Frankfurt Airport

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Frankfurt Airport
Frankfurt Airport logo 2016.svg
Aerial View of Frankfurt Airport 1.jpg

50 ° 1 '59 "  N , 8 ° 34' 14"  E Coordinates: 50 ° 1 '59 "  N , 8 ° 34' 14"  E

Height above MSL 100 m (328  ft )
Transport links
Distance from the city center 12 km southwest of Frankfurt am Main
road A3 A5 B43
train Intercity Express Intercity EuroCity ÖBB Nightjet
Local transport Regio , S-Bahn , busS8 S9
Basic data
opening July 8, 1936
operator Fraport AG
surface 2160 ha
Terminals 2 (3rd under construction)
Passengers 70,560,987 (2019)

18,770,998 (2020)

Air freight 2,041,775 t (2019)

1,895,074 t (2020)

513,912 (2019)

212,235 (2020)

( PAX per year)
over 70 million
Employees 80,966 (2015)
22,650 at the operator
07R / 25L 4000 m × 45 m asphalt
07C / 25C 4000 m × 60 m asphalt
(only starts)
4000 m × 45 m asphalt / concrete
07L / 25R
(landings only)
2800 m × 45 m concrete

i7 i10 i11 i13

Frankfurt am Main airport with completed north-west runway

The Frankfurt Airport ( ICAO : EDDF , IATA Code : FRA ; approved as Frankfurt / Main ; proper name Frankfurt Airport , unofficially Rhein-Main airport called) is the largest German commercial airport . In terms of passenger volume, it was the fourth largest European airport in 2019 with 70.6 million passengers after London-Heathrow , Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle and Amsterdam Schiphol and is in 15th place worldwide . With more than 2 million tons, Frankfurt Airport has the largest cargo volume of all European airports and is in the global comparison on the 13th rank. The airport is the home base and the main hub of the airlines Lufthansa and Condor Flugdienst as well as the cargo airline Lufthansa Cargo .

The operating company is MDAX- listed Fraport , which is majority owned by the State of Hesse and the City of Frankfurt am Main.

Location and transport links

Share of means of transport for the last part of the journey to Frankfurt Airport in 2006

  • brought by car - multi-storey car park (5.1%)
  • brought by car - short-term parkers (24.4%)
  • Car for the duration of the journey in the multi-storey car park (11.1%)
  • Rental car (4.6%)
  • Taxi (20.4%)
  • Bus: shuttle or hotel bus (3.4%)
  • Bus: RMV (0.5%)
  • Bus: other (1.4%)
  • Train: S-Bahn (11.2%)
  • Train: ICE (15.2%)
  • Train: other long-distance train (1.5%)
  • Other (1.2%)
  • location

    The airport site is about twelve kilometers southwest of downtown Frankfurt , mostly in the Frankfurt city forest . Frankfurt Airport is a district of Frankfurt am Main with around 200 inhabitants and around 24 square kilometers. The southern part of the airport site extends partially to the area of ​​the cities of Rüsselsheim am Main and Mörfelden-Walldorf . Part of the western area is in the area of ​​the city of Kelsterbach .

    Road traffic

    Motorized private transport

    On the northern edge of the airport since 1956 which runs highway A 3 of the airport in east-west direction, east already in 1935 opened A5 . Both motorways meet at the Frankfurter Kreuz in the immediate vicinity of the airport. With around 335,000 vehicles per day ( as of 2015 ), it is one of the busiest road nodes in Europe. The federal highway 43 runs parallel to the A3 , which takes up most of the feeder traffic between the junctions Kelsterbach, Flughafen and Flughafen-Nord. The southern part of the airport site is connected to the A 5 via the Zeppelinheim junction.

    Bicycle traffic

    There are cleared roads for cyclists in the direction of Frankfurt and in the direction of Frankfurt-Schwanheim, Kelsterbach and Walldorf.

    City and regional bus transport

    The airport is connected to the public bus systems of the local and regional transport companies.

    Bus route 58 connects Frankfurt (Main) Höchst train station with the airport. On the way to Terminal 1, the bus line serves two more stops on the airport site, Lufthansa Aviation Center and Lufthansa Base . The city bus route 61 runs from the Frankfurt (Main) Süd train station via airport gate 3 to the stop Terminal 1, the route 62 between the airport and Frankfurt-Schwanheim .

    line Line course Cycle (Mon-Fri) Cycle (Sat-Sun)0
    58 Terminal 1 - Lufthansa base - Lufthansa Aviation Center - Industriepark Höchst - Frankfurt-Höchst (- Frankfurt-Sossenheim - Eschborn West) 15, 30 min 10/20, 30 min
    61 Terminal 1 - Terminal 2 - Gateway Gardens Nord - Frankfurt Stadium - Frankfurt-Niederrad - Südbahnhof 15, 30 min 30 min
    62 Terminal 1 - Terminal 2 - Unterschweinstiege - Schwanheimer Wald - Alt-Schwanheim - Schwanheimer Wald - Unterschweinstiege - Terminal 2 - Terminal 1 30 min 30 min
    751 Terminal 1 - Lufthansa base - Lufthansa Aviation Center - Gate 31 - Walldorf (- Mörfelden) (- Darmstadt Mathildenplatz) 30-, 60 min 30-, 60 min
    AIR Terminal 1 - Terminal 2 - Darmstadt Hauptbahnhof - Darmstadt Luisenplatz - Darmstadt Congress Center 30 min 30 min
    OF-64 Terminal 1 - Elly-Beinhorn-Straße - Zeppelinheim - Dreieich-Buchschlag - Sprendlingen - Dreieichenhain - Götzenhain - Offenthal 30-, 60 min 60 min
    GG-67 Rüsselsheim - Mörfelden - Walldorf - CargoCity South less than 60 min -
    GG-72 Terminal 1 - Lufthansa base - Lufthansa Aviation Center - Kelsterbach - Raunheim - Rüsselsheim - Bischhofsheim 30-, 60 min 60, 120 min
    GG-73 Terminal 1 - Lufthansa base - Lufthansa Aviation Center - Kelsterbach - Kelsterbach Friedhof 60 min 60 min
    GG-82 Raunheim West - Raunheim train station north side - Kelsterbach Berliner Straße - Terminal 1 60 min -
    n72 (Gate 32 - Elly-Beinhorn-Straße -) Terminal 2 - Terminal 1 - Gateway Gardens Nord - Neu Isenburg - Offenbach (- Dietzenbach) Two trips 80 min
    X17 Hofheim - Kriftel - Hattersheim - Lufthansa Aviation Center - Lufthansa base - Terminal 1 (- Gateway Gardens - Neu Isenburg) 30 min 60 min
    X19 (Lufthansa Aviation Center -) Lufthansa base - Terminal 1 - Gateway Gardens North - Neu Isenburg - Heusenstamm - Obertshausen 30 min 30 min
    X58 Höchst train station - Terminal 1 15/30 min 30 min
    X61 Terminal 1 - Gateway Gardens Nord - Sachsenhausen Stresemannallee / Mörfelder Landstrasse - Südbahnhof 30 min 30 min
    X77 CargoCity Süd - Gateway Gardens Mitte - Sachsenhausen Stresemannallee / Mörfelder Landstrasse - Südbahnhof 30 min 30 min

    Long-distance bus transport

    There are long-distance bus connections to Hahn Airport in Rhineland-Palatinate , among others .

    Shuttle traffic

    Who are not driving air travelers by car or public transport, various can airport transfers use offerings, such as the shuttle AirLiner the HEAG mobilo , the Lufthansa Airport Bus and the TLS from Heidelberg. Many hotels in Frankfurt and the surrounding area also offer their own transfer service. During most of the major trade fairs in Frankfurt there are also direct shuttle bus connections to the Frankfurt Exhibition Center .

    Taxi traffic

    In addition, some taxi companies offer their service at a flat rate , regardless of the exact number of kilometers or the number of passengers. Also about -Taxi can be called.

    car sharing

    You can also use car sharing at Frankfurt Airport ( SHARE NOW , Car2go , Free2Move, book-n-drive). The parking spaces for car sharing are located at Terminal 1 in parking row 611.

    Rail transport

    The meanwhile rebuilt station hall of the
    long-distance train station "Frankfurt Airport"

    The airport is connected to the Deutsche Bahn rail network via two train stations:

    Regional express , regional train and S-Bahn trains on lines S8 and S9 pass through the airport regional train station in front of Terminal 1 (Hall B) . The station is part of the Frankfurt airport loop opened in 1972 . Since the timetable change in December 2019, the Gateway Gardens industrial park at the airport has also been connected to the airport loop via a new route with its Gateway Gardens train station . The old existing line is to be dismantled. By 2026, the West regional bypass from the Höchst industrial park is to be threaded into the airport loop from the north and then also serve the airport regional train station.

    During the day, the S-Bahn trains run every 15 minutes to Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof , into Frankfurt city center via the Frankfurt City Tunnel and on to Offenbach am Main or Hanau . In the opposite direction, continue from the airport via Rüsselsheim am Main and either via Mainz or Mainz-Kastel to Wiesbaden . The Mainz main station is approached every 30 minutes (S8), alternatively the Wiesbaden district Mainz-Kastel (S9). The travel time to Frankfurt Central Station is 13 minutes, to the city center ( Hauptwache ) it is around 17 minutes. Individual S-Bahn trains only go to Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof. Regional Express trains continue via Rüsselsheim am Main and Mainz to Saarbrücken or Koblenz .

