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Airports Ease Remote Boarding Challenges With Mobile Ramps & Airside Buses

Jodi Richards
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When infrastructure constraints preclude loading and unloading aircraft at the terminal, airports need to get creative. Mobile boarding ramps and airside buses are two options operators are using to keep passengers safe and comfortable as they enter and exit planes on the tarmac.

Seattle-Tacoma International (SEA), operated by the Port of Seattle, uses both to help cope with growing traffic levels while waiting for major gate expansions that are more than a decade away. For the last six years, SEA has broken its previous annual passenger records; and last year, it served 45.7 million travelers. With passenger growth consistently outpacing facility growth, alternative boarding operations are an everyday necessity.

“Operating 46 million annual passengers from an 80-gate facility with little to no room for gate expansion requires the airport to consider the use of bussing passengers to remotely parked aircraft,” Port Operations Manager Ben Leischner says.

In 2015, the Port purchased three COBUS 3000 airside buses, each capable of accommodating about 100 passengers. More recently, it purchased four more similar vehicles scheduled for delivery in June.

The new buses include passenger information systems, flight destination displays and closed-circuit televisions-all in an effort to ease passenger transportation within the airport and provide the highest level of comfort and security, says Don Frassetto, president of COBUS Industries.

Leischner notes that the Port works diligently to lead the industry in adopting technologies that can contribute to improving facility utilization, safety and passenger experience. “Bus gates” and remote passenger hardstands are assets that closely align with those goals and help SEA operate safely and efficiently out of limited facilities, he explains.

To enhance the safety and comfort of travelers arriving or departing at remote hardstands, the airport uses mobile passenger boarding ramps that are covered and lit.

In mid-May, SEA was using two units from Aviramp Ltd.: one Continental-757 model, which is capable of handling aircraft ranging from an Embraer 170 to a Boeing 757, and one International model, which is capable of handling Airbus A320s to A380s. The airport has also ordered another three Continental-757s and one more International model, for delivery next year. According to Leischner, the airport anticipates needing a total of 11 mobile boarding ramps to support projected hardstand operations.

Custom Specifications
Terri Smart-Jewkes, global sales and marketing director for Aviramp, notes that the company’s mobile ramps are customizable, and the firm works with each airport to ensure that the equipment meets its specific operational needs.

SEA, for instance, specified the following requirements:
• mobility for flexible operations on a congested ramp;
• weather protection;
• safety features such as LED pathway lighting, handrails and minimal trip hazards; and
• functionality to allow towing and operation by diesel motor for docking of aircraft.

Leischner emphasizes that SEA is committed to providing all passengers with the highest level of customer service, whether they arrive or depart directly from the terminal or at a remote parking location. Covered mobile boarding ramp allow passengers to avoid stairs and exposure to the elements, he explains.

Each of the Aviramp units deployed at SEA includes a clear/tinted polycarbonate plastic covering with an expanding canvas canopy to protect the aircraft galley and passengers from inclement weather.

Continued Need
With even more passengers expected in coming years, mobile boarding ramps and airside buses will likely be important tools at SEA for the foreseeable future. “[They provide] valuable gate capacity during peak periods of operation,” Leischner explains.

Master planning is ongoing, but major gate expansion is not expected until around 2029. Meanwhile, forecasters predict continued traffic growth-66 million annual passengers by 2034.

Efficient and comfortable hardstand operations could also prove pivotal during SEA’s upcoming capital improvement program, which could require the temporary closure of parts of the terminal. “While we are busy today, it will only get worse once we close gates during construction of expanded facilities,” predicts Leischner.

Engaging internal and external stakeholders early in the decision-making process has been critical for coping with gate constraints, he notes. “A collaborative approach with airlines and tenants is important in finding sustainable solutions,” he explains. “Providing a world-class remote passenger hardstand operation is important to the airlines operating into and out of Seattle.”

