Thursday, London's Heathrow Airport welcomed the world’s largest commercial airliner, the Airbus A380 to the UK. The aircraft arrived on
Heathrow’s Southern Runway at 13.20 and parked at Terminal 3, Pier 6 – a new purpose built £105 million, 280 metre long, three-storey high pier
which can accommodate up to four A380s at a time.
The A380, which
will remain at Heathrow overnight, will be carrying out ground handling and airport compatibility trials. These will help to ensure
that everything is ready for the aircraft’s entry into service.
The arrival of the
A380 also marked the official opening of Heathrow’s Pier 6.
Clasper, BAA Chief Executive, said, “Heathrow plays a vital part in the UK economy and the A380 will play an important part in the airport’s
future growth plans ...... Bigger planes with more passengers are the only way we can currently handle the ever increasing demand for air
travel to and from Heathrow. New planes like the A380 will also help the aviation industry to tackle environmental problems, because of their
improved performance on noise and carbon emissions.”
Welcoming the A380 to Heathrow, Tony Douglas, BAA Heathrow’s Managing Director
added, “The A380 represents a new era in aviation history and we have spent £450 million at Heathrow to ensure we are ready for it. Building our new £105 million Pier 6, which has 4 stands for A380s, took
talent, skill, planning and organisation from both young apprentices and senior managers.
“Pier 6 gives us all a wonderful glimpse of the future of Heathrow and an indication of how we hope to transform Heathrow over the coming years.
Terminal 5, which will open on 30 March 2008, will not only provide a world class passenger experience but also create a once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity to transform Heathrow into an airport we can all be proud
Airlines planning to operate the A380 at Heathrow include the first to begin scheduled service - Singapore Airlines
- for whom deliveries are scheduled before year end; as well as Air France, Emirates, Eithad, Lufthansa, Korea Air, Malaysia Airlines, Thai Air, Qantas, Qatar Airways and
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