Manston Airport Hosts new British Airways Aircraft for Training Flights

British Airways A380_ExteriorBritish Airways has chosen Manston Airport in East Kent, UK, as a base for its entry into service programme for the new Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
The A380 will be based at Manston this summer while the pilots undergo flying training and the cabin crew carry out familiarisation visits.
Charles Buchanan, Chief Executive of Manston Airport, said: “This contract is the culmination of months of hard work so we are thrilled that the UK’s leading airline has shown confidence in Manston’s capabilities.  I am very proud that we will be playing our part in bringing such fantastic aircraft into service.”
The A380 has the lowest cost per seat and the lowest emissions per passenger of any large aircraft.  Despite having almost 50% more floor space and 60% more headroom than the Boeing 747-400, it is 50% quieter on take off.
Once the A380 training is complete, the airline’s new Boeing 787 Dreamliner will also make its way to Manston for part of its ‘entry into service’ programme.
Dave Thomas, British Airways’ Head of Flight Technical and Training, Chief Technical Pilot at British Airways, commented: “With one of the longest runways in the UK, Manston offers ideal facilities for our programme.  We are looking forward to working with the staff who have been very helpful and flexible throughout the preparation for this programme.”
British Airways has 12 A380s on order with flights due to start between London and Los Angeles in October.
The announcement comes just two months after KLM Royal Dutch Airlines launched a twice-daily service from Manston to hub airport Schiphol, linking Kent with 130 destinations worldwide.
Charles Buchanan believes that the KLM service is a huge boost for East Kent and, with the right support, could be a catalyst for the local economy.
He continued: “Manston has employed an additional 42 members of staff, bringing the total to almost 150, 99% of whom live in the local area.”
Manston Airport has the capacity to serve 1 million passengers per annum today and a deliverable masterplan that accommodates 5 million or more.  In addition, the airport currently handles more than 30,000 tonnes of freight a year and has the capacity to deliver 165,000 tonnes by 2018.
Manston also has approval to carry out Remote Explosive Scent Tracing (REST) procedures for cargo.  The airport has dedicated a facility within the Manston Airport Cargo Centre for the REST procedures which has been inspected and approved by the Department for Transport (DfT).
After a £250,000 investment in an Equine Border Inspection Post in 2012, Manston can also accept flights importing horses and other animals into the European Union (EU) by UK Animal Health, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and EU Animal Control in Brussels.
Charles Buchanan concluded: “We have had a very exciting year at Manston and hosting the British Airways A380, as well as the Dreamliner, is the icing on the cake.”

1 Comment

  1. Very nice story about Manston airport. Needless to say. Much more than happy will be endless of airports
    to have opportunity and position to deal with most advanced aircraft in the world such as A380 and B787. That is a dream and reality for lucky province Kent , and good luck to deserving Manston Airport.
    Rodney Marinkovic, Aircraft Mechanical Engineer (ret.) Sydney / Kraljevo- Serbia.

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