BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 December 2006, 15:54 GMT
Airbus given clearance for A380
Airbus A380
The Airbus A380 has been put through its paces around the world
Airbus has announced its double-decker jumbo A380 airliner has been cleared to take passengers by European and American aviation authorities.

The aircraft has been granted its Certificate of Airworthiness after 2,600 hours of flight tests.

It is an important hurdle in the development of what is currently the world's biggest passenger airliner.

But Airbus has had problems making the aircraft, and there are currently delivery delays of up to two years.

The first aircraft will not be delivered to the first customer, Singapore Airlines, until October next year, and other airlines have seen their original delivery dates slip back.

European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) granted the "type certification" at a ceremony at Airbus's Toulouse headquarters.

The US Federal Aviation Administration also gave the European super-jumbo its blessing at the same event in France.

Airport tests

In November, an Airbus A380 took part in a final series of test flights in East Asia to gain licences to enter commercial service.

The A380 also flew from France to China, South Africa, Canada and Australia on test flights.

Joining the test crew were officials from the EASA and their US counterparts.

As well as testing the plane, the flights also enabled airports to check how prepared they are for the giant plane - which has required them to build extra passenger gates in order to cope with the A380's two full floors of seats.

The troubled A380 project has been hit by a number of costly delays.

Now running two years late due to wiring problems, Airbus' parent firm EADS said in November that the delays to the project had cost it 1bn euros ($1.3bn; 674m) in the three months to the end of September.

The problems with the A380 project also led to the departure earlier this year of former Airbus boss Gustav Humbert.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific