire to.
 

Coathanger16

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It’s up to the airline whether they use the airbridge, and if anything its more frustrating arriving on a stand with an airbridge to then disembark using steps.
 

Stephen1991

New Member
Sep 15, 2017
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@Coathanger16
Sorry for delay in your detailed reply.....due to size of Jet2's operation it probably makes sense to keep their check-in/bag drop in T2/Eurohub/South, I presume the stand that can handle A321 is stand 8 which has or used to have 2 airbridges (or maybe a stand between T2 and runway)?
Having never flown from T2 I am unsure how many bus remote stand gates they have, I did arrive once into T2 with Ryanair, I was shocked there was only 4 immigration desks with no automated immigration barriers.
The 13 T2 stands that can accommodate 737's, can they handle 737 MAX?
Re stands between T2 and runway conversion to MARS stands, these would probably be similar to T1 remote stands I guess (looking at Google Earth). Guess problem with low cost carriers moving to T2 is the capacity (e.g. baggage reclaim and immigration). Jet2 in March I departed from gate 56 (stand 57R) they did use the airbridge for passengers sat in the front half of the plane on departure but not on arrival despite parking on the exact same stand, as the lights in the airbridge were on I am unsure if there was an airbridge issue or if Jet2 chose not to use it.
Thanks for your reply but regarding 'enough stands with airbridges in T1 for airlines that do want to use them' I don't feel there is, in March or May I saw a Luthansa airbus on steps, a friend recently flew AirFrance presumably an Airbus steps, I have flew KLM on a 737 a while go via steps and TUI have to use a mixture of airbridges, non-airbridge pier served stands aswell as remote stands, when their preference would probably be to use the airbridges.

I am no expert but I guess on stands 42 and 41 the airbridge can only be used if the aircraft is parked on the centre (C) line, as the airbridges on those stands probably can't position towards the left (L) and maybe slightly too short or not configured to connect to the right (R), I know if there's too short haul planes on stand 56 and 57 (4 planes in total) the short haul plane that can use the airbridge is parked on the right (R) line, whilst left (L) will use the steps.

In regards to if you are on a low cost carrier and the plane pulls up on the airbridge stand but doesn't use it, you sort of guess its the airlines preference depending on the airport and circumstances. I am unsure what the protocol is regarding immigration/customs arriving from Ireland (Eire) but I guess years ago the Aer Lingus flights didn't use the airbridges on the newish (2009) International Pier as the arrivals route leads to immigration/customs when I guess they were exempt (unsure now).

@tompo completley agree with you, the first impressions set the passengers opinion of the airlines arrival procedures, the airport and the city/country (maybe), when I came back from Tenerife on a Friday evening on a 787 Dreamliner (when there was wide stands with airbridges spare in the distance aswell) we were greeted by rain, wind, a shaky set of steps and a bus (one set of steps and one bus for the whole plane), the bus had to keep coming back for more passengers, I am unsure if the passengers who were next for the bus was waiting inside the plane or outside on the steps. Airbridges can easily (at a cost) be installed in numerous places, you can maybe make some of the wider single airbridge stands doubles, maybe put 59 back to use, maybe one on stand 60 with an extended corridor (you've only got to look at other airports on Google Earth) and of course T2! :)

@Kevin Farnell I think at BHX, Ryanair don't (but rumored they have years ago in certain circumstances), Jet2 yes they have moved a majority of there flights to T2 but I think the flights from T1 if they are on an airbridge served stand they will likely connect the airbridge to the planes front door and steps on the rear (just like when they had all flights from T1), EasyJet UK I don't think they do, but EasyJet EU (flight to Amsterdam) I think I have seen one connected to gate 44 (stand 54L), Flybe used the airbridge on Embracers before, I don't think Birmingham charge for airbridge use although it is common for their to be an hourly charge.

