Airbus A380 approved to operate on 45m runways

Airbus’ A380 has received approval from both the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to be operated on runways with a width of 45 metres (150 feet) or more. Most of the world airports have 45m runways as standard width.

“This aircraft has been shown to be safely controllable and to be compliant with applicable airworthiness requirements when operating on runways with a width of 45 meters (150 feet) or more”, stated James J. Ballough, FAA Director Flight Standards Service in an official correspondence to Airbus, dated July 19, 2007.

This approval is yet another great achievement for the A380 Programme and the result of a unique operational evaluation including airport compatibility checks, route proving campaigns and dedicated flight-testing together with the Authorities.

“Full Airport compatibility has always been a key design driver for this new flagship of the 21 century”, says Mario Heinen, Airbus Executive Vice President, A380 Programme. “Since the very beginning of the A3XX concept phase in 1996 Airbus has established a sustainable dialogue with regulators, airports, airlines, ground handlers and pilots as well as trade-associations, with the objective to make it fully compliant with the average airport environments. We are pleased to see once more that this approach is bearing fruits.”

The A380 has already visited more than 45 airports. By 2011, more than 70 airports will be ready for A380 operations.

In parallel, Airbus is progressing well with the first customer A380s. The first A380 for Singapore Airlines arrived in Toulouse in mid-July after completion of the cabin installation. It is now submitted to thorough final checks, prior to delivery to the customer in October. The subsequent aircraft, for delivery to Singapore Airlines, Emirates Airlines and Qantas, are also well on track.

Being cleaner, greener, quieter and smarter, the A380 is already setting new standards for transport and the environment. Per passenger, the A380 is as fuel efficient as a small economical family car. The combination of extra passenger capacity without increasing the number of flights, excellent environmental performance and lower operating costs is an ideal solution for both increasingly congested airports and the airlines that serve them.