New generation of large jets may complicate airport logistics, safety

04/12/2011 | Washington Post, The · USA Today

A collision on the tarmac this week between an Airbus A380 and a smaller regional jet highlights the difficulties airports face in handling a new generation of super-sized airliners, according to some safety experts. The task of managing traffic on the ground at busy airports is "extremely complex, highly visual, and the workload can become almost superhuman," says Bill Voss of the Flight Safety Foundation, and it is complicated still further by superjumbos like the A380, which require special rules that can run for several dozen pages. In Monday's incident at New York's JFK, the left wing of an A380 clipped the tail of a commuter jet, spinning the smaller plane 90 degrees on the wet pavement. No injuries were reported, and federal officials are investigating the incident.

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Washington Post, The · USA Today

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