Flintshire - Hawarden Airport has been closed for two weeks to prepare the arrival of the Beluga XL. The runway is being resurfaced to enable the Airbus' new whale to land.

Hawarden is an airport near Hawarden in Flintshire, Wales where a large Airbus factory produces aircraft wings. It was closed on July 27 and will remain closed until August 13 to make the runway and the other facilities suitable for the operations of new Beluga XL.

During this period, the airport will be closed to all traffic, and no aircraft will be allowed to fly below1,000ft over it,
the airport management said.

After a 10-month flight test certification campaign, Beluga XL took off from Toulouse on July 19 for its maiden flight. The aircraft will enter service in 2019 and transport aircraft parts to Airbus plants.

With a wingspan of 60 meters (197 ft 10 in) – 15 meters (50 ft) larger than of the existing Beluga - along with increased capacity and MTOW (Max. Takeoff Weight), Hawarden Airport will need to be improved and implement some modifications before the Airbus' new transporter comes into service.