First plane uses LAX's new cross-field taxiway

Qantas A380 plane on new taxiway
Qantas A380 plane on new taxiway
Brian Watt/KPCC

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Qantas Flight 11 landed this morning at Los Angeles International Airport – and became the first aircraft to travel on the airport’s new cross-field taxiway. KPCC’s Brian Watt was there.

Two LAX fire trucks greeted the plane with a water cannon salute. Qantas Flight 11 from Sydney, Australia is an Airbus A380. The new north-south taxiway it used was designed to accommodate the A380 and allow more of the extra jumbo aircraft to move around the airfield with ease.

The taxiway cost $88 million and took about a year to build. It’s more than 3,400 feet long. It travels over a city street that staff uses to get to the west side of LAX, so engineers had to design a bridge to support the weight of the A380, which was more than 1 million pounds.

Airport officials say the taxiway was complete six weeks ahead of schedule and will help LAX compete for more A380 airline flights looking to land somewhere in the future.