    The airport long-distance train station is located between the A3 motorway and the B 43 federal road. It is connected to Terminal 1 by a closed bridge. Only long-distance trains run here as scheduled, with the exception of regional line 58. The four-track station was created to relieve the regional station as part of the new Cologne – Rhine / Main line and was opened in 1999. In addition to the new line, it is connected to the Riedbahn in the direction of Mannheim via a connecting curve . The Squaire office and hotel building was opened above the long-distance train station in 2011 . The long-distance train station is also served by the Nightjet , which runs from Düsseldorf via Cologne , Koblenz , Mainz , Frankfurt, Nuremberg to Vienna Central Station and Innsbruck Central Station .

    CargoCity Süd has its own train station for freight traffic. A connection to an air freight center that has been prepared in the area of ​​the regional train station has not yet been implemented. In January 2020, the state of Hesse issued a planning order for a rail connection to Terminal 3, which is currently under construction, in the south of the airport site. It is to take place through a branch from the Riedbahn and be used by the S-Bahn line S7 and the Regional Express.

    line Line course Cycle (Mon-Fri) Cycle (Sat-Sun)
    S8 Wiesbaden main station - Mainz main station - Rüsselsheim - regional station - Frankfurt Stadium - Frankfurt main station (low) - Offenbach Ost (- Hanau main station) 30 min 30 min
    S8 Kelsterbach - regional train station - Frankfurt stadium - Frankfurt main station 30 min -
    S9 Wiesbaden main station - Mainz-Kastel - Rüsselsheim - regional station - Frankfurt Stadium - Frankfurt main station (low) - Offenbach Ost - Hanau main station 30 min 30 min
    RE 2 Koblenz main station - Bingen main station - Mainz main station - Rüsselsheim - regional train station - Frankfurt main station 60, 120 min 120 min
    RE 3 Saarbrücken main station - Bad Kreuznach - Ingelheim - Mainz main station - Rüsselsheim - regional station - Frankfurt main station 60, 120 min 60, 120 min
    RE 59 Long-distance or regional train station - Frankfurt Süd - Frankfurt Ost - Maintal Ost - Hanau Hbf (- Aschaffenburg Hauptbahnhof) 120 min -
    RB 58 Rüsselsheim Opelwerk - Fernbahnhof - Frankfurt Süd - Frankfurt Ost - Maintal Ost - Hanau Hbf - Aschaffenburg Hauptbahnhof (- Laufach) 60 min 60 min (Sun: -)


    1912: First airport on Rebstock

    One month after the end of the first International Aviation Exhibition , the first airline in the world was founded on November 16, 1909 in Frankfurt am Main with the Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-Aktiengesellschaft DELAG . This opened in 1912 in Frankfurt-Bockenheim, west of the former exhibition grounds, the airship port on Rebstock , which later became Frankfurt-Rebstock Airport . Initially it was only intended for airships , a little later the site was also used as a take-off and landing pad for aircraft . Scheduled flights began with the Zeppelin LZ 11 Viktoria Luise stationed in February 1912 . In June 1912, the airship carried LZ 10 Schwaben and August Euler biplane yellow dog as part of the flight post the Rhine and Main from here for the first time air mail in Germany.

    After the First World War , the airfield was further expanded, but as early as 1924 a report commissioned by Frankfurt's Lord Mayor Ludwig Landmann questioned the long-term expandability of the airfield, which was limited on all sides by railway embankments and the apron of the main freight station . In the same year, the airfield was placed under the supervision of the urban Südwestdeutsche Luftverkehrs-AG and a scheduled air traffic service was introduced.

    In 1925, 2,357 aircraft took off and landed, carrying around 5,500 passengers. With Deutsche Luft Hansa AG founded in 1926, civil air traffic in Germany took off rapidly. On September 30, 1929, Fritz von Opel took off successfully with the RAK.1 rocket plane from Rebstock, flying three kilometers in 45 seconds.

    In 1930, after years of meteorological, geographical and traffic planning , the Frankfurt magistrate decided to build a new airport in the Frankfurt city forest south of Frankfurt-Schwanheim , but this failed due to the global economic crisis . After seizing power , the made Nazis in December 1933 it plans to own and arranged in January 1934 without official approval, the clearing of 600 hectares of forest track west of the under construction Reichsautobahn Frankfurt-Darmstadt, today's A5 on.

    1936–1945: Rhein-Main airport and airship port

    LZ 129 Hindenburg (1936)

    With the new airport, Frankfurt should become the central home base for airships in Germany. The magazine Die Woche named it the new world airport : “In the future, our airships will begin overseas trips at the Rhein-Main international airport.” From 1935, the largest airship hangar in the world was built in the south of the new airport site . Technically, this hall was designed as a steel framework and built by Seibert Stahlbau from Saarbrücken. To supply the zeppelins with hydrogen , a special gas line was laid to the Höchst paintworks. At the same time as the airport was being built, the Zeppelinheim settlement was built for the families of the airmen in the immediate vicinity of the airport .

    In 1935 a two-storey reception building with a six-storey control tower as well as other operating and ancillary buildings for the maintenance and accommodation of aircraft was built on the northern part of the airport site near the Unterschweinstiege . The approximately 100 hectare runway was given a grass cover.

    The official opening of the new Rhein-Main airport and airship port took place on July 8, 1936. The first aircraft to land was a Ju 52 / 3m that had previously taken off from the old Rebstock airfield. Six days later, on July 14, 1936, the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin landed an airship at the airport for the first time. In 1936 around 800 tons of freight and 58,000 air passengers were transported, in 1937 70,000 passengers and 966 tons of freight. In the next few years, the new airport was the home base of the two largest German airships LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin and LZ 129 Hindenburg . Aircraft operations increased rapidly: 27 airlines flew to "Rhein-Main", and there were connections to almost all major European cities. From 1938 Frankfurt was the central point of distribution for airmail to North America.

    On May 6, 1937, there was a serious accident: The Hindenburg , on the way from Frankfurt to New York , exploded shortly before landing at the Lakehurst landing site, killing 36 people. The disaster marked the end of regular airship traffic and the end of the era of rigid airships . In March 1940, the last remaining large German airships, LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin I and LZ 130 Graf Zeppelin II, were scrapped on the orders of Hermann Göring . On May 6, 1940, the two airship hangars at Frankfurt Airport were blown up.

    After the start of the war in 1939, all foreign airlines left Frankfurt and the airport was placed under the Air Force. On May 9, 1940, German bombers from Kampfgeschwader 53 took off for the first time with the aim of France . The following table shows a list of selected active flying units (excluding school and supplementary units) of the Air Force that were stationed here between 1939 and 1945.

    Period unit
    of to
    October 1939 November 1939 I./JG 77 (I. Group of Jagdgeschwader 77)
    October 1939 April 1940 I./JG 76
    May 1940 July 1940 III./KG 53 ( III.Group of Kampfgeschwader 53)
    October 1943 January 1944 Staff / JG 301
    August 1944 November 1944 II./NJG 4 (II. Group of Night Fighter Squadron 4)
    November 1944 January 1945 IV./JG 4
    March 1945 March 1945 III./KG 200 ( III.Group of Kampfgeschwader 200)
    Former cellar of the kitchen barracks of the Walldorf satellite camp

    In the Walldorf subcamp , which existed from August 23 to November 24, 1944 , south of today's airport site, Jewish forced laborers carried out construction work for the airport. 1700 Hungarian Jewish women were forced to build the first concrete runway for the airport under inhumane conditions. About 50 women did not survive the four-month camp, only about 300 the further deportation and the Third Reich . An estimated 2,000 bombs fell on the tarmac and airport facilities from 1944 onwards; In March 1945, shortly before their retreat, Wehrmacht troops blew up buildings and operating facilities, especially the tank farm.

    1945–1949: American Air Force Base and Berlin Airlift

    Raisin Bomber ” on the Frankfurt Rhein-Main Airbase in 1949

    On March 25, 1945, the advancing US troops occupied the airport. In just a few days, the Americans were able to provisionally prepare the airfield and put it back into operation as Airbase Y73 in order to ensure supplies for further war operations. On May 8, 1945 , the Second World War ended with the unconditional surrender of the German armed forces . With the help of German prisoners of war who were brought to the airport on trucks from the Eschborn camp , the US armed forces built a concrete runway 1800 meters long and 45 meters wide, the forerunner of today's southern runway 07R / 25L.

    The first non-military aircraft at Frankfurt Airport after World War II was a DC-4 operated by American Overseas Airlines , which landed on May 18, 1946. The Verkehrsaktiengesellschaft Rhein-Main (VAG) was founded in 1947 , the main task of which was initially to build administrative and operational buildings and to keep them in operation. After political differences between the Soviet Union and the Allies, during which the Soviet Union closed the road and rail connections from the western occupation zones to West Berlin in June 1948, the Berlin Airlift began on June 26, 1948 to supply the Berlin population from the air . In addition to the airports in Hamburg and Hanover , the Frankfurt Rhein-Main-Airbase was the main base of the Allied aircraft. Since the constant take-offs and landings of the so-called “ raisin bombers ” had severely affected the first runway, construction of a parallel runway began on April 28, 1949. The Soviets ended the blockade on May 12, 1949, but the airlift continued until September 30, 1949. During the airlift, almost 2.5 million tons of relief supplies were flown to West Berlin, 79 people were killed in accidents.

