Airbus A380 operators will soon begin retrofitting the super jumbo’s doors with new cover plates and seals, now that a fix to a micro crack issue has been agreed.
In January Airbus issued an All Operators Texel (AOT) to address the potential for cracks to form on A380 doors, after a Singapore Airlines A380 made an emergency landing in Azerbaijan due to a loss of cabin pressure that was later traced to a damaged door.
In addition to visual inspections of the coverplate for delamination and cracks, and inspection of the door seal for significant damages, the AOT required “ultrasonic inspection of the external surface of the door skin where the coverplate is attached to the door”. Airbus previously estimated that 10% of all A380s are affected.
Today an Airbus spokeswoman tells RGN that the A380 door retrofit – which requires door cover plates and seals to be replaced “to resolve the noise issue” – will start for first customers “very shortly, before the end of this year”.
She says Airbus is confident that the solution it has developed will resolve the issue. “We are working closely with our customers to determine on a case by case basis with each of them when to perform the retrofit, for example during their routine maintenance checks,” adds the spokeswoman.
Singapore Airlines is among the carriers working closely with Airbus to ensure its A380 doors are in compliance with the AOT. The carrier could not provide immediate comment, but it previously said it would continue to work with Airbus on “any modifications that may need to be carried out”.
In June, RGN learned that Emirates – the second carrier to launch A380 operations after Singapore Airlines – had put the brakes on equipping its Airbus A380s with Panasonic Avionics’ Ku-band-supported Global Communications Suite (GCS) of connectivity and live television until modification of the carrier’s A380 doors can be completed.
While Emirates VP, corporate communications (product, publishing, digital and events) Patrick Brannelly confirms that the A380 retrofits with GCS haven’t yet begun, he says he is “unaware of any impacts/delays to the GCS rollout and a link to doors sounds bizarre – we have a lot of planes to retrofit and it just takes a long time”.