Lufthansa Airbus A380-841 F-WWSH (D-AIMA) (msn 038) XFW (Gerd Beilfuss) (first LH A380), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Frankfurt Airport (FRA) will once again welcome the A380 super jumbo. Fraport, owner and manager of FRA, expects the A380 to land at approximately 16:00 hours today (May 18). Upon arrival, this first A380 to join the Lufthansa fleet will be officially named “Frankfurt am Main” by Frankfurt’s lord mayor Petra Roth in a ceremony at the A380 maintenance base on the southern side of the airport. Lufthansa has ordered 15 A380s and taken options on another 10 for its superjumbo fleet to be based at the FRA intercontinental hub. The inaugural flight of Lufthansa’s first A380 is scheduled for June 6 at about 20:30, when the German national soccer team takes to the skies on the Frankfurt am Main to Johannesburg for the World Cup 2010 hosted by South Africa.
To celebrate the start of A380 service at FRA and the World Cup, Fraport is offering a special program of family-oriented events on May 19, May 27 and June 6. Along with airport tours, there will be activities at the outdoor Visitors’ Terrace and in the terminals, including a shopping festival with music (June 6). Fans wishing to send off the German national team in style can do so on June 6 from the Terminal 2 Visitors’ Terrace using hand wavers painted in Germany’s national colors, provided by Fraport free of charge. Happy landings for the A380 and good luck Germany at World Cup 2010!
The A380 has been a frequent guest at Frankfurt. The FRA international air transportation hub was considered the first airport worldwide to have an A380-compatible infrastructure. As early as 2004, Fraport started detailed planning for introducing the new super jumbo, a passenger aircraft of unparalleled dimensions. Only a few years later, Fraport modified the first docking position at Terminal 2 to accommodate super jumbos. Finally, on October 29, 2005, a prototype of the new generation aircraft landed for the first time ever at a commercial airport; Airbus had chosen FRA for this test operation. FRA was the only airport able to provide all prerequisites for conducting reliable and promising test operations under realistic conditions.
At FRA comprehensive handling tests were carried out for the A380. These included the first time ever rehearsal of docking a passenger bridge to the upper level of the double-decker A380. At nighttime, important tow tests measured the effects of the A380 on the airport’s instrument landing system. Following successful completion of these airport compatibility tests, Fraport modified five more docking positions for the A380 at both of FRA’s passenger terminal.
In March 2007, Frankfurt served as the international hub for so-called A380 maturity flights (route provings) with passengers flown from FRA to New York, Washington and Hong Kong and Munich. In renewed boarding tests with the A380 Frankfurt Airport successfully achieved turn-around times of 90 minutes. Also in 2007, construction started on the A380 maintenance base as well as on the CD connector building that links FRA’s two passenger terminals. The architecture of the connector building is geared to the special handling requirements of the mega liner. Meanwhile, FRA’s Pier B has also been modified to serve the A380. Frankfurt Airport currently boasts a total of 10 terminal docking positions for the A380. In addition, there are five A380-compatible remote parking positions. With the new Pier A-Plus (now under construction), Terminal 1 will soon feature another four A380 docking positions.
In 2010 the authorities officially approved regular A380 operations for Runway South, Runway West and large parts of the movement areas (ramp and taxiways) at FRA. From the outset, Runway North already conformed to the regulatory requirements for super jumbo operations. In April 2010, Fraport put its infrastructure and equipment to the final test, after enhancements following the previous 2007 A380 visit. With some six years of planning and implementation, Frankfurt Airport is optimally prepared to welcome the first A380 jet to be home-based at FRA.
Featuring a strategic geographic location in the heart of Germany and the EU, Europe’s largest airport catchment area (38 million inhabitants within a 200 kilometer radius), unsurpassed ground-based feeder networks (high-speed rail and autobahn networks), and outstanding A380 infrastructure, equipment and handling expertise, FRA is ready to serve as a super hub for the A380 in 2010 and beyond.
Catch the A380 Excitement at FRA:
Along with the arrival of the A380 on May 19, airport visitors will get another chance to see the super jumbo from the Visitors’ Terrace on May 27, when the mega liner will be docked at the terminal from 14:00 to 19:30 for handling checks; airport tours will be available for those wanting a close-up view of the A380. Access to the Visitors’ Terrace will be free of charge for children up to and including age 15.
On June 6, the Airport Tours counter in the Airport City Mall Frankfurt (Level 0, Terminal 1) will raffle tickets for rides in Fraport’s follow-me trucks and the giant A380 tow tractor. Shopping deals, live music, activities for the kids and much more will make this a day of super jumbo fun.
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Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. Airbus A380-841 F-WWSH (msn 038) became D-AIMA on delivery.