    On December 22, 1949, the second runway went into operation with a length of 2150 meters and 61 meters wide (today 07C / 25C). At the same time, the Americans transferred the handling of the apron service and the civilian organizational tasks on the ground to the VAG . In the southern part of the airport they set up the Rhein-Main Air Base as an air force base for the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) by 1951 , while the facilities in the north of the airport were used exclusively for civil aviation in the future.

    1950–1955: growth in civil aviation

    A Scandinavian Airlines machine on the airfield in 1951.

    On May 27, 1950, the federal flag waved over the airport building for the first time, and the airport has already been served by eleven airlines again. In 1951, the restrictions for German flight participants were partially lifted, and this ensured a rapid increase in civil air traffic. The station building had to be increased by one floor. In 1952 over 400,000 passengers were counted, in 1953 over half a million. On average, 100 to 120 planes took off and landed on “Rhein-Main” every day. The entire airport site, including the air base, now covers an area of ​​989 hectares.

    As a result of a previous architectural competition, a commission decided in June 1951 about an expansion of the airport including a new terminal, but due to lack of funds, the expansion plans initially disappeared in a drawer. On May 10, 1952, an instrument landing system (ILS) and a rotary radio beacon (VOR) were installed at the airport for the first time . After the establishment of the Federal Agency for Air Traffic Control on March 23, 1953, a German air traffic control center began its service for the first time on July 1.

    In 1954, the airport operator VAG was renamed Flughafen Frankfurt / Main AG (FAG) . On March 1, 1955, a Deutsche Lufthansa plane landed at the airport for the first time . On May 5, 1955, the Federal Republic of Germany regained its (almost) full sovereignty and thus also its air sovereignty . At the management board meeting of Flughafen Frankfurt / Main AG on July 15, 1955, the ownership interests of the company were reorganized: The state of Hesse received 45.242%, the city of Frankfurt 28.891%, the federal government 25.867% (compared to 2005: State of Hesse 31.94 %, Stadtwerke Frankfurt am Main 20.40%, Federal Republic 18.27%, the remaining 29.39% were in free float).

    1957–1968: Jet Age

    On October 28, 1957, the northern runway was extended to 3,300 meters, making it one of the longest railways in Europe at the time. On the same day opened DC-7 of the Pan Am the scheduled non-stop service from Frankfurt to New York. The use of jet-powered commercial aircraft was imminent, and the federal government had decided to develop Frankfurt into the first German jet airport. In February 1958, an expert opinion suggested the construction of a third runway in a north-south direction for the first time, as the jet age promised a rapid increase in flight movements. On April 25 of the same year, a jet plane landed at the airport for the first time - a Soviet Tupolev Tu-104 , in which the Deputy Prime Minister Mikoyan arrived.

    The airport had to be expanded to accommodate the new jet aircraft. The northern runway was extended to 3900 meters on September 5, 1959, the southern runway in 1960 to 3000 meters, so that it was also suitable for jet aircraft. As early as August 1, 1958, a new passenger terminal was put into operation. The east reception system (architects: Alois Giefer and Hermann Mäckler ) with a depth of 32 meters and a width of 80 meters was located in front of the terminal building, which originally dates back to 1936, and soon proved to be too small again. In 1960 the airport was the largest in Germany with 81,000 take-offs and landings and the second largest in Europe after London Heathrow Airport . 36 airlines carried 2,172,494 passengers, 46,910 tons of air freight and 11,875 tons of air mail . In the summer of 1960, planning began on a new reception system with 36 piers for up to 15 million passengers a year. At the same time, a third runway in the north-south direction was planned in the west of the airport, as it was foreseeable that the two parallel runways would reach their capacity limits. In view of the long planning and construction time, however, one had to concentrate on expanding the existing facilities for the time being. In October 1963, the station building was therefore again expanded to a capacity of around 5 million passengers per year with the elongated, flat waiting hall for foreign countries . In 1964 the southern runway was extended to 3750 meters.

    Construction work for the terminal (again by the architects Alois Giefer and Hermann Mäckler) began on June 16, 1965. It was then the largest construction site in Europe. In mid-1967 the decision was made to double the capacity of the new Terminal Mitte (today's Terminal 1) to 30 million passengers a year and to expand the construction volume from 1.3 million to 2.2 million cubic meters. It was believed at the time that this capacity would be sufficient until the year 2000 and would also be sufficient for the large aircraft that were being developed at the time. In the spring of 1968 the planning approval procedure for the 4000 meter long runway west was initiated. The shell of the new terminal was completed in autumn 1968. The number of flight movements rose to 166,657 that year and the number of passengers to 7,050,459. 229,896 tons of freight and 51,403 tons of airmail were carried.

    With the drastic increase in aircraft movements, however, the resentment of the airport residents about the rising noise level also increased. In addition, there were objections to the plans to expand the airport. Since the airport was surrounded exclusively by forest, including Bannwald , a new runway would have resulted in immense logging.

    1970–1985: Construction of the Central Terminal and the West Runway

    Display board in Terminal 1

    With the unscheduled landing of a Boeing 747 on January 28, 1970, the era of wide-body aircraft began . The plane had been diverted from London due to fog and docked at the still unfinished new airport. In April 1970, Frankfurt Airport became the home base of Lufthansa by contract. Hall V was opened on October 2, 1970, at that time the largest maintenance hall in the world, with space for six jumbo jets.

    The then new Terminal Mitte (today Terminal 1) cost around one billion Deutschmarks . The building was divided into passenger areas A, B and C (with B occupying the two central check-in halls). Historical aircraft were suspended from rope structures on the hall ceilings, and exhibitions and events took place on a continuous inner balcony. From there there was also access to the outdoor visitor terrace. The restaurants were named after aviation pioneers, such as B. Otto Lilienthal. New solutions have been developed in many areas, for example Wolfgang Feierbach designed check-in counters made of GRP instead of wood-based materials. After that, Feierbach's company received orders from almost all major airports around the world. The high standard of building the “airport of the future” led to technical breakdowns in the early days, and passengers and crews were overwhelmed by the size of the building.

    With the new building, the comprehensive new visual appearance and a guidance system for passengers were introduced, which was designed by Otl Aicher . Aicher, who at the time was also responsible for the appearance of the 1972 Olympic Games (and previously Lufthansa), designed a system of pictograms that became almost standard worldwide. The FAG Design department , which no longer exists today, was founded to continue the internal airport design tasks . On March 14, 1972, Federal President Gustav Heinemann opened the new Terminal Mitte, today's Terminal 1. It had over 200,000 square meters of built-up space.

    In March 1973 the planning approval procedure for a new runway, the Runway West, took place . Over 100 lawsuits were filed against the expansion of the airport and the courts occupied the courts for almost ten years. In the meantime, the airport had become the largest workplace in Hesse with 30,000 employees in 1979. On October 21, 1980, the Hessian Administrative Court decided to build the new runway, the first construction work began on November 2, 1981. During the construction period there were repeated demonstrations and protests, sometimes violent riots. The Runway 18 West was opened to traffic on April 12, 1984th When the airport went into operation, it expanded beyond the municipal boundaries of the city of Frankfurt for the first time; the southern end is in the Rüsselsheimer Wald district. It was here on November 2, 1987, that the first and so far only fatal attacks on police officers occurred during a demonstration in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany. As a result, the protest movement against the runway west broke up.

    1990–1999: Construction of Terminal 2 and the long-distance train station

    Terminal 2 (November 2004)

    On June 12, 1990, construction work began on the new Terminal 2 on the site of the demolished eastern reception facility. The terminal with the two passenger areas D and E was opened on October 24, 1994, increasing the airport's passenger capacity to around 54 million people per year. At the same time, the SkyLine elevated railway , a fully automatic passenger transport system , was put into operation to ensure a fast connection between the two terminals.

    In the autumn of 1997, Jürgen Weber , Lufthansa Executive Board spokesman , called for the airport to be expanded with an additional runway for the first time. On the condition that a renewed expansion after the experience with the Runway West could only be carried out in consensus with the majority of the population in the Rhine-Main area , Fraport board member Wilhelm Bender joined this position. At the suggestion of the Hessian state government, a mediation group was set up in 1998 , including from environmentalists and the communities in the approach path, commissioned to discuss the expansion of the airport openly.

    In 1999 the Frankfurt (Main) Flughafen Fernbahnhof was opened as the second train station at the airport. The train station to the north of Terminal 1 between the Bundesautobahn 3 and Bundesstraße 43 was the first train station in Germany that was only used by long-distance trains, while all regional traffic was concentrated to the existing train station (now called Frankfurt (Main) Flughafen Regionalbahnhof ) .

