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Jetway Passenger Boarding Bridge Case Study

Apron Drive Delivers Improved Positioning Accuracy & Worker Safety


The excitement of boarding an airplane and the relief when you finally touch ground and de-board, are large parts of the flying experience. The equipment used to make this experience more efficient and enjoyable for passengers is just as important as the airplane itself. The customers' Jetway Apron Drive Passenger Boarding Bridges are the most versatile and widely used boarding bridges in the world. The flexibility, functionality and reliability of the Jetway boarding bridge make it the industry's best solution for linking aircraft to air terminals.

The customer challenge faced was how to securely allow passengers to board a variety of aircraft designs indoors away from the outside elements. In addition, the design of the boarding bridge needed to be able to adjust to various aircraft door height. There was also the challenge of safety. The customer had a valid concern if the ball nuts were ever to fail, that the boarding bridge walkway would not fall to the ground hurting insistent passengers in the process.



Electro-mechanical devices can control bridge movements with ease and accuracy, without compromising safety. FMC Technologies' Jetway Apron Drive passenger boarding bridges can be combined with variable length JetWalk, JetStair or JetRamp units to accommodate all airport designs, including ground level facilities, providing flexibility for gate usage and aircraft mix.

Nook Industries provided an over 13ft long ball screw that incorporated an integral safety ball nut that prevented the structure from falling in an inadvertent failure. The ball screw provided a high efficiency, low torque solution while still providing high repeatability. This innovative design include an internal thread the fit within the ball groves. In the event of a ball nut failure this internal thread would engage the ball screw thread preventing the load from falling down. This also allow the nut to still function, but at a much higher motor torque input.

Nook Advantages

  • Integral Safety Ball Nut
  • Proven aerospace automation control system quality
  • Made in USA
  • Positioning accuracy required for the application
  • Flexibility of gate usage and aircraft mix
  • Safety from screw freefall