September 9: The world’s largest airliner, the Airbus A380, paid a visit to Birmingham International Airport as part of the site’s 70th anniversary celebrations.
Emirates replaced its usual A340 service for the day with the A380, the first time the giant airliner has served a regional airport. More than 20 vintage aircraft also arrived during the day in memory of the early days of ‘Elmdon’, the Airport’s original name in the 1930s.
Birmingham’s new £50 million International Pier at Terminal One was also on show for the first time, the single biggest investment that the Airport has made in the last 20 years. It provides air-bridged aircraft parking for seven wide-bodied aircraft and has enough space to serve 13 smaller aircraft at any given time.
Paul Kehoe, the Airport’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “Our new International Pier provides a high quality gateway into the Midlands and is key as we prepare to double our passenger numbers to 18 million in the next ten years and meet our aspirations to improve global connectivity from the Midlands. As demonstrated today, the Pier is capable of accommodating the largest of today’s ‘next generation’ environmentallyefficient aircraft such as the Airbus A380.”
The airport’s plans also include a runway extension by 2012 with a 400-metre extension across the A45, enabling long-haul flights to the Far East to be scheduled.
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