    2000–2005: IPO and closure of the air force base

    Photo of the airport from space (April 2003)
    Former tower building of the Rhein-Main Air Base (2005)

    In January 2000, the mediation group, which was responsible for the further expansion of the airport, presented its result: The expansion was generally supported, but a runway that was shorter than the existing runways was recommended, which would therefore only be suitable for landings and also only for smaller types of aircraft . In return for the capacity expansion, it was demanded that the existing runway system be optimized and noise protection measures developed for the affected communities. The main demand was also a strict ban on night flights between 23:00 and 5:00 a.m. for the entire airport. In June 2000, the majority of the Hessian state parliament voted in favor of expanding the airport; in September 2000, Flughafen Frankfurt / Main AG (FAG) decided to apply for approval for the expansion; at the same time, a night flight ban was accepted when the new runway went into operation.

    In 2001 Flughafen Frankfurt / Main AG (FAG) went public. Because of the identical name of the then DAX company FAG Kugelfischer in Schweinfurt , the name had to be changed in the course of the IPO. The Fraport proposal emerged as the winner in a competition for the name . This is how the new name Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide ( Fraport ) was born.

    In October 2001 the spatial planning procedure for a new runway was initiated, with three variants being examined for a runway in the northwest, north-east or south of the airport site. In June 2002, the Darmstadt Regional Council determined the spatial compatibility for a runway in the northwest of the airport site.

    In January 2003, Fraport submitted a further planning approval application for the construction of a maintenance hangar in the south-west of the airport, as this is necessary for maintenance work on Lufthansa's future Airbus A380 fleet , especially since the A380 fleet will be stationed in Frankfurt. In September 2003, Fraport submitted the documents for the planning approval procedure for the northwest runway, combined with a night flight ban from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., to the Darmstadt regional council.

    On June 7, 2005, the Hessian Administrative Court decided in favor of the construction of the new A380 maintenance hangar, despite several urgent motions. For the construction, 21 hectares of forest that belonged to the municipality of Mörfelden-Walldorf were cleared . The deforestation was heavily criticized by nature conservationists ( Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland , Naturschutzbund Deutschland , Greenpeace , Robin Wood and the "Alliance of Citizens' Initiatives No Airport Expansion"). They justified this with the ecological importance of the forest and referred to the promise of the former Hessian Prime Minister Holger Börner "No more trees should fall at Frankfurt Airport", with which a line should be drawn under the long-term, sometimes violent dispute about the west runway . For economic reasons - contrary to originally planned - only half of the hall was initially completed by the end of 2007. When the final expansion phase was completed in 2015, the shipyard, with a footprint of 350 × 140 meters and a height of 45 meters, should offer maintenance capacity for four A380s and six Boeing 747s at the same time . This made the A380 shipyard one of the largest industrial halls in Germany.

    The Rhein-Main Air Base was closed on December 31, 2005 , and the American armed forces have been using the US Air Force Base Ramstein in Kaiserslautern, about 100 km south-west , for this purpose . The site of the former “Gateway to Europe” military airfield on the south side of Frankfurt Airport was handed over to the airport operator Fraport after it was closed by the US Air Force . The closure paved the way for civil airport operations on the south side of Frankfurt Airport to meet contemporary requirements and for a third terminal to be built in the long term.

    The " Gateway Gardens " housing area in the north of the airport was handed over to the city of Frankfurt when the Rhein-Main Air Base was closed at the end of 2005. The city of Frankfurt am Main is currently developing the 35 hectare area together with the three private sector partners Fraport , Groß & Partner and OFB into a modern business location.

    2006–2011: Construction of the northwest runway

    World Cup Terminal for the 2006 World Cup
    Work on the new northwest runway (June 2009)

    For the 2006 soccer World Cup , a terminal on the former Rhein-Main Air Base was renovated and reactivated so that the charter flights for fans and soccer teams could be processed at its two piers without being disturbed by other traffic. After the end of the World Cup, the so-called “World Cup Terminal” and other buildings in the south of the airport were demolished.

    On December 18, 2007, the Hessian Ministry of Economics and Transport issued the planning approval decision for the construction of the 2800-meter-long northwest runway. Instead of an absolute ban on night flights, as applied for by Fraport, the ministry approved 17 scheduled flights for the time from 11:00 pm to 5:00 am. This was justified by the fact that the highest court rulings on the airports in Berlin and Leipzig in 2006 mean that a general ban on night flights would no longer exist in court and the legal certainty of the entire planning approval decision would be jeopardized. An action was brought against the planning approval decision before the Hessian Administrative Court.

    An Airbus A319 of Germania lands on Runway Northwest (2016)

    The chemical company Celanese , whose subsidiary Ticona operated a factory for the production of engineering plastics not far from the new runway, sold its space to Fraport in 2007 and relocated the factory to the Höchst industrial park in September 2011 .

    In May 2008, environmental activists built a tent and hut village in the Kelsterbach Forest. After the urgent applications against the planning approval had been rejected by the Hessian Administrative Court, the hut village was cleared at the beginning of 2009 and around 216 hectares of forest were cleared. There were no violent clashes. The groundbreaking for the construction took place on May 8, 2009.

    The new Frankfurt Tower

    From 2006 to 2011 a 660 meter long and 45 meter high office and hotel building was erected above the airport long-distance train station. The overbuilding had already been taken into account when the station was built. The project was initially called Airrail Center Frankfurt , later the building was named The Squaire . With a total rental area of ​​140,000 square meters, The Squaire is the largest office building in Germany.

    In 2009, construction began on a new 70 meter high tower , which was completed in April 2011 and put into operation on the night of June 13-14, 2011, two weeks earlier than planned. A special feature of the new tower is its technical floor, which looks like an attached container.

    On June 25 and 26, 2011, a Fraport summer party took place on the new northwest runway. 80,000 visitors came to see it. On June 30, 2011, the north runway, previously known as 07L / 25R, was renamed 07C / 25C, as it now forms the middle of the three parallel runways in east-west direction (C stands for center ) . At the same time, the new northwest runway was given the designation 07L / 25R. It is connected to the old runway with the help of two roll-off bridges, which extend over the high-speed route and the federal motorway 3 . The northern section of Kreisstraße 152 (Okrifteler Straße) runs in a tunnel below the runway.

    On October 11, 2011, nine days before the planned commissioning of the new runway and three weeks before the start of the winter flight schedule, the Hessian Administrative Court imposed a night flight ban from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. for the entire airport, starting on October 30, 2011. This decision had far-reaching consequences for the airport, especially for the cargo area of Lufthansa Cargo , as 17 daily night flights were already firmly planned and assigned for the winter flight schedule. The operator Fraport rejected a suggestion from Lufthansa boss Christoph Franz that the new runway should only be inaugurated when the Federal Administrative Court had finally decided on the night flight regulations, as the slots for the new runway had also already been firmly allocated.

    The runway went into operation on October 20, 2011. The first aircraft (an Airbus A319 in readiness for flight ) with Chancellor Angela Merkel on board did not land until October 21, 2011 at 2:31 p.m. The Chancellor then put the railway into operation during a ceremony. The airport's capacity has now been gradually increased, initially with eight additional flight movements per hour. The key coordination value that is decisive for the allocation of time windows has been 104 flight movements per hour since 2018; in the long term it is to be increased to 126 flight movements.

    In an attack on March 2, 2011 in a bus in the bus stop area in the public area of ​​Terminal 2, two US soldiers were killed and another seriously injured.

    2012: Extension of Terminal 1

    Pier A-Plus was opened on October 2, 2012 . Construction according to plans by the architects' office gmp began on September 1, 2009 and instead of the initially estimated 500, actually cost around 700 million euros. The new gate is around 800 meters long and extends the capacity of Terminal 1 on four levels by up to six million passengers per year. Lufthansa buildings in the western part of the airport were demolished for the project. A total of up to seven large jets can dock at the gate. Four of the gates have three bridges on two floors, so that the Airbus A380 can also be handled there. Alternatively, up to eleven short-haul aircraft can dock. At the junction of the old Pier A there is an atrium with shops and restaurants as well as two business lounges, a first-class lounge and two Lufthansa Senator lounges, including its largest lounge with around 2000 square meters. Up to 800 people are employed in the gate. The official start of operations took place on October 10, 2012.

    An automatically operated funicular has been connecting a parking garage with The Squaire since February 2012 . The train runs over a length of 310 meters at a height of 18 meters. The travel time is 90 seconds. The so-called MiniMetro system was built by the South Tyrolean Leitner AG . In the year it opened, the construction received an award at the German Steel Construction Prize 2012.

