December 16th, 2006 10:15 EST
U.S. Department of Transportation Certifies Airbus A380
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The world's largest commercial airliner is now cleared to fly passengers and cargo, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters announced, noting that the Department's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Type Certificate for the double-decker Airbus A380 jet during Tuesday's ceremony in Toulouse, France. FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey was at the ceremony.
"Aircraft like this will make air travel even more accessible for countless thousands of people worldwide," Secretary Peters said.
The FAA issues a Type Certificate when it determines that an aircraft type complies with all applicable U.S. safety regulations.
The Secretary added that Airbus applied to the FAA for certification of the A380 passenger airliner on August 12, 1998. However, she said that the A380's size and complexity required the FAA to extend its normal five year certification period for a large airliner to seven years to ensure the required standards of safety.
"Throughout the A380 certification process, we've worked closely with the European Aviation Safety Agency and Airbus to make sure this impressive new airplane meets our airworthiness standards," Administrator Blakey said.
Blakey noted that the FAA continues working with the European Aviation Safety Agency in areas where the A380's size poses unique challenges. For example, flight tests needed for FAA approval of A380 operations on 150-foot-wide runways are expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2007. She added that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is currently considering the minimum separation criteria for airplanes operating behind an A380 in all phases of flight to minimize wake vortex effects.
Release No. AOC-33-06
December 14, 2006
Contact: Les Dorr, Jr.
Phone: (202) 267-3883