LAX trailing in A380 facilities race


Nov 15, 2005
SAN FRANCISCO -With ample seating in its spacious international terminal and six gates equipped for double-decker jets, not to mention a fine selection of restaurants, this city's airport is ready for the massive 555-seat A380 airliner.

Los Angeles International Airport, known as LAX, has none of the above.

While Southern California officials dickered during the last decade about how to modernize LAX, San Francisco built a gleaming $1 billion international terminal that was specifically designed to accommodate the new Airbus super-jumbo jet. The world's largest passenger plane is expected to start service to the West Coast in spring 2007.

Sixteen carriers have purchased 159 of the jets from Airbus, a European consortium based in Toulouse, France. Some airlines, including Qantas Airways, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Lufthansa, Air France and Korean Air, have said they will fly the behemoth aircraft to the United States.

On the West Coast, only the Los Angeles and San Francisco (SFO) airports have plans to handle the plane.

The stark contrast between San Francisco International Airport and LAX -- which plans to modify two gates for the double-decker plane at the already cramped Tom Bradley International Terminal -- has led to speculation that San Francisco will woo A380 flights away from LAX.

Monterey Herald