Heathrow prepares for A380

27 November 2003

LONDON - The British Airports Authority is forecasting that the new Airbus A380 mega-jumbo aircraft will increase Heathrow's capacity by 10 million passengers a year.

The double-decker A380, which can carry up to 600 passengers, is due to come into service with Singapore Airlines in 2006, followed by Virgin Atlantic.

A BAA spokesman said he expected the new aircraft to account for up to 60,000 take-off and landings a year by 2016. Airports around the world are having to construct or rebuild facilities to enable them to handle the A380.

BAA is starting work on shortening jetties to make room for the aircraft's 80m wingspan and installing bigger baggage carousels to cope with the additional passengers on each flight.

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