Airbus looks set to revert to its plan of having an A380 delivery centre completed at its Hamburg Finkenwerder plant in time for the first handover to Emirates in late 2006, following a deal to purchase land crucial for the runway extension.

Plans for the delivery centre had been delayed after three landowners refused to sell land to enable the runway to be extended by 589m (1,930ft) to cater for future versions of the A380, starting with the A380-800 Freighter in 2008. Finkenwerder has been given responsibility for delivering A380s to European and Middle East customers, the first of which is Emirates. Airbus said that, until the land row was settled, it would temporarily transfer A380 deliveries to Toulouse, which already handles all other handovers (Flight International, 30 November-6 December 2004).

The land acquired should enable the extension to be completed by 2006, albeit to a modified design unless two other plots on the edge of the airfield can be bought.

Source: Flight International