    Airport facilities


    The runway system at Frankfurt Airport consists of four runways, three of which are parallel in an east-west direction and one in a north-south direction.

    description Dimensions
    in meters
    Covering Alignment Installation use
    07C / 25C (runway center) 4000 × 60 asphalt East West 1936 mainly take-offs, rarely landings
    07R / 25L (south runway) 4000 × 45 asphalt East West 1949 mainly landings, rarely take-offs
    18 ( runway west ) 4000 × 45 Asphalt / concrete North South 1984 Only starts in a southerly direction
    07L / 25R (northwest runway) 2800 × 45 concrete East West 2011 Landings only (not approved for Airbus A380 , Boeing 747 , MD-11 )

    In normal operation, the two outer parallel runways (07L / 25R and 07R / 25L) are used for landings and the central parallel runway (07C / 25C) and the West runway (18) are used for take-offs. In February 2020, Deutsche Flugsicherung is testing a new way of using the Südbahn and Centerbahn. It should be possible to use both runways almost equally for landings and take-offs. This is expected to result in optimized use of both railways. The designation of the orbits is derived from the graduation of a compass : The runway west is designated as 18 because it is oriented almost exactly to the south, i.e. 180 degrees after the compass. The three parallel runways have two names each, as they - in contrast to the West Runway - can be operated in two directions, where 07 stands for 70 degrees and 25 for 250 degrees. In order to be able to clearly distinguish the three parallel tracks from one another, they are also designated by their geographical arrangement to one another with R (right / right), C (center / middle) and L (left / left). In normal operation (also called "Operating direction 25") landing aircraft approach the airport from the east and are guided either on 25L (south runway; seen from this direction the left of the three parallel runways) or on 25R (north-west runway), with "Operation direction 07" the planes land from the west on 07L (northwest runway; seen from this direction the left of the three parallel runways) or 07R (south runway). The operating direction depends on the wind direction and wind strength, since aircraft should always take off and land against the wind. The runway 18 is operated independently of the respective operating direction of the three parallel runways, but it is subject to restrictions since take-offs are only possible in the south due to otherwise intersecting air traffic, or only to a limited extent or not at all in strong winds from the north.

    In 2010, 464,432 flight movements were handled on three lanes (north runway, south runway, west runway), which corresponded to 83 flight movements per hour. When the northwest runway went into operation in October 2011, capacity increased gradually to 104 flight movements per hour by 2018. In the long term after the expansion of Terminal 3, a maximum of 126 flight movements per hour will be possible, which means over 700,000 flight movements. The capacity increase of around 50 percent through just one new runway is due to the fact that independent parallel approaches are now possible for the first time. This was not possible with the previously existing parallel system because the spatial distance between the north and south runways did not meet the necessary safety requirements and flight movements could therefore only be carried out at different times. However, an exemption from the BMVI was required for this, as the distance for independent approaches between the old north and north-west runways would have to be 1470 meters according to ICAO Annex 14 , while the distance between the two runways is only 1400 m.

    Passenger terminals

    Terminal 1
    Arrival area exit C
    Terminal 2
    SkyLine at Terminal 2
    Lufthansa First Class Terminal
    Check-in area in the AIRail Terminal

    Frankfurt Airport currently has two large terminals with a total of five halls, a terminal for private aircraft and a small terminal for special frequent flyers and first-class Lufthansa passengers. The third large passenger terminal is currently being built in the south of the airport.

    The SkyLine passenger transport system , an elevated railway line with stops in Terminal 1, Gates A / Z (only for passengers, national, Schengen and international), Gates BC (also for visitors) and Gate C (only for passengers, international) and Terminal, runs between the terminals 2 gates DE. Both terminals have been equipped with a system for mobile indoor navigation since 2018, which passengers and guests can use with the airport app.

    Terminal 1

    In Terminal 1 with the four passenger areas A, B, C and Z, all Lufthansa flights and its subsidiaries ( Swiss , Austrian Airlines , Brussels Airlines ) and partner companies in the Star Alliance (including Aegean Airlines , Air Canada , Air China , All Nippon Airways , Egypt Air , Singapore Airlines , South African Airways , Thai Airways International , Turkish Airlines and United Airlines ). Airlines with no connection to Lufthansa and the Star Alliance are also handled in Terminal 1, including Qatar Airways , Etihad Airways and, since the merger, LATAM Airlines .

    It is the older and larger of the two main terminals with a capacity of around 40 million passengers per year. The name was initially Terminal Mitte to distinguish it from Terminal East (previously receiving system East ). The old tower (commissioned in 1956) was integrated into the building. The terminal was officially opened in 1972, and at the same time the fully automatic baggage handling system was put into operation here as one of the first comparable systems worldwide . Frankfurt has a special need here due to its above-average proportion of transit traffic. With its current network length of 70 kilometers, the system is still unique in the world in terms of size, capacity, performance and a reliability rate of 99.6 percent. With a conveying speed of up to five meters per second, around 18,000 pieces of luggage per hour reach one of a total of 78 unloading points on underground routes. Every year around 38.5 million pieces of luggage are transported using luggage trays over 6000 belt tracks and 6700 conveyor belts with 2420 curves and 1100 switches. 650 decoders (reading points) along the conveyor tracks identify the target-coded baggage trays and thus ensure smooth, punctual operation.

    From 2006 to 2009 the aging terminal was comprehensively modernized and expanded: Hall C was expanded to the east with an additional building in order to be able to handle a further four million passengers. The transition between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 (the so-called C / D bar) has been expanded to include additional handling positions for the Airbus A380. In the area of ​​Hall B, piers B-West and B-East are being redesigned in order to comply with official requirements (fire protection regulations, implementation of EU requirements for the spatial separation of arriving and departing passengers). In addition, new areas for restaurants and shopping were created in all three check-in halls. An extension to Hall A was also realized in order to be able to set up new control lanes. Thus, the existing overloaded security controls are to be relieved.

    Terminal 2

    In Terminal 2 with passenger areas D and E, most of the airlines of the alliances Oneworld (including American Airlines , British Airways , Cathay Pacific , Iberia , Japan Airlines , Royal Jordanian ) and SkyTeam (including Aeroflot , Air France , Alitalia , China Southern Airlines , Delta Air Lines , KLM Royal Dutch Airlines , Vietnam Airlines ) as well as other companies such as Emirates , Air Namibia and Ryanair .

    The second main terminal, which opened in 1994, was built on the site of the former Terminal East and has a capacity for around 15 million passengers per year. In contrast to Terminal 1, Terminal 2 is a lighter and more transparent building that consists largely of steel and glass. The concept of the building was drawn up by JSK , who won a competition in 1990.

    Lufthansa First Class Terminal

    Close to Terminal 1 , Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines passengers with a first-class boarding pass as well as frequent flyers with the highest status ( Miles & More HON-Circle) have their own terminal. The terminal was designed by the architects Hollin + Radoske and has equipment that goes beyond conventional lounges. Passengers at this terminal are transported between the terminal and the aircraft by a chauffeur service.

    General Aviation Terminal

    The General Aviation Terminal of Frankfurt Airport is located in the south. It is intended for all private aircraft, regardless of size, and offers a high degree of discretion compared to conventional terminals, as travelers are picked up from their aircraft in a limousine and brought to the General Aviation Terminal, among other things. Most of the time, passengers with a high status, such as government representatives, board members, athletes, film greats or public figures , frequent this place . Furthermore, transports of high importance such as organs or rescue flights are also served by the General Aviation Terminal.

    AIRail Terminal

    In the transition between the long-distance train station and Terminal 1 there is an area known as the AIRail Terminal. The Lufthansa or Fraport check-in counters there are intended for checking in the luggage of passengers who are arriving by Lufthansa Express Bus from Strasbourg or by train and whose flight booking includes an AIRail section. Baggage claim for such passengers also takes place in the AIRail Terminal.

    View from the visitor terrace of the apron of Terminal 2

    Freight terminal

    Emirates SkyCargo machine lands at Frankfurt Airport

    With its logistics facilities for air freight , Frankfurt Airport is classified as the second largest multimodal airport in Europe. In 2010, 2,231,348 tons of air freight were transported via Frankfurt, making the airport the seventh highest freight volume in the world . The internationally operating and distributing logistics companies located here ensure the networking between air, land and sea routes. The companies are located in two spatially separate areas of the airport site in Cargo City South and Cargo City North .

    Cargo City South

    The 98 hectares large Cargo City South is divided into a cargo center for handling service and a shipping center as a central loading and Distributionsort. Numerous logistics companies have settled here since 1996, including DHL Global Forwarding Freight , Kühne + Nagel (AG & Co.) KG, Air China , LUG Aircargo Handling ( Emirates , Japan Airlines , Korean Air , Cargolux Airlines, Aegean Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Siberian Airlines, South African Airways, Uzbekistan Airways ), Cathay Pacific and Fraport Cargo Services. By 2020 [obsolete] , Cargo City Süd is to grow by a further 27 hectares.

    Cargo City North

    The Cargo City North in the northwestern area airport is the headquarters of Lufthansa Cargo ( Lufthansa Cargo Center ), also are here the Perishable Center for fresh produce transport and the Animal Lounge on animal transport.

    Usage fees

    The Fee Ordinance provides for around 150 individual prices for the use of the airport. The total fees for the turnaround of an A380 are 12,000 euros.

    Parking spaces

    A total of 15,000 covered parking spaces are available in two parking garages. A further 2,100 uncovered parking spaces are located on the more distant “Holiday Parking” area (transfer to the terminals via free shuttle bus). The newly built "Holiday Parking" area is located on the airport grounds and can only be reached via Gate 31 to the operating area. Furthermore, access is only possible with online booking. As part of the expansion of Terminal 3 airport, a further 8,500 parking spaces will be created by 2023.

