On the video of the JetBlue 292 landing (at 4:27), one of the first emergency vehicles to approach the Airbus is a fire department airstair. I've never seen a fire department with its own airstair. I found a standalone picture of LAX's Stair 80. I don't see a stair among ORD's fire apparatus but DFW and DEN have them. Why do some airports apparently have airstairs but others don't?
The only reference I found from the FAA is a 2012 article about New Large Aircraft (e.g. A380). Relevant passage:
Several airports are now acquiring mobile air stairs and modifying them for ARFF use with hand lines, ventilation equipment and fire fighting tools. Some European airports have even acquired customized platform vehicles for rapid firefighter access into aircraft. Ideas being discussed are various air stair designs, scissor lift catering style trucks and modified ARFF vehicles with stairs or ladder that will accommodate all sizes of aircraft, including double deck designs.
I found this manufacturer page touting the importance of fire department airstairs. So obviously they exist. Here are my questions:
- Does the FAA require fire department airstairs?
- What are the primary uses? Getting passengers out or getting firefighters in?