Gate (airport)

Last updated

A gate is the portion of an airport that connects an aircraft with its payload. Commercial airport gates have airside components to facilitate passenger boarding and aircraft ground handling. [1] :6-2


Gates may include a waiting area for passengers before boarding their flight. While the exact specifications vary from airport to airport and country to country, most gates consist of seating, a counter, and an entry or exit doorway leading to the aircraft. Gates adjacent to a passenger concourse may be connected by way of a jet bridge or they may require that passengers board from the apron directly using mobile stairs or airstairs built into the aircraft itself. Remote gates also use stairs for boarding but require ground transportation to move passengers between the terminal and the aircraft parking location. [1] :7-2

Domestic vs international

At most gates a single doorway opens to a jet bridge which leads to the aircraft door depending on aircraft model. If the gate is being used for departures, domestic arrivals, or international arrivals coming from airports with preclearance for the destination airport, a door that goes to a waiting area will be opened and a hallway to customs will be closed, preventing passengers from entering into the customs hall. For international arrivals who are coming from cities that do not have preclearance, the door leading to the waiting area is closed and passengers are directed to a hallway where they can either go into the customs hall, if they end at that city, or clear customs and pre-board security if they have a connecting flight.

Jet bridge vs airstair

Before the era of the jet bridge or jetway, airline passengers embarked onto the aircraft from ground level via airstairs. If initially indoors, passengers would exit the waiting area through a door to the outside and then passengers would proceed to the airstairs leading to the aircraft door. This method is still used for boarding smaller planes or boarding at smaller airports.


The equipment is either airport or airline property, in most cases airport infrastructure. [2]

Related Research Articles

Dulles International Airport Airport in Dulles, Virginia serving the Washington Metropolitan Area in the United States

Washington Dulles International Airport, typically referred to as Dulles International Airport, Dulles Airport, Washington Dulles or simply Dulles, is an international airport in the Eastern United States, located in Loudoun County and Fairfax County in Virginia, 26 miles (42 km) west of Downtown Washington, D.C.

Tijuana International Airport

Tijuana International Airport, sometimes referred to as General Abelardo L. Rodríguez International Airport, in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, is Mexico's second northernmost airport after Mexicali International Airport. The airport is located in the city's Otay Centenario borough, just immediately south of the U.S border. It is Latin America's 11th busiest airport and the fourth busiest in Mexico after Mexico City, Cancun and Guadalajara airports. It handled 6,310,798 passengers in 2020, a decrease of 29.23% from 2019 as a result of the COVID-19 contingencies; the traffic decline was one of the lowest in the country. The airport can handle up to 10 million passengers per year and 360 flights per day.

San Jose International Airport Airport in San Jose, California, United States

Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport, also known as San Jose International Airport, is a city-owned public airport in San Jose, California, United States. It is named after San Jose native Norman Mineta, former Transportation Secretary in the Cabinet of George W. Bush and Commerce Secretary in the Cabinet of Bill Clinton. The name also recognizes Mineta's service as a councilman for, and mayor of, San Jose.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport International airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

Charlotte Douglas International Airport is an international airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is the primary airport for commercial and military use in the Charlotte metropolitan area located roughly six miles from the city's central business district. The airport is owned by the City of Charlotte and operated by the city's aviation department. Established in 1935 as Charlotte Municipal Airport, the airport was renamed in 1954 for Ben Elbert Douglas Sr., who was mayor of Charlotte when the airport was first built. It took its present name in 1982. The airport is a fortress hub for American Airlines, which serves 149 destinations and operates over 700 daily flights out of Charlotte. CLT covers 5,558 acres of land.

Norfolk International Airport Airport in Norfolk, Virginia

Norfolk International Airport is seven miles (11 km) northeast of downtown Norfolk, an independent city in Virginia. It is owned and operated by the Norfolk Airport Authority: a bureau under the municipal government. The airport serves the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of southeast Virginia as well as northeast North Carolina. Despite its name, the airport does not have any international destinations.

San Antonio International Airport

San Antonio International Airport is an international airport in San Antonio, Texas. It is in Uptown Central San Antonio, about 8 miles north of Downtown. It has three runways and covers 2,305 acres. Its elevation is 809 feet (247 m) above sea level. SAT averages 260 daily departures and arrivals at its 24 gates, which serve 12 airlines flying non-stop to 53 destinations in the US and Mexico.

Will Rogers World Airport Airport in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

Will Rogers World Airport, a.k.a.Will Rogers Airport or simply Will Rogers, is a passenger airport located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States, about 6 miles (10 km) southwest of the city's downtown area. It is a civil-military airport on 8,081 acres of land. Although the official IATA and ICAO airport codes for Will Rogers World Airport are OKC and KOKC, it is common practice to refer to it as "WRWA" or "Will Rogers".

Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport Airport in Guam

Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport, also known as Guam International Airport, is an airport located in Tamuning and Barrigada, 3 miles (4.8 km) east of the capital city of Hagåtña in the United States territory of Guam. The airport is a hub for Asia Pacific Airlines and for United Airlines, serving as the latter's Pacific Ocean hub. It is also the home of the former Naval Air Station Agana, and is the only international airport in the territory. The airport is named after Antonio Borja Won Pat, the first delegate from Guam to the United States House of Representatives, and is operated by the A.B. Won Pat International Airport Authority, Guam, an agency of the Government of Guam.

Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport International airport in Birmingham, Alabama, United States

Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport, formerly Birmingham Municipal Airport and later Birmingham International Airport, is a civil-military airport serving Birmingham, Alabama and its metropolitan area, including Tuscaloosa. It is located in Jefferson County, five miles northeast of Downtown Birmingham, near the interchange of Interstates 20 and 59.

Calgary International Airport Airport in Alberta, Canada

Calgary International Airport, branded as YYC Calgary International Airport, is an international airport that serves the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It is located approximately 17 km (11 mi) northeast of downtown and covers an area of 20.82 km2 (8.04 sq mi) or 5,144 acres. With 17.96 million passengers and 238,843 aircraft movements in 2019, Calgary International is the busiest airport in Alberta and the fourth-busiest in Canada by both measures. This airport is served by the Calgary International Airport Emergency Response Service for aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) protection. The region's petroleum and tourism industries have helped foster growth at the airport, which has nonstop flights to an array of destinations in North and Central America, Europe, and Asia. Calgary serves as the headquarters for WestJet and is a hub for Air Canada.

Detroit Metropolitan Airport Airport near Detroit, Michigan, United States

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, usually called Detroit Metro Airport, Metro Airport, or just DTW, is a major international airport in the United States covering 4,850 acres (1,960 ha) in Romulus, Michigan. It is the primary international airport serving Detroit and is Michigan's busiest airport. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021 categorized it as a large hub primary commercial service facility.

Reno–Tahoe International Airport Airport in Reno, Nevada, United States

Reno–Tahoe International Airport is a public and military airport three miles (4.8 km) southeast of downtown Reno, in Washoe County, Nevada, United States. It is the state's second busiest commercial airport after McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. The Nevada Air National Guard has the 152nd Airlift Wing southwest of the airport's main terminal. The airport is named after both the City of Reno, Nevada and Lake Tahoe. The airspace of Reno-Tahoe Airport is controlled by the Northern California TRACON and Oakland Air Route Traffic Control Center.

Airport terminal

An airport terminal is a building at an airport where passengers transfer between ground transportation and the facilities that allow them to board and disembark from an aircraft.

Jet bridge Enclosed movable bridge which extends from an airport terminal gate to an airplane

A jet bridge is an enclosed, movable connector which most commonly extends from an airport terminal gate to an airplane, and in some instances from a port to a boat or ship, allowing passengers to board and disembark without going outside and being exposed to harsh weather. Depending on building design, sill heights, fueling positions, and operational requirements, a jet bridge may be fixed or movable, swinging radially, and/or extending in length. The jetway was invented by Frank Der Yuen.

Victoria International Airport Airport in British Columbia, Canada

Victoria International Airport serves Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. It is 12 nautical miles north northwest of Victoria on the Saanich Peninsula, with the bulk of the airport in North Saanich, and a small portion of the airfield extending into Sidney. The airport is run by the Victoria Airport Authority. YYJ has many nonstop daily flights to Vancouver International Airport, which is a major airport serving many global routes. Additionally, Victoria International has nonstop service to Seattle (SEA), Toronto (YYZ), Montreal, Calgary (YYC), Edmonton (YEG), Winnipeg (YWG), Saskatoon (YXE), Kitchener/Waterloo (YKF), and several smaller cities in British Columbia and Yukon. The airport also has seasonal nonstop service to several Mexican resort destinations. Non-stop service between Victoria and the United States decreased by 50% in the beginning of September 2019 when Delta Airlines permanently ended its three daily flights, after which only Alaska Airlines will fly the Victoria - Seattle route.

Mobile lounge Bus-like system for boarding and disembarking from aircraft

A mobile lounge is a system for boarding and disembarking from aircraft using a bus-like vehicle.

Evansville Regional Airport Public airport near Evansville, IN, USA

Evansville Regional Airport is three miles north of Evansville, in Vanderburgh County, Indiana, United States. It is owned and operated by the Evansville-Vanderburgh Airport Authority District.

Fayetteville Regional Airport

Fayetteville Regional Airport, also known as Grannis Field, is a public use airport in Cumberland County, North Carolina, United States. It is owned by the city of Fayetteville and located three nautical miles (6 km) south of its central business district.

Bandaranaike International Airport Largest airport serving Colombo, Sri Lanka; located in Katunayake

Bandaranaike International Airport is the main international airport serving Sri Lanka. It is named after former Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and is located in a suburb of Negombo, 32.5 kilometres north of the nation's longstanding capital and commercial center, Colombo. It is administered by Airport and Aviation Services Ltd and serves as the hub of SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka, and domestic carrier Cinnamon Air. The other airport serving the city of Colombo is the Ratmalana International Airport, primarily serving domestic destinations.

Boarding is the entry of passengers onto a vehicle, usually in public transportation. Boarding starts with entering the vehicle and ends with the seating of each passenger and closing the doors. The term is used in road, rail, water and air transport.


  1. 1 2 "Advisory Circular: Airport Terminal Planning" (PDF). U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration. July 13, 2018. AC No: 150/5360-13A. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
  2. Harris, William; Freudenrich, Craig. "How Airports Work: At the Hub of It All: Concourses and Terminals". HowStuffWorks. Retrieved March 7, 2020.