    Expansion planning

    Site plan with planned and under construction expansions

    With the opening of the northwest runway in 2011, the capacity at Frankfurt Airport was increased to over 700,000 flight movements from 2020 [obsolete] . However, additional terminal capacities will be required for the forecast 68 to 73 million passengers. With the expansions that took place up to 2012, an extension to departure hall C and the construction of a fourth pier at Terminal 1 ( A-Plus ) for six million passengers, this volume of traffic cannot be managed. Therefore, the construction of a third terminal with an additional capacity of 25 million passengers is planned in the final stage.

    In addition, a total of 15 gates have been rebuilt for handling the A380: ten at Terminal 1 (four at Pier A-Plus and three each at the B-stars and the C / D-bar) and five at Terminal 2. In addition, the new Pier C three and the new Terminal 3 six new positions for the A380.

    2015–2025: First construction phase Terminal 3

    First earthworks for the construction of the new Terminal 3
    Protest camp in the Treburer Oberwald

    A new handling building (Terminal 3) for up to 25 million passengers per year is to be built on the eastern area of ​​the former Rhein-Main Air Base . Up to 75 aircraft parking spaces are provided for this. The new terminal will consist of the four passenger areas G, H, J and K. (The letter F has already been assigned for freight and the letter I is not used because of the risk of confusion.) The design of the new structure was determined in a first competition, which was won by the London firm Foster and Partners . Their design envisages a spider-shaped building, the central hall of which provides the check-in, security control and shopping areas. The individual exits (gates) connect to it like spider legs . In a second competition, the architecture of the new terminal was to be determined on this conceptual basis. In this competition, the architect Christoph Mäckler , son of Hermann Mäckler , the architect of the East reception system and the Central Terminal , prevailed over his competitors. A decisive factor in this design was the fact that the terminal can be expanded in various modules as required. Among other things, special exits for the Airbus A380 are being built at Terminal 3 . Income from the rental of commercial and catering facilities is one of the most important sources of income for airports today, alongside income from air traffic. Therefore, this commercial aspect is already included at the beginning of Terminal 3 planning. The connection of this area, which is approximately 3500 m from Terminal 1 and approximately 2400 m from Terminal 2, is to be connected via an expansion of the existing Sky Line passenger transport system , which is then to be run parallel to the A 5 , and via further shuttle connections respectively. The baggage system is networked with the other terminals underground. The network of service and access roads will be expanded accordingly.

    According to the original planning, Terminal 3 should be completed in 2015 at the same time as the completion of the final expansion phase of the A380 shipyard (see above). On September 1, 2009, Fraport's CEO, Stefan Schulte, announced that the construction of Terminal 3 would be postponed by up to three years as a result of the lower passenger numbers since the end of 2008 . According to a press release from September 2013, construction work should begin in 2015 and the first construction phase should go into operation in 2021. According to another press release from September 2016, Terminal 3 is not due to open until 2023, which is attributed to an extended planning phase. Construction of the third terminal at Frankfurt Airport began on October 5, 2015 with the groundbreaking ceremony. Initially, a central terminal building and the two middle gates with a capacity of 14 million passengers are to be built. Work on the apron positions has already started. These were already integrated into the operation beforehand. In order to relieve the existing Terminals 1 and 2 prematurely, construction phase G of Terminal 3 was brought forward so that up to 5 million passengers can be handled here as early as 2021. In August 2014, Fraport received the building permit for Terminal 3 from the City of Frankfurt am Main. On October 5, 2015, the ground-breaking ceremony for Terminal 3 took place at Frankfurt Airport, and construction work on the shell began in November 2018.

    The foundation stone for the building construction of the new terminal took place on April 29, 2019.

    The building will house a 6,000 m² market square. From 2023, drivers will find 8,500 parking spaces in the new multi-storey car park in front of Terminal 3. This will increase the total capacity of all parking spaces at Frankfurt Airport by around 50%. 2,200 parking spaces are to be made available when Pier G of Terminal 3 opens in 2021.

    Terminal 3 is to be connected to the Riedbahn by S-Bahn . In order to have free capacity for the S-Bahn every 15 minutes, the new Rhine / Main – Rhine / Neckar line must first be completed, the construction of which is currently not foreseeable. A connection by means of a new airport railway, which will connect the existing train stations at Terminal 1 as well as the existing Terminals 1 and 2 with the new Terminal 3 in about 8 minutes' travel time, is planned. A consortium of Siemens , Max Bögl and Keolis had won the tender for the construction of the railway project. In May 2019 it was announced that a new rail system, the Frankfurt “Personen-Transport-System” (PTS) with the name Airval, patented by Siemens , is to be set up as a connection between Terminals 1, 2 and 3. The line is to be built based on the model of the existing Skyline line, transport up to 4,000 passengers and travel a distance of around 5.6 kilometers.

    In January 2018, environmental activists erected a tree line in the Treburer Oberwald in order to prevent the construction of a motorway feeder from federal motorway 5 to Terminal 3. Fraport plans to start clearing a 4.5 hectare section for the construction of the motorway slip road at the beginning of 2019  .



    According to the airport operator, the airport has the largest airport clinic in the world.

    As prescribed by the ICAO , Fraport operates its own plant fire brigade , the Frankfurt am Main airport fire brigade . It employs over 300 full-time workers who are stationed in four fire stations on the airport premises. In the event of an alarm, the emergency services can arrive at the scene of action within a maximum of 180 seconds.

    There is a Christian chapel in Terminal 1, a silent prayer room in Terminal 2 and a Jewish and a Muslim prayer room for travelers belonging to the most varied of world religions. The Evangelical Church in Hesse and Nassau and the Catholic Diocese of Limburg maintain their own pastoral and diaconal institutions at Frankfurt Airport. Her main focus is on taking care of travelers, refugees and foreigners who are deported via the airport .

    Because more and more children are traveling alone, there is a separate lounge for them .


    • On January 4, 1938, a Junkers Ju 52 of Lufthansa (German Reich) from Milan ( aircraft registration D-ABUR ) crashed in the drifting snow on approach over the runway. All three passengers and all three crew members were killed.
    • On January 28, 1952, a United States Air Force transport aircraft (45-57791) crashed over the then sparsely populated southern part of Raunheim . In the accident, three people lost their lives on the ground. The five-man crew of the Fairchild C-82 A Packet had previously saved themselves by parachute (see also Raunheim plane crash ) .
    • On March 22, 1952 at around 10:50 a.m., a Douglas DC-6 passenger aircraft operated by the Dutch airline KLM (PH-TPJ) crashed during the approach between Sachsenhausen and Neu-Isenburg . After hitting trees, the wreck went up in flames. 36 passengers and nine members of the crew were killed, only two people survived seriously injured. It was the worst civil aviation accident in Germany to date. The plane was on its way from Johannesburg via Rome to Amsterdam and was supposed to make a stopover in Frankfurt (see also KLM flight 592 ) .
    • On October 14, 1953 it crashed Convair CV-240 of Sabena (OO AWQ) on the flight from Frankfurt to Brussels. Shortly after take-off, the aircraft crashed from a low altitude 2150 meters behind the end of the runway in the Kelsterbacher Wald near Okrifteler Straße. All 44 inmates - 40 passengers and 4 crew members - were killed, including the Austrian diplomat Georg Albert von und zu Franckenstein . The aircraft's engines had lost power when they took off as a result of a strong build-up of lead on the spark plugs, which resulted in misfiring. The pilots had continued the attempt to take off despite the poor engine performance (see also the Sabena aircraft accident near Kelsterbach ) .
    • On October 30, 1961, a Vickers Viscount 736 of British United Airways (G-AODH) was irreparably damaged on the flight from Berlin-Tempelhof to Frankfurt Airport. After the captain had flown below the required decision height with poor visibility , the machine hit the runway during a go-around attempt. All four crew members and 16 passengers survived the accident.
    • On January 21, 1967, a Douglas DC-4 / C-54A of the British Air Ferry (G-ASOG) was flown into the forest about 2,700 meters from the runway on the approach to Frankfurt Airport. The plane came from Manchester Airport as a cargo flight on behalf of Lufthansa and British European Airways . The two pilots were killed. The main causes of the pilots' loss of altitude orientation were found to be incorrect setting of the altimeter and incorrect use of the checklist.
    • On February 21, 1970, 20 minutes after take-off, a bomb hidden in a mail basket exploded on board a Sud Aviation Caravelle (OE-LCU) operated by Austrian Airlines during the flight from Frankfurt am Main to Vienna with 33 passengers and five crew members on board. The bomb tore a 0.5 m² hole in the underside of the fuselage. Despite the hole, the pilots were able to land safely at Frankfurt Airport. None of the 38 people on board were injured. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the attack. The package with the bomb was actually intended for an El-Al machine that flew from Frankfurt to Tel Aviv.
    • On May 22, 1983 one of five Canadian jet fighters of the type CF-104 Starfighter (CAF 104813) crashed on federal highway 43 near the Waldstadion during an air show . The pilot saved himself with the ejection seat. Five of the six occupants of a car were burned in the crash, the sixth occupant died 81 days later from her serious injuries. The cause is suspected to be human error (see also the Frankfurt flight conference ) .
    • On June 19, 1985 at 2:42 p.m., a bomb exploded in a waste container in departure hall B of Terminal 1. Three people were killed and 42 others were injured, some seriously. Another person died a few days later as a result of the attack. It is the biggest attack on a German airport to date. In the days that followed, the largest number of different letters of confession recorded so far was recorded . The perpetrators or those responsible have not been conclusively identified to date (as of January 2019). The police blame the Abu Nidal Organization (ANO), a terrorist division of the PLO , for the attack. The masterminds are Abu Nidal and Khaled Ibrahim Mahmood, who had to serve a long prison sentence for the attack on Rome's Fiumicino airport in December 1985. The three other alleged assassins are still wanted by arrest warrant. (see also explosives attack at Frankfurt Airport )
    • On June 11, 2018, an Airbus A340-300 operated by Lufthansa (D-AIFA) was severely damaged in the bow area by a fire in a tow vehicle. Due to the fire, the lower part of the hull simmered over a large area. Since the aircraft was unmanned during the towing process, there were no casualties. The 18 year old A340-300 has been written off.

