Re: passenger stairs in aircraft tail

From:         Tony Blades <>
Organization: None
Date:         10 Jul 95 16:36:58 
References:   1
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In article: <airliners.1995.873@ohare.Chicago.COM>  Martin Fiddler <> writes:
> Certain aircraft - the DC9 / MD80 family, and the british BAC-111, have
> stairs that lower from beneath the tail.   Obviously these are very useful
> at remote airfields, as portable stairs are not needed for the passengers
> to enter and exit.  Possibly there are other aircraft with the same
> facility too.

I currently fly B737s and before that flew DC-9s for 10 years.

Most of out B737s are equipped with airstairs at the forward main door.
We do operate some aircraft which we obtained from another airline, which
don't have airstairs at all.

There is indeed a weight penalty carrying airstairs, but this is, I
believe, far outweighed by the convenience of having them fitted.  Although
nearly all all of our opertions are to airports which have peassenger
jetways, there are numerous occasions when your are parked on stands which
are not so equipped, and there are many occasions when the jetways
themselves are u/s.

Most models of DC-9 produced after the -15 were fitted with aft airstairs,
but whilst it was very nice to have two sets of airstairs, another set
being installed at the front exit, I believe it to be and expensive luxury.
The structure of the stairs and the surrounding area add a great deal to
the weight of the aircraft.

If you want any further info, please feel free to e-mail me

Tony Blades