Lufthansa Gets Court Approval to Build Hangar for A380 at Frankfurt Airport

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- German airline Lufthansa AG won court approval Tuesday to build a hangar to accommodate the new Airbus super-jumbo A380 jet, removing a barrier in its plan to add the plane to its fleet.

In approving the massive hangar at Frankfurt airport, continental Europe's largest, the Kassel administrative court rejected opposition arguments from environmental groups and local officials.

The hangar is needed by the airline - the third largest in Europe - so it can maintain its fleet of A380s, which it expects to take delivery of in 2007.

Frankfurt airport operator Fraport AG also plans to invest more than euro100 million (US$121 million) to get the airport ready for the plane. It said its Terminal 1 can already accommodate the massive plane but it wants to make Terminal 2 available for it as well.

The first A380 is expected to land at the airport by the end of 2005 or the beginning of 2006, as part of its second round of route tests.

Lufthansa is one of 15 carriers that have placed orders for 154 of the double-decker, 280-metric ton (308-ton) planes.