Airbus A380 lands at Heathrow

The world's largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380, has made its first landing at Heathrow Airport.

The 240ft-long aircraft flew to London from Berlin on Thursday and landed at Heathrow's new £105 million pier 6 at Terminal 3.

The A380 flew into Heathrow to test the airport's facilities, before returning to Berlin on Friday.

Around £450 million has been spent to get Heathrow ready to handle the A380, including work on resurfacing runways, upgrading runway lighting and the construction of new taxiways.

The A380 is due to go into passenger service at the end of the year, with Singapore airlines being the first operator to put it into service.

The A380 has been hailed as being more environmentally friendly than older aircraft. However, environmental campaigners remain unconvinced.

Friends of the Earth aviation campaigner Richard Dyer said: "Cleaner aircraft are certainly needed, but they are not the solution to the rising impact of aviation emissions on our climate. Any benefits gained by building more fuel efficient aircraft will be swamped by the rapid growth in air travel. Government action is urgently required to curb the anticipated rise in flights. This must include ending the £9 billion effective subsidy handed to the air industry by UK taxpayers every year, and the scrapping of ludicrous plans for a massive expansion in British airports."


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

27 April 2005
Airbus A380 completes maiden flight
The world’s largest commercial aircraft, the Airbus A380, has successfully completed its first test flight. The A380 landed at Blagnac International airport in Toulouse, France at 14:23 local time, following a flight that lasted almost four hours.
18 March 2008
'Superjumbo' Takes Flight
The Airbus A380 superjumbo, is to fly into Heathrow today as it makes its first commercial flight to Europe. Singapore Airlines is the first carrier to operate the new double-decker aircraft on revenue-earning services.
18 January 2005
Hewitt praises British firms behind Airbus A380
Trade and Industry Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, has praised the four hundred British manufacturing firms who helped to deliver the world's biggest civil aircraft, which has been unveiled in France. The building of the Airbus A380 was the largest civil aviation project in the world.
18 January 2005
Superjumbo Airbus A380 rolls out of hangar
The world's largest passenger carrying aircraft, the Airbus A380, is being unveiled this morning at a lavish ceremony in Toulouse, France.
06 June 2005
Heathrow expansion plans announced
A third runway could be introduced at Heathrow airport under new proposals published today. The plans aim to transform the airport to accommodate increasing passenger growth. £4.