SINGAPORE (Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore) - Singapore Changi Airport became the first airport outside Europe to welcome the Airbus A380 when the super jumbo double-decker aircraft arrived here at 1000 hours today for airport compatibility verification tests. Changi is also the first airport where the inaugural A380 commercial flight will take-off from next year.
While the A380 aircraft is in Singapore , the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), which develops and manages Changi Airport, will engage in a series of tests with Airbus technical personnel to ensure that airport modifications and enhancements being developed for the A380 aircraft adequately meet its needs. This includes appraising the new third Passenger Loading Bridge (PLB) or what is more commonly known as the third aerobridge, which allows passengers direct access to the upper deck of the A380. The third PLB was deployed as soon as the aircraft docked at Gate F31 this morning. Gate F31 is the first gate at Changi Airport's Terminal 2 that was modified to accommodate A380 operations. The A380 aircraft will also be using Changi Airport's runways and taxiways that have been modified to meet international safety requirements for the new large aircraft.
"The arrival of the A380 aircraft today shows that Changi Airport is ready to handle A380 flights, which we have been planning for since the late 1990s. It also provides CAAS with an early opportunity to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of Changi Airport's infrastructure, equipment and operating procedures. In particular, we are excited that Changi is the first airport in the world to have a completed third PLB ready for simulation tests with the A380 aircraft," said Mr Wong Woon Liong, Director-General of Civil Aviation, CAAS.
CAAS is spending S$60 million on modification works to get Changi Airport's Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 ready for A380 operations. Besides Gate F31 which has been modified, CAAS has also completed the expansion of one more A380-compatible gate holdroom in Terminal 2, Gate E5, including the installation of an additional gangway and a third PLB. Nine other existing gate holdrooms in Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 are similarly being modified. The future Terminal 3 will have another eight A380-compatible gates bringing the total number of A380-compatible gates at the airport to 19. Each of the 19 gates will have three PLBs.
In addition, three out of four baggage claim carousels serving A380 flights in Terminal 2 have been extended to accommodate more luggage, while two A380-ready baggage claim belts in Terminal 1 will be ready by next year. Other modification works include the widening of runways' shoulders as well as runway-taxiway and taxiway-taxiway intersections.
Besides making modifications to existing infrastructure, CAAS has constructed two new freighter aircraft stands and two remote aircraft parking stands for A380 flights. Shields have also been installed along each side of a taxiway bridge to contain the effect of the A380 jet blast. Similar shields are being installed at another taxiway bridge at Changi Airport.
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