Island Ease
Cancun International Airport (CUN) has eight Aviramp units at work on its ramp-seven Continental models and one International. The airport, operated by Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste (ASUR), primarily uses the ramps to assist travelers with special needs, notes Airport Director Carlos Trueba Coll.

“They provide excellent support facilitating the embarking and disembarking of passengers, especially those with disabilities,” he explains.

Already well known as a vacation destination, Cancun is also emerging as a popular market for medical tourism. According to surveys conducted by local hotel associations, about 12% of CUN passengers are older than 60. “Therefore, and naturally, it is expected to have an increase in the number of passengers with [additional] needs,” Trueba Coll says.

Terri Smart-Jewkes notes that the gradual slopes on Aviramp products allow passengers to board and disembark safely and more quickly than other devices. “Air stairs can often be a
safety challenge for even the most able-bodied passengers,” she remarks. “Improved safety and operational efficiency work hand-in-hand.”

According to Trueba Coll, CUN specifically searched for mobile boarding ramps that would fulfill international standards for use by travelers with physical disabilities; but the airport also prioritized other factors, such as reliability, operability, maintenance ease and low acquisition cost.

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Why Newquay Airport is the best in Britain

Newquay Airport is the UK’s fastest growing airport. And there’s a reason for that, says superfan Julia Buckley. Read more and find out how Aviramp has helped.

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Aviramp wowing American Airlines staff and passengers at LAX!!!

Aviramp wows American Airlines personnel in Los Angeles (LAX). With a hugely successful installation, the first flight deploying the use of the Aviramp took place on the 12th April. Passengers, handlers and airline staff were raving about the impacts it has delivered in just a short period of time. Most notably the quicker streamlined boarding and deplaning, the improved safety for everyone, and the all inclusive step-free passenger experience, especially for the PRM. An American Airlines representative felt compelled to contact the Aviramp team with this wonderful message “absolutely perfect, this is one fine piece of equipment, the boys over on the other side of the world certainly do it right. Well done all”. Praise indeed, and much appreciated by all the team, these guys on the ground at Aviramp LTD manufacture our products using the finest materials and specifications to build simple, effective equipment that is reliable and long lasting. A coup for British manufacturing and for independent entrepreneurial businesses everywhere! Moreover the team install all units in situe and then train the relevant ground support staff before going live! So it is a very thorough process, and Aviramp sees it through from start to finish, with a robust after sales strategy and account management approach to ensure we remain on hand if ever required, or should more units wish to be purchased!! The latter always the likely scenario!!!.

Impressed? Well, If you want to understand and experience the equipment first hand, why not come and see us at the Airport Show in Dubai 15th-17th May on STAND 4250. This is a unique opportunity to try before you buy! You can even set up a meeting with the CEO and technical team for a LIVE Demo at the show by emailing us at

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Aviramp showcase Dubai!

After a very successful Airport Show in Las Vegas back in October last year, Aviramp decided to exhibit at the forthcoming trade show in Dubai in May!

So we will be there complete with product, to allow all visitors to our stand NUMBER 4250, to experience the Aviramp first hand. This will give invaluable insight as by using the equipment the plethora of benefits are brought to life.  It is so easy to understand how this ground handling equipment is safer, faster and fairer for all stakeholders.

We will also have a team of Aviramp experts on hand to discuss any technical questions, alongside the CEO himself who originally came up with the idea of launching a mobile boarding ramp and bridge and introducing it to the aviation sector. Now with our products positively impacting live operations globally, the Aviramp brand story is finally getting the support and recognition it deserves.  Aviramp delivers a compelling proposition to airports, airlines, ground handlers and passengers, with greater safety for passengers and handlers, huge cost savings, streamlined on time performance, greater operational efficiencies and a fairer, equal boarding experience for all passengers.

Join Aviramp at the Dubai Show 15th-17th May DICEC Dubai STAND 4250

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Aviramp : A retrospective look!

‘Viva Las Vegas’ was undoubtedly the theme song for Aviramp, after such an overwhelming response from visitors, who came to review the Aviramp boarding bridge back in October last year.

The swathe of visitors actually resulted in enlisting our technical team and assemblers to help man the stand alongside the CEO and sales team due to the high numbers.

Fortunately, the show delivered some new converts to Aviramp, and orders directly followed from the likes of SEA, LAX and JAC, worth just shy of £2M.

So to review the return on investment both in terms of brand activation and direct sales is a no brainer. The upshot being that US airports and airlines are particularly hooked on our suite of patented boarding ramps and bridges, and there is nothing currently on the market there, to compete with our innovation and design.

So we look forward to building the brand in the USA, and seeing more and more products dominating aviation ground handling in this fast moving and dynamic market.  Watch this space.

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AVIRAMP builds its market share….

More markets appear to be converting to Aviramp, as tenders and opportunities continue to flood in; both in the UK and overseas.

Just to provide a brief update of those that have recently invested since the start of the New Year, we wanted to offer a snapshot insight into those airports, airlines and handlers who are ordering the Aviramp to improve overall efficiencies and save costs.

Airlines such as Japanese Air Commuter and American Airlines are shortly to take receipt of their lites/domestics and internationals respectively. Staying in the USA, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle are all preparing for installations of their Aviramp boarding bridges, within various international flight hubs.

Closer to home, Aviramp has won a European tender to include four Aviramp installations in Ajaccio on the island of Corsica. Perpignan also added to their suite of Aviramps by ordering their third Continental, and Scala Figari acquired two Aviramp continentals as well.

In the home territories, there are Aviramps operational in Bristol, Southampton, East Midlands, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, with Belfast International carrying four EMA Mobiloaders and Kerry in Ireland, its first Continental. Ground handlers Swissport and Menzies are also on board with more orders brewing, and leasing giant TCR also ordered its first two Aviramps for delivery into Manchester.  We will soon be seeing products in Jersey and another at Cardiff and New Quay.

Aviramps are consistently multiplying in all markets worldwide, and there are a number of exciting projects and pitches in progress so keep tracking our developments!

For more information on Aviramp, just contact our sales team



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Prower gives Power to Aviramp

Aviation expert Simon Prower joins Aviramp in a consultancy role as Account Director (Special Projects).

With well over 25 years’ experience in Ground Operations, including 10 years in Policy and Standards roles at easyJet, and as Director Of Ground Operations at Flybe, Simon is known for his work in streamlining ground operations, improving performance and compliance, and introducing effective systems, processes, and technologies. He joins Aviramp at a key stage in its development, with the brand finally getting the recognition it deserves, with a dramatic increase in sales.

It is proving already to be a very wise move for Aviramp, as Simon is already working with leading UK based airlines, and airports both in the UK and abroad. As a UK-based manufacturing operation, Aviramp is experiencing growth on its home turf with more airports and airlines buying into the Aviramp patented solution given its innovation, uniqueness of design and swathe of benefits.

Simon was a ‘believer’ in the Aviramp concept from the outset, he was the first to recognise its potential, supporting early trials during the prototype stages. His experience will undoubtedly help to shape the next chapter in the Aviramp story working with airports, airlines, and ground handling / PRM suppliers to optimise airport operations.

His credentials and track record are illustrated in his career to date, having worked for airlines such as CityFlyer Express, Etihad, GB Airways, easyJet and Flybe, before launching his own consultancy (ProwAir Consult) in 2016. This will continue alongside this latest undertaking for Aviramp.

A spokesperson for Aviramp commented, “We are thrilled to welcome Simon onto the Aviramp team, bringing with him a valuable amount of airline and ground handling experience. With the impact created in his former roles, the team are looking forward to working with him on these various collaborative and game-changing projects”. The objective is very clear, to position Aviramp boarding ramps and bridges as the product of choice for boarding and deplaning.

