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O’Hare gets A380 gate

Discussion in 'Airport News, Talk & Discussion' started by Sergay Babinsky, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. Sergay Babinsky

    Sergay Babinsky Hangar Bronze Member V

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    O’Hare International Airport is a step closer to developing a gate capable of accommodating the world’s largest passenger aircraft, reversing an embarrassing gap at the city’s primary aviation hub.
    The city’s Department of Aviation yesterday pulled a permit to build out one gate that could handle an Airbus A380 plane, in Terminal 5 at O’Hare, according to the city’s permits website.
    Like other gates in Terminal 5, the international section at the airport, the A380 gate will be designated as “common use,” meaning no specific airline will have exclusive control over it, according to a person familiar with the project.
    Two firms—Emirates and British Airways—have expressed interest in using their A380s on routes involving O’Hare, the person said, though which routes would get the A380s couldn’t be determined. The gate is expected to be operational by late summer.
    As of September 2014, Emirates operated one nonstop flight per day between Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, and O’Hare, while British Airways offered two flights daily between London Heathrow and the facility, according to the Aviation Department. An Emirates spokeswoman had no immediate comment, while a British Airways spokeswoman declined to comment.
    The A380 is a behemoth of an airplane and can accommodate between 544 and a whopping 853 passengers, depending on how seating is configured. The planes are designed for long-haul flights, allowing fliers to avoid transfers during their trips. Airports around the globe have had to redevelop parts of their terminals to allow the planes to pull up to gates, disgorge passengers and take them on.
    Ginger Evans, the city’s aviation commissioner, said at a presentation last summer that O’Hare’s dearth of A380 gates was an example of how the facility had slipped in recent years.
    “At present, we have no A380 gates—zero,” she said during the presentation, according to a copy of her remarks. “So now we’re falling behind in innovation, we’re actually lagging at the back of the pack.”
    By contrast, John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York first built an A380 gate in 2007, while Los Angeles International Airport had one by 2008, according to her presentation.
    Data tracker Chicago Cityscape first noted that the city pulled the construction permit for the A380 gate.
    Source: CRAIN’S Chicago Business
     

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