You need a subscription to view the article:
Some Highlights from the article:
Despite its renowned aviation tradition and fast-growing Pacific traffic, Los Angeles International faces increasingly tough challenges in revamping its cramped, 1960s-vintage facilities to get ready to become the busiest U.S. gateway for the A380. City officials have ambitious plans to build a spacious new terminal with expanded gates, along with plans to redesign the flow of aircraft around the field.
But for many months, controversy and inertia impeded even short-term fixes. Some of those logjams finally are easing, but worried airlines continue to hedge their bets by considering alternative U.S. destinations for the double-decker aircraft.
But as Airbus, which is 80%-owned by European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. and 20% by Britain's BAE Systems PLC, surveys the extensive work still ahead, one of its biggest frustrations continues to be slow progress at LAX. While it isn't scheduled to receive its first A380 until the spring of 2007, LAX faces daunting political, legal and logistical hurdles.
LAX already has received a black eye from Virgin Atlantic Airways, which blamed lack of progress on upgrades for its decision to delay the start of A380 service to the city. After meeting last month with Los Angeles airport and city officials, Airbus managers stressed the need to rev up the pace of improvements. "If Los Angeles is not ready in time, a carrier can easily switch to San Francisco" to serve the West Coast, warned Willy-Pierre Dupont, who is spearheading the plane-maker's dealings with airports.