    Airlines and planes

    Overview of the airlines

    Part of the so-called C / D corridor between the old Pier C and the newly built CD-Riegel. In a further expansion stage, the left wall was to be replaced by further departure gates.
    The Frankfurt am Main and the Munich , Lufthansa's first two Airbus A380s , at Frankfurt am Main Airport

    Frankfurt Airport is served by over 100 airlines. The most important airline is Lufthansa , which has its technical base and main hub there. It offers (partly in cooperation with the partners of the Star Alliance ) direct flights to almost all major airports in the world. Lufthansa also has codeshare agreements with many large and, in some cases, smaller airlines, which further expands Lufthansa's route network. Lufthansa, Star Alliance and Lufthansa’s customer airlines largely use the entire Terminal 1 (gates A, B, C) and the so-called C / D bar between gates C and D, which is structurally part of Terminal 2, but administratively to Terminal 1.

    The airport is also the main hub of Condor and is used by Singapore Airlines as a stopover on the route from Singapore to New York-JFK . With up to eight daily flights, the airport is also one of United Airlines' four international gateways .

    For several years now, low-cost airlines have also been flying to Frankfurt am Main Airport after the prices for new airlines at the airport were reduced. Previously, they mostly used Frankfurt-Hahn Airport in Rhineland-Palatinate, about 120 kilometers from Frankfurt .

    Used aircraft

    More than 77 percent of the aircraft approaching Frankfurt Airport belong to the ICAO medium class . These are in particular aircraft from the Airbus A320 family and the Boeing 737 . Around 21 percent of the aircraft belong to the Heavy category with a take-off weight of more than 136 tons. The types Boeing 777 , Boeing 747 , Airbus A330 , Airbus A340 , Boeing 767 and Airbus A380 are primarily represented. The McDonnell Douglas MD-11 is also used in freight traffic .

    Airbus A380

    Since June 11, 2010, the largest civil airliner, the Airbus A380, has been in service to and from Frankfurt. Initially, Lufthansa replaced the Boeing 747-400 on the route to Tokyo-Narita with the A380. This was later followed by Lufthansa flights to Bangkok , Beijing , Johannesburg , San Francisco , Miami , Singapore , Houston , etc. Lufthansa stationed the entire A380 fleet of up to 14 aircraft in Frankfurt until March 2018, and since then it has relocated seven aircraft to Munich.

    On January 15, 2012, Singapore Airlines switched its daily B747 flights from Singapore via Frankfurt to New York-JFK to A380, Thai Airways in December 2012 one of the two daily flights (TG920 / TG921) from Bangkok . Since September 1, 2014, Emirates has also been using the A380 on two of the three daily flights from Dubai to Frankfurt. On January 1, 2016, the evening flight was also switched to the A380. In addition, continued Korean Air for a time the A380 on the flight to Seoul-Incheon one. Asiana Airlines has also been flying to Frankfurt Airport from Seoul with the A380 since March 5, 2017 , making Frankfurt one of the most important European hubs for the A380 alongside London and Paris. In 2018, the A380 was ranked 6th in the statistics with 9,447 flight movements.

    From a technical point of view, the introduction of the A380 was a novelty for airport infrastructures, on the one hand due to the two-story design, which resulted in the equipping of some gates with an additional passenger boarding bridge for the upper deck, and the span of almost 80 meters, which made the aircraft the first model made, which was divided into the ICAO category "F". Among other things, this meant that there were new safety distances on taxiways and parking areas. Up to now, all previous aircraft belonged to a maximum of ICAO category "E", as the spans were a maximum of 65 m.

    Boeing 747

    A Lufthansa Boeing 747-8 takes off at Frankfurt Airport

    With a share of 4.7 percent of aircraft movements (2013), the Boeing 747 continues to be the type of large aircraft most frequently used after Frankfurt. This primarily concerns the Lufthansa fleet, which takes off with the jumbo jets around 30 times a day to destinations in the United States and Asia, as well as South America. Most other airlines, however, have replaced this type with the B777-300ER version since the introduction of the more modern Boeing 777 . In addition to a large number of cargo airlines, which continue to use the B747 to Frankfurt, the airport is now only served seasonally by Air China from Beijing with the jumbo jets.

    Since the Boeing 747-8 was introduced into the Lufthansa fleet, Frankfurt Airport has operated the second type of aircraft in the world after the Airbus A380 according to ICAO code “F”, although the airport itself is only approved according to code “E”. As for the A380, an additional special permit from the BMVI was required for this.

    Traffic figures

    Frankfurt am Main Airport is by far the largest airport in Germany in front of Munich Airport . These two airports act as hubs for Lufthansa. In terms of passenger volume, Frankfurt Airport is the fourth largest airport in Europe after London-Heathrow , Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam-Schiphol airports . Worldwide it is in 14th position in the ranking of international airports .

    In 2018, Frankfurt Airport was number two in Europe and number 10 worldwide, behind Paris Charles de Gaulle (2.15 million tons) with an air freight volume of around 2.12 million tons.

    Development of traffic figures

    Passenger and freight volume at Frankfurt Airport 1936–2011
    Frankfurt am Main airport traffic figures 1950–2020
    Air freight
    ( tons )
    Aircraft movements
    (excluding military)
    2020 18,770,998 1,895,074 57,554 212,235
    2019 70,560,987 2,041,775 86,701 513.912
    2018 69,514,414 2,123,801 90.086 512.115
    2017 64.505.151 2,143,622 85,348 475,537
    2016 60.792.308 2,067,257 85.220 462.885
    2015 61.032.022 2,076,734 83,700 468.153
    2014 59,566,132 2,164,659 - 469.026
    2013 58,042,554 2,048,729 79.165 472,692
    2012 57.520.001 2,066,431 80,380 482.242
    2011 56,443,657 2,169,304 82,314 487.162
    2010 53,013,771 2,231,348 76,445 464.432
    2009 50,937,897 1,837,054 80.174 463.111
    2008 53,472,915 2.133.302 90,346 485.783
    2007 54.167.817 2,095,293 95.168 492,569
    2006 52,821,778 2,057,175 96,889 489,406
    2005 52.230.323 1,892,100 99,437 490.147
    2000 49,369,429 1,589,428 141.011 458.731
    1990 29,631,427 1,176,055 152.317 324,387
    1980 17,664,171 642.850 91,918 222.293
    1970 9,401,842 327.323 59,353 195,802
    1960 2,172,494 46,910 11,875 85.257
    1950 195,330 3,652 1,616 13,076


    Around 81,000 people (as of the end of 2015) work at the airport for a total of more than 450 companies and institutions. According to the IHK Frankfurt am Main, this makes the airport the largest local workplace in Germany. Each new aircraft directly creates around 300 jobs and indirectly around 600 additional jobs at other companies. Every year around one billion euros in investment funds are given to companies that secure around 25,000 jobs, mainly in regional companies (around 70 percent).

    Arts and Culture

    From 1978 to 2000, the legendary Dorian Gray discotheque was operated in the lowlands of Terminal 1 . The orientation was based on the New York Studio 54 and was a milestone in the Sound of Frankfurt scene . The Airport Night takes place once a year to commemorate the famous discotheque. In summer there are occasional celebrations on the viewing platform.

    Otl Aicher , also known for the corporate design of Lufthansa and the 1972 Olympic Games, designed the visual appearance and guidance system of the airport. After its introduction in 1972, it was continued for years by the in-house FAG design office.

    Frankfurt Airport has featured on German postage stamps several times:

    Reinhard Mey wrote a homage to the airport with the song “ Sonntagabend auf Rhein-Main” from the 1986 album Alleingang .

