Here Comes the A380

Not since the introduction of the Boeing 747 has the commercial aviation world anticipated the arrival of an aircraft.

The runway that will be relocated meets the FAA requirement of 200 feet wide for the A380, says Massman. "That's the runway we intend to primarily land the plane. However, if we wish to use other runways in the future, we would have to reinforce the shoulders," he adds.

LAX is also looking into offering training for those that will be handling the aircraft at the airport, says Massman, and officials continue to meet with Airbus officials regularly, as well as Qantas in preparation.

LAX officials expect eight of its airlines to operate the A380, with some two flights per day per carrier. Currently LAX sees 1,800 operations each day, so Massman doesn't expect that the arrival of the aircraft will relieve capacity issues significantly. "It's the equivalent of handling two 747s simultaneously," he says. "The amount of passengers that are flowing, bags that are flowing are equivalent."

Adds Massman, "Clearly this aircraft is designed to accommodate a number of needs: noise, fuel efficiency, and of course range. All of those issues are important to our airport."

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