A Passenger Boarding Bridge (PBB) (also known as an air bridge, jet bridge, jetway, and sky bridge as well as by other terms) is an enclosed, elevated passageway which extends from an airport terminal gate to an airplane. The PBB allows passengers to board and disembark an aircraft without the requirement to go outside or to be exposed to the elements. Passenger Boarding Bridges can be found in many configurations and may be fixed or movable depending upon the installation
Moving passengers from the terminal to an aircraft, and from the aircraft back to the terminal, efficiently, expeditiously and safely is a major objective of efficient airport operations. At smaller airports and those with low traffic volume, passengers will often leave the terminal and walk outdoors across the apron to board the aircraft via mobile boarding stairs or, in some cases, airstairs if the aircraft is so equipped. Passengers may also be taken to a remote parking stand by bus but the final segment of their journey to the aircraft is still on foot from the bus to the aircraft. Ensuring passenger safety on the ramp is manpower intensive and becomes increasingly more difficult as passenger numbers or the volume of aircraft and consequent Ground Handling traffic increase. The use of Passenger Boarding Bridges mitigates most of the risks associated with the requirement to allow passengers to access the ramp – Skybrary.