The journalist of this New York Times may not be an aviation expert. He may lack of understanding of the civilian aviation. What he wrote about A 380 is very extraordinary.
In fact, the size of A 380 is comparable to Boeing 747-400. AN 225 is larger than A 380. Another large aircraft is US C5 Galaxy. These two giants can dwarf A 380.
First generation of A 380's length (73 m / 239ft 6in) is shorter than A 340-600! The wing span of A 380 is only 79.8 m (261ft 10in), well within 80m by 80 m box.
B 747-400's total length: 70.6 m ( 231 ft 10 in )
B 747-400's wing span: 64.4 m (211 ft 5 in)
A 340-600's total length: 75.30m (246ft 11in)
The journalist even missed the point that new proposed of Boeing B 747X Stretch is even longer and larger than first generation of A 380!
Airports always change everytime new larger planes are introduced. Humans have seen big differences between DC 3 and Boeing 747-400.
The pilots of AN 225 and C5 Galaxy can turn their giant planes around in major airport - why not A 380?
Even An 225 and C 5 Galaxy did visit Singapore Changi International Airport and were displayed at Asian Aerospace Exhibition at Changi Airport several years ago. I was there to take a look at two giant planes.