Korean Plans A380 – Incheon (ICN) to Atlanta (ATL)
Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) is the world’s busiest as well as the home of Delta Air Lines. A new international terminal including concourse “F“, adjacent to the existing International “E” concourse is preparing to open.
What Atlanta lacks is the ability to properly handle the colossal Airbus A380-800 double-decker aircraft. The largest passenger aircraft seen at Atlanta-Hartsfield Intl Airport includes the Boeing 747-400 along with the elongated Airbus A340-600 and Boeing 777-300ER.
This is about to change as Korean Air intends to operate the behemoth A380 into Atlanta early next year – January 2013 to be precise – as Korean Air anticipates using the A380 on the flight between Atlanta (ATL) and Korean Air’s hub in Seoul, South Korea, at Incheon International Airport (ICN). The A380 is the world’s largest passenger aircraft.
“It makes sense that the world’s largest passenger aircraft should have service to and from the world’s busiest airport,” said Atlanta’s Aviation General Manager, Louis Miller. “A380 service will enhance Atlanta’s reputation as a world-class city and gateway to the United States.”
A number of modifications are in the works to prepare Atlanta for the arrival of the A380. First and Foremost, sections of taxiways and a runway are being widened – once this is completed, the airfield will be in full compliance Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations for safe A380 operations.
Airbus A380-800 Gate Modifications
For passenger boarding, two adjacent gates in Concourse “E” – Gate E1 and E3 – are being modified to simultaneously serve the double-decker aircraft. The gate will also be used for A380 international arrivals and the multiple jet-ways will direct passengers into the “E” concourse where they’ll be directed upstairs to the US Immigration Facility.
The Korean Airbus A380-800 aircraft, which will use the modified gate, seats 407 passengers. Korean has outfit the aircraft with 12 First Class seats, 94 Prestige Class Seats (Business Class), and 301 Economy seats.
The A380 entered commercial service in 2007 after a series of delays. The aircraft is 238.5 feet long and has an incredible wingspan of 262 feet. The use of two gates is necessary to accommodate passengers and provide adequate wingspan clearance.