It is down to Simon to have the last word on this new venture “I’m delighted to be working with Graham Corfield (CEO) and the team. Aviramp is a simple, fantastic, tried and tested design, delivering real benefits to all areas of ground handling….the airline, ground handler, PRM supplier, and most importantly the customer! Our goal now is to build on those solid foundations and create real game changing strategies to drive the volumes into airports and airline hubs the world over. I can’t wait to get started….”

For all media enquiries please contact Terri Smart-Jewkes, email: mobile: 07773 337190.



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Aviramp set to become the industry standard in Ground Support!!!

Well it certainly is moving that way, as more UK airports, airlines and ground handlers are buying into the Aviramp suite of products! Great news for this independent manufacturing company, which has challenged the aviation sector and presented a unique suite of products with a raft of benefits.

Birmingham Airport has recently ordered a suite of Aviramp Lites for its Flybe hub courtesy of OCS. However other airport and handler operations have also succumbed to the compelling proposition presented by Aviramp- to improve safety, reduce costs, meet on target performance times, drive operational efficiencies, and last but by no means least, introduce an all inclusive and seamless passenger experience, most notably creating a step-free, dignified boarding and deplaning process for the PRM. That’s a whole lot of benefit per unit for a raft of stakeholders!

These converts include Southampton Airport, which has recently taken receipt of an Aviramp Continental following the successful implementation of the Aviramp Lites and EMA Mobiloader. Kerry Airport makes it a first for Ireland, with its order of an Aviramp Continental, a pioneering move from a smaller regional airport. Cardiff Airport has placed a second order for another Aviramp Continental given the successful impact of the first. Bristol Airport has invested in two EMA Mobiloaders to resolve their issues of heavy loading. And an Aviramp Lite has just been bought by Manchester Airport, a sign of great things to come going forward!!

This is a snapshot overview of the most recent developments in the UK market, we have a great deal more happening globally with orders and pending orders emerging from France, Italy, the USA, Australia, Japan and Scandinavia.

So Aviramp is setting a new precedent in ground support, for a safer, better, faster, fairer system for boarding and deplaning. Good news for all parties.

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Birmingham finally bites….

Great news for Aviramp and Birmingham Airport as they take receipt of a suite of solar powered boarding ramps for their Flybe hub operations courtesy of PRM Provider OCS.

Although Aviramp is prevalent globally, with a number of units operational in the UK it is fantastic to see our products being embraced by our ‘home’ airport! Aviramp is a local manufacturing company based in Telford, and all our ground support equipment is produced on site by a skilled team of welders, fabricators and fitters company website. So it feels a truly ‘personal’ win to have Birmingham on side and championing our kit!

Aviramp CEO Graham Corfield reinforces this “I am delighted that Birmingham Airport is on board, they have always been hugely supportive and we have had many long discussions over the years about both Aviramp and the EMA Mobiloader which they again were instrumental in facilitating the product we see today. It is great to see our equipment building momentum in the UK. And this development with Birmingham Airport should bode very well for the future”

Any media enquiries please contact or call 07773 337190

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Aviramp on its way to Las Vegas!

Aviramp will be exhibiting some of its product range at the forthcoming 2016 International Airport GSE EXPO October 18-20 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA task management system. Aviramp STAND 831

This is a fantastic opportunity to ‘experience’ the Aviramp product suite directly, first hand, live in action! It will allow you to meet the ‘brains’ behind the concept and glean the necessary insights straight from the Aviramp team!

The manufacturing business remains independently owned by CEO Graham Corfield, and aside from the benefits of the products, the business is committed to maintaining the highest standards in terms of safety and quality.

In terms of benefits, the Aviramp proposition is a no –brainer:

Improved safety
Greater operational efficiencies
Huge cost savings against the alternatives (Stairs/Ambulift)
Meeting on target performance objectives, reducing delays
An all-inclusive passenger experience
Dignity for the PRM

So make sure you do not miss out; visit the Aviramp STAND 831…

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