    Criticism of the airport


    In a study, Fraport points out that in 2012 the airport secured a further 38,000 in the region in addition to 78,000 direct jobs. Compared to 2000 this is an increase of 25%, compared to 1980 by almost 150%. Airport opponents criticize the job statistics and forecasts of the Chamber of Commerce and the state government. In truth, numerous jobs at the airport have not been created, but have disappeared elsewhere. Forecasts about newly created jobs as a result of the airport expansion are not scientifically proven. The expansion "hardly" leads to new jobs. According to an article in the period from the year 2016, the number of jobs at the airport in 2015 was to "over 80,000" was up against 71,000 before the expansion, but a "measurable economic effect" let not prove exactly, according to a spokesman for the city of Offenbach ". "

    Expansion planning and construction work

    The airport expansion plans have met resistance from parts of the population since the late 1990s. The opponents of the airport expansion have formed among other things in citizens' groups. From 2001 to 2012, the voter community of Frankfurt airport expansion opponents was represented in the Frankfurt city council. The Frankfurt Greens also reject the expansion of the airport, but in the coalition agreement with the CDU they have committed themselves to abstaining from voting on questions about the airport until 2011 in the Frankfurt city council. The main argument of the opponents of the expansion is the increasing aircraft noise .

    Another point of contention is the land consumption , as the expansion entailed the clearing of a forest area in the Kelsterbach city forest, which under European law is an FFH area according to the FFH Directive .

    In the opinion of the opponents of the expansion, increased air traffic with the resulting higher pollutant and carbon dioxide emissions must be avoided both for reasons of air pollution in the interest of the residents and in the interest of the German climate protection goals.

    For a long time it was disputed what risks the Kelsterbach chemical plant Ticona , which is only about 700 meters west of the planned runway, would pose for flight operations. In a 2004 report, the federal accident commission assessed the risk of a plane crash on the Ticona plant as an event in approx. 25,000 years and considered the operation of the chemical plant to be incompatible with the expansion of the airport. As a result, experts from TÜV Hessen and TÜV Pfalz criticized the accident commission's risk assessment and declared the expansion plans to be justifiable. As a result, the fronts increasingly hardened in the public debate. At the end of November 2006, Ticona and Fraport agreed that Fraport would buy the chemical plant for 650 million euros. In September 2011, Ticona relocated its production to the nearby Höchst industrial park ; all systems on the former factory premises were demolished.

    The proponents of the expansion referred primarily to the creation of jobs and thus to the public interest , which is given priority over questions of noise protection, hazard avoidance and health protection. As part of the mediation and planning approval process, Fraport AG forecast a total of 100,000 new jobs as a result of the airport expansion, 40,000 of them at the airport itself. However, the job prognoses are doubted by opponents of the expansion, as considerable progress has been made in rationalization and the ongoing economic crisis since 2008 had significant negative effects on the air traffic industry, so that the passenger and cargo volumes fell temporarily and only in 2011 exceeded the level of 2008.

    Opponents of the expansion predicted considerable dangers for aircraft from bird strikes in the planned variant . In particular, mass flights of seagulls, cormorants or geese over the Main at a height of up to 100 meters posed a risk for take-offs and landings from and to the west. has worked for Fraport AG since 2006 and no longer takes a public position. Fraport AG was then publicly criticized for winning over opponents of its expansion project with the help of its economic power.

    Mediation process

    In the run-up to the formal legal proceedings, critics and supporters of the renewed expansion of Frankfurt Airport had the opportunity to present and coordinate their positions in a mediation process . This mediation process concluded with the naming of specific recommendations: capacity expansion through expansion with simultaneous optimization of the existing system, an "anti-noise pact", a strict ban on night flights and the continuation of the talks started in the mediation process in the so-called regional dialogue forum . Its legitimation and, above all, the neutrality of the manager Johann-Dietrich Wörner , appointed by the then Hessian Prime Minister Roland Koch , were repeatedly questioned by opponents of the airport expansion. The decision of the citizens' initiative not to take part in such a procedure was in this sense not just a simple absence, but a politically clear rejection of an all too transparent pacification procedure.

    Aircraft noise

    Noise map of Frankfurt am Main Airport with departure routes (noise reduction routes)
    Demonstration on February 4, 2012

    Even before the expansion, the flight movements at Frankfurt Airport were a source of noise in the entire Rhine-Main area . The continuous sound level reached up to 70  decibels in inhabited areas, peaks even over 90 decibels. In the predominant west operating direction (regular operation), the landing approaches were made from the east, so that inter alia. Hanau , Offenbach am Main , Neu-Isenburg and the southern districts of Frankfurt am Main were below the aircraft noise carpet of the approach lanes. The departures were in this operating direction to the west and from the runway west to the south. In the east operating direction, the landing approaches were made from the west, so that in particular the urban areas east of Mainz , i. H. Ginsheim-Gustavsburg , Rüsselsheim am Main , Flörsheim am Main , Hochheim am Main and Raunheim were in the approach path. The departures then took place in the east and also via the west runway to the south.

    In the long-term average of the wind conditions, about 75% of the time there is a west operating direction, i.e. H. the parallel runway system starts in the west and lands from the east (operating direction 25). In about 25% of the time, the flight movements are reversed (operating direction 07). About 60% of the aircraft take off from the west to south runway (operating direction 18), less dependent on the wind conditions. The German air traffic control provides on its website the possibility of tracking all aircraft movements.

    After the north-west runway was put into operation, residents concerned protested on an ongoing basis. Since November 2011, there have been regular demonstrations on Mondays in Terminal 1 of the airport against the pollution caused by the airport for the surrounding area. According to the organizers, more than 10,000 participants came to the demonstration on February 4, 2012. The police assumed 6,000 participants.

    In order to reduce aircraft noise, between October 2013 and October 2014 the German Aerospace Center tested a procedure with the Condor airline in Frankfurt in which steeper approach angles (up to 4.5 ° instead of the usual 3 °) are flown. in order to increase the distance to the ground. Since the end of 2014, the new approach procedure with an approach angle of 3.2 ° has been in regular operation.

    Night flight ban

    In the dispute over the airport expansion, a judgment was passed on December 18, 2007, which also allows significant air traffic at night. However, this judgment was revised by the highest court on August 21, 2009 by the VGH Kassel. With the winter flight schedule since October 30, 2011, there was a provisional nocturnal take-off and landing ban between 23:00 and 5:00 for scheduled flights. On April 4, 2012, the Federal Administrative Court ruled that the night flight ban continues to apply. Further legal proceedings are still pending with which airport residents are trying to extend the night flight ban (mostly to a period from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.).

    Lobbying and influencing legislation

    The ARD magazine Monitor reported on October 19, 2006 and December 15, 2008 on two cases in which Fraport AG exercised political influence as a lobbyist . In the years from 2001 to 2006, Fraport AG managers were so-called external employees in German federal ministries in the Federal Ministry of Transport responsible for "air law issues" and were able to influence the new version of the Aircraft Noise Act , whose purpose is to protect the population from aircraft noise and other dangers .

    Further allegations are that the responsible Hessian ministry employs employees who are paid by Fraport AG and have direct influence on exemption permits for night flights, so that 97% of all cases are approved.

    Parking lot affair

    According to research by Focus magazine in 2008, Fraport AG gave 150 members of the Bundestag an annual parking voucher with a printed value of 2640 euros. The FAZ reported on 80 members of the Bundestag and more than 100 members of the state parliament from Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate . This constitutes a violation of parliamentary rules of conduct, as the donations are from a company that is predominantly in public hands . According to Fraport AG, free tickets are also given to journalists, diplomats and bank executives.

    Control vulnerabilities

    Customs control at Frankfurt Airport

    From 2004 to 2007, Frankfurt Airport was repeatedly criticized for various security gaps. Among other things, reached in May 2004 reporter of ZDF uncontrollably in sensitive security areas.

    In 2006, the security staff at Fraport AG were checked 367 times by real tests carried out by the federal police . However, only 63% of the prepared dummy bombs and weapons were found in these tests. At Stuttgart Airport, on the other hand, these tests were “almost 100%”, according to the Spiegel. In November 2006, a ZDF team succeeded in producing an explosive device in the transit area of ​​Frankfurt Airport using artificial fertilizers and articles from the duty-free shop. To ignite the explosive device, however, an electronic detonator would have been necessary, which was not available in the duty-free area and was also not smuggled through the security check (at least by the ZDF team).

    At the main customs office in Frankfurt am Main Airport, which is the authority of the Federal Customs Administration responsible for customs checks on persons and luggage, there were public disputes between customs officials and the then head of the office between 2004 and 2006, who was accused of being too bureaucratic. The critics made the head of office responsible for regularly unmanned entry control posts and the restriction of statutory customs controls. Customs revenues and the number of criminal offenses detected fell significantly during this time. In addition, some customs officers complained of bullying and harassment towards colleagues. From 2002 to 2004 around a quarter of the employees left the office. The head of office justified his service opinion by saying that customs primarily had fiscal tasks and was not responsible for security at the airport.

    In December 2014 it became known that officials of the European Commission were able to pass dangerous objects through the passenger control unnoticed on every second attempt during covert controls . The report cites inadequate training of service providers' security personnel as the main cause. In a reaction by an airport spokesman, reference was made to a new training of security personnel and a tightening of passenger control.

    See also


    • Markus Kutscher: History of Aviation in Frankfurt am Main. About aeronauts and jumbo jets. Frankfurt am Main 1995, ISBN 3-524-69110-2 .
    • Fraport AG: Figures, data, facts 2005. Frankfurt am Main 2005.

    Web links

    Further content in the
    sister projects of Wikipedia:

    Commons-logo.svg Commons - Media content (category)
    Wikivoyage-Logo-v3-icon.svