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Nov 30 2016

WW: Airport Observations

If you’re looking for me, I’m traveling this week and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. I spent a lot of time in airports today, and here are a few Wordless Wednesday observations…

I think I mentioned this application the last time I visited this airport, but I still don’t see how pulling the fire alarm to unlock the doors is acceptable.  And what about the pull station being inside of a plastic box?  Ok or no way?


Nice convenient charging spot, or an egress problem (or both)?


This door gets a lot of employee traffic.  Authorized employees present their badge and also enter a code, then they use the door on the left with the push plate.  I’m not sure how this qualifies as an exit or an area of rescue assistance.


I recently read that airport jetways should have panic hardware, but the doors I saw in this airport do not.  Anyone have experience with this requirement/recommendation?


10 Responses to “WW: Airport Observations”

  1. Charles a says:

    “I recently read that airport jetways should have panic hardware, but the doors I saw in this airport do not. Anyone have experience with this requirement/recommendation?”

    I am not sure if I would consider the plane walk way an “A” occupancy, requiring panic hardware on the door.

    Normally staff is controlling the door anytime a plane is using the walk way.

    Now I have seen where part of the building itself is part of the walk way. Maybe in that case would need proper exiting.

    We do allow the plastic noise maker covers with no problem.

  2. James Slemmons says:

    We’re working on some expansions at two large California airports, and these pictures make me question humanity.

    While panics make sense at the jet-bridge doors, they are not required…as of yet.

  3. mike Meredith says:

    Lori – NFPA 72 (2013) Chapter 17.14.7 does permit the use of a ‘listed cover’ (as shown in the first photo) to be ‘installed over single- or double-action manually actuated alarm-initiating devices.’ We use these in areas where moisture/water might damage the pull station. Here it might be in place to prevent accidental or inadvertent activation of the pull station. From all the warning signs posted next to it, this may have been an issue…

    As far as the pull station releasing the door? You’d think that the panic bar would need to also allow egress independent of the pull station or FAS. Again, NFPA 72 Chapter says that ‘Manual fire alarm boxes shall be used only for fire alarm initiating purposes.’ I would think that an AHJ might allow some relay operation if the pull station were activated, but it doesn’t seem likely that they would accept the panic bar not independently permitting egress.

    • Lori says:

      Thanks Mike! In this case, I don’t think the panic releases the door – I’m pretty sure the mag-locks lock the doors until the fire alarm sounds.

      – Lori

  4. Eric says:

    Regarding the last pic- it’s my understanding that exit devices are required but I have always been overruled. The last two airport jobs I worked on used double-sided keypad locks at this location. Still now sure how you’re supposed to egress the jetway under that circumstance. Apparently, security trumps (no pun intended) life safety.

  5. Ronald Betschman says:

    These conditions are allowed to exist with the AHJ’s full knowledge and BLESSING!

  6. Patrick Jones says:

    Seems to me lifting a plastic cover, pulling a fire alarm, then opening a door is more than one motion.

    In our hospital we eliminated several outlets in corridors just to discourage charging things in the hall. Looks like that would help this situation also.

  7. Wayne says:

    At my airport we comply with NFPA 415 which governs Jet Bridges (Loading Walkways per NFPA) and is required by the FAA. I don’t have the latest NFPA, mine is from 1997 but from memory the door at the terminal is the egress from the aircraft and needs to swing into the terminal (direction of travel) and must have “panic hardware” (their term). You can check me on NFPA 415 4-2.

  8. Wayne says:

    You’re welcome Lori. If the airport receives Federal Funding, they could by made by the FAA to comply with the Airport Circular and NFPA 415. The FAA could pull funding for other projects if so inclined. I’ve seen it happen.

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