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I know the Boeing 737's max landing altitude is 8,400ft standard and 12,000ft with the high altitude option. I am struggling to find the same figures for the A320 family. All I can find online is the standard of 9,400ft, but it is clear that Airbus offers a higher option as I can see A319's operating out of Daocheng Yading airport [ZUCD] at an altitude of over 14,000ft. Does anyone know what the actual certified figure from Airbus is? Thank you.

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According to the EASA (EU Aviation Safety Agency) type certification of the Airbus A320 series (which you can find here), the A320 family is certified to land at airports with an elevation of up to 14,100 ft. Special procedures for such high altitude landings are described in a Special Conditions Annex (page 112) to the type certification.

This is (sort of) confirmed on Airbus's website: "the A320 Family is certified to operate in areas with altitudes of up to 14,500ft for both CFM and IAE engines".

So in the EU the A320 can legally land at a maximum elevation of 14,100 ft, in other parts of the world up to 14,500 ft.

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  • $\begingroup$ Is the limit based on elevation or on pressure/density altitude? As far as I know there are no airports (at least public/commercial ones that an A320 would land at) in the EU above 14,100' and none at all above 14,500'. So the limitation seems moot. $\endgroup$
    – TypeIA
    Jul 12, 2023 at 11:08
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    $\begingroup$ @TypeIA Presumably they need to set a restriction anyway, just in case someone decides to build such an airport in the future. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Jul 12, 2023 at 15:54
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    $\begingroup$ @Chris-RegenerateResponse I get your point, but realistically there are only so many places on Earth that are high and flat and big enough ;) $\endgroup$
    – TypeIA
    Jul 12, 2023 at 18:28
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    $\begingroup$ @TypeIA Because safety should be based on "dangerous until proven otherwise", not the other way around. $\endgroup$
    – user71659
    Jul 12, 2023 at 19:21
  • $\begingroup$ I would guess it's so that EASA can make sure aircraft continue to meet safety requirements while operating outside EU airspace. $\endgroup$
    – marlonwood
    Jul 13, 2023 at 18:18

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