BAA Heathrow will welcome the world’s largest commercial airliner, the Airbus A380, on 18 May 2006, when it makes its British debut to carry out airport compatibility checks.
The A380 will arrive on Heathrow’s Southern Runway and will park at Terminal 3, Pier 6 - a new purpose built £100 million facility that is a 280 metre long, three-storey high pier which can accommodate up to four A380s at a time.
During its UK visit, BAA and Airbus will be carrying out ground handling and airport compatibility trials, which will help to ensure that everything is ready for aircraft’s entry into service.
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 Emirates, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways and Virgin Atlantic.
Airbus programmes generate around 140,000 direct and indirect jobs in the UK.
At least 22,000 of these jobs result from the A380 - with the figures increasing further when taking into account UK engine manufacturing through Rolls-Royce and its supply chain - which provides the Trent 900 engine as an option on the A380. More than 400 companies throughout the UK are contributing to the A380 programme.