One of the things that always baffles me is that airports almost always have the arrivals and departures sections on different levels, but that you exit the aircraft into the departures hall. In some airports this leads to long walks along labyrinthine corridors to customs.

Now it seems to me that one could easily raise and lower the other end of the bridge to match the hall being used. Domestic flights could exit directly onto the arrivals level, and international to the customs. Yes, this would increase the complexity of the bridges, but much less than the reduction in complexity of the rest of the airport layout while eliminating many escalators and elevators.

Does anyone know an airport that does something like this?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You don't exit to the departures hall, you exit to the transit area. Some people are not leaving the airport, but going to a connecting flight, so they just cross this area to the other gate. Only those who end there proceed to the baggage claim and customs and border control. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Aug 9, 2018 at 5:38
  • $\begingroup$ Jetbridges are designed to move vertically to adjust to the height of the aircraft, not the building. The jetbridge would then need two vertical height drive mechanisms and would have to be long enough so to avoid excessive slope problems. $\endgroup$
    – ksea
    Sep 3, 2018 at 8:41

2 Answers 2


JFK's Terminal 7 (British Airways Terminal) had (no more) some gates with this feature. The terminal-side of the bridge moved vertically down for disembarkation, and up for boarding. You can see a photo in this post on flyertalk.com. Below is a comparison for the old/new systems:

enter image description here


Oslo doesn't have the exact same feature, but has escalators and lifts as part of the gate to lead arriving passengers to the transit area. From there they either proceed one floor down to the departures area, or two floors down to customs, baggage claim and the arrivals area.


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