Airbus's A380 has received regulatory approval to be operated on standard-width runways despite the fact that the International Civil Aviation Organisation recommends wider runways should be provided for the type.

 © Airbus S.A.S. 2005 / P MASCLET
The Airbus A380 complies with airworthiness requirements when operating on runways 45m or more

Both the European Aviation Safety Agency and the US Federal Aviation Administration have now approved A380 operations on 45m (150ft)-wide runways, which at present is the standard width for major airports.

In a letter to Airbus, the FAA's director flight standards service James Ballough says: "This aircraft has been shown to be safely controllable and to be compliant with applicable airworthiness requirements when operating on runways with a width of 45m or more."

ICAO recommends the new aircraft be provided with 60m-wide runways, and some airports at which many A380 movements will take place are carrying out widening work to be compliant.

Airbus points out that the A380 has already flown into and out of more than 45 airports, and says that by 2011 more than 70 airports will be ready for A380 operations, including having compatible gates and passenger handling capacity.

The first A380 for Singapore Airlines arrived back at Airbus's Toulouse base in mid-July after completion of the cabin installation. It is now undergoing final checks for delivery to SIA in October.