It would be a shame for BHX to turn into a low cost airport environment, but the 2007 MasterPlan (https://www.birminghamairport.co.uk/media/2938/2007-airport-masterplancompressed.pdf) which has since been replaced mentions 'T1 Satellite Pier and T2 Pier' and 'Phase 1 of T3' , the current Master Plan is here https://www.birminghamairport.co.uk/media/5538/birmingham-airport-master-plan-2018-webres.pdf which a quick read I didn't notice any mention of additional piers etc.

:/
 

Coathanger16

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Sep 29, 2016
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Sorry for delay in your detailed reply.....due to size of Jet2's operation it probably makes sense to keep their check-in/bag drop in T2/Eurohub/South, I presume the stand that can handle A321 is stand 8 which has or used to have 2 airbridges (or maybe a stand between T2 and runway)?
Having never flown from T2 I am unsure how many bus remote stand gates they have, I did arrive once into T2 with Ryanair, I was shocked there was only 4 immigration desks with no automated immigration barriers.
The 13 T2 stands that can accommodate 737's, can they handle 737 MAX?
Re stands between T2 and runway conversion to MARS stands, these would probably be similar to T1 remote stands I guess (looking at Google Earth). Guess problem with low cost carriers moving to T2 is the capacity (e.g. baggage reclaim and immigration). Jet2 in March I departed from gate 56 (stand 57R) they did use the airbridge for passengers sat in the front half of the plane on departure but not on arrival despite parking on the exact same stand, as the lights in the airbridge were on I am unsure if there was an airbridge issue or if Jet2 chose not to use it.
Thanks for your reply but regarding 'enough stands with airbridges in T1 for airlines that do want to use them' I don't feel there is, in March or May I saw a Luthansa airbus on steps, a friend recently flew AirFrance presumably an Airbus steps, I have flew KLM on a 737 a while go via steps and TUI have to use a mixture of airbridges, non-airbridge pier served stands aswell as remote stands, when their preference would probably be to use the airbridges.

I am no expert but I guess on stands 42 and 41 the airbridge can only be used if the aircraft is parked on the centre (C) line, as the airbridges on those stands probably can't position towards the left (L) and maybe slightly too short or not configured to connect to the right (R), I know if there's too short haul planes on stand 56 and 57 (4 planes in total) the short haul plane that can use the airbridge is parked on the right (R) line, whilst left (L) will use the steps.

In regards to if you are on a low cost carrier and the plane pulls up on the airbridge stand but doesn't use it, you sort of guess its the airlines preference depending on the airport and circumstances. I am unsure what the protocol is regarding immigration/customs arriving from Ireland (Eire) but I guess years ago the Aer Lingus flights didn't use the airbridges on the newish (2009) International Pier as the arrivals route leads to immigration/customs when I guess they were exempt (unsure now).

Yes the A321 capable stand is stand 8 on T2.

I think under the current masterplan, immigration and baggage reclaim will be centralised in the current T1 immigration/baggage reclaim, though not sure what those areas in T2 will be used for instead, hence why the airports hasn’t bothered installing e-gates over there.

The stands should be able to handle the baseline version of the MAX (B737MAX8) as this is the same size as the current generation. The MAX10 is longer but not as long as the A321 so I’m not sure if it can. At the moment, Ryanair only has the MAX8-200 in service/on order. TUI have some of the MAX10s on order but as they will almost certainly operate exclusively from T2 thats not an issue.

I‘ve not flown domestically into BHX. They obviously don’t need to pass through immigration, but is there a separate domestic baggage reclaim?

I guess with airbridges its entirely down to what the airline pays for then. If a particular airline pays for airbridges and demands an airbridge for all flights, they should get one but because of various circumstances its not always possible. First time I flew into Dubai was with Emirates on a 2 class A380 so over 600 passengers. Arrived onto a remote stand and had to disembark the whole aircraft onto busses. At 7am it was already mid 30Cs. If one of the world’s “best” airlines is using steps at its home base, is using steps at a regional UK airport so bad?

You mention your TUI 787 flight from TFS. I would wager the vast majority of passengers on such a flight (and likely most TUI and Jet2 passengers) are from the Midlands so already know what the airport/city/region is like.

Ireland is still part of the Common Travel Area (CTA) so don’t think they require immigration still?
 
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