The A318 and the A318 Elite fitted with CFM International CFM56 engines were approved for the Steep Approach landing capability by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on November 19th. In June 2007, approval was granted by the EASA for the A318 powered by Pratt and Whitney PW6000 engines.
This certification opens up the Steep Approach capability to all Airbus A318 and A318 Elite operators at airports such as London City, where stringent approach requirements exist. During compatibility tests carried out at London City Airport in 2006, the A318 demonstrated that it is an excellent neighbour, ideally suited to downtown sites due to its low noise characteristics.
City centre airports are typically constrained by obstacles and stringent noise-rules. Steep Approaches enable aircraft to meet these constraints by following an approach path at an angle of 5.5 degrees instead of the three degrees typical at most airports. All A318 models are now able to meet the obstacle requirements at such locations, whilst significantly reducing noise in the surrounding area compared to earlier generation aircraft.
The A318 shares the same wide cabin as other members of the A320 Family and is therefore able to offer greater levels of cabin comfort from city centre airports than ever before, whilst offering more range than existing aircraft.
With its advanced fuel-saving aerodynamic design, the A320 Family is the most fuel efficient and environmentally friendly single aisle aircraft in operation. Centralised maintenance with extended servicing intervals and proven reliability in day-to-day service help to give it the lowest operative costs. In addition, the all new cabin design saves on weight and offers the passenger a quieter and roomier experience as well as significantly larger overhead stowage compartments.
The A318 is part of the A320 Family, which also includes the A319, A320 and A321 and is recognized as the benchmark in the single-aisle aircraft market. Typically accommodating 107 passengers in a two-class layout and up to 132 passengers in a single-class layout, the A318 can fly distances up to 3200nm/5930km with a full passenger load.