Singapore will be the first city outside Europe to welcome the new Airbus A380, the world’s first fully double-decker aircraft, when it arrives at Singapore Changi Airport in November 2005.
At Changi, as part of the A380 flight test campaign, the aircraft will test its long-range flight capability in its non-stop journey to Singapore. While on the ground, it will participate in a wide range of tests with launch customer Singapore Airlines and inaugural airport, Singapore Changi Airport, to ensure that ground-handling equipment and airport enhancements being developed for the aircraft adequately meet its needs.
The A380 flight test campaign involves over 2,500 hours of flight tests conducted across three continents on five A380 development aircraft. This will culminate in certification by the European and American airworthiness authorities, after which the world’s largest commercial airliner will be delivered to Singapore Airlines.
As first in the world to operate the A380 at the end of 2006, Singapore Airlines will pioneer a new era in global commercial aviation. Customers on the Singapore Airlines A380, particularly those in the premium classes, will enjoy the greater luxury and comfort that the increased space on this aircraft affords. There will be less than 480 seats in a three-class configuration on the Singapore Airlines A380, although the aircraft was designed to accommodate 555 passengers in the same layout. The cabin products on the Singapore Airlines A380 will also be noticeably different from what is on offer today. The Airline has ten A380s on firm order, and fifteen on option.
As the inaugural airport for the A380, Singapore Changi Airport has spent over S$60 million to get Changi Airport’s Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 ready to accommodate the A380 aircraft operations in 2006. Modifications works, which started in early 2004, include the installation of a third Passenger Loading Bridge (PLB) which will allow passengers direct access to the upper deck of the A380. These additional PLBs are being installed at the 11 gate holdrooms being modified in Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 to handle the A380. Other modification works include the widening of runway shoulders as well as widening of runway-taxiway and taxiway-taxiway intersections. In future, Terminal 3 will also have eight A380-compatible gate holdrooms, each with three PLBs. In addition, two A380-compatible freighter aircraft stands and remote aircraft parking stands have been constructed.