MUNICH Airport is Europe’s first airport with official clearance for operations with the new Airbus A380.
The permit issued by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Transport and Technology means that Munich can allow wide-body Airbus A380 jets to land even today without any elaborate special procedures – a boast that no other airport in Europe or America can make. Apart from the Munich air traffic hub, only five other airports worldwide – all of them in Asia (Bangkok, Dubai, Gidda, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo / Narita and Singapore) – meet the exacting standards imposed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) on so-called Category F airports.
Peter Trautmann, Munich Airport’s managing director for technical and traffic operations, said the A380 approval represents both an obligation and an incentive: “Munich Airport's role as a hub in the international air traffic network is continually expanding. This means that the A380, which is designed to link major hubs, is likely to become a regular visitor to our airport over the next few years.”
Key factors for meeting the new criteria include the length and width of runways, the width and curve radii of taxiways, and also the airport’s pavement loading limits. In addition to the required dimensions, Munich Airport has the necessary technology in place for handling these enormous aircraft. Right from the drawing board, the new Terminal 2 was provided with two larger-scaled pier parking positions for A380 aircraft. Three passenger gangways docked on both sides of the aircraft facilitate quick and easy boarding and disembarking from the new wide body jet which, depending on the configuration, can carry up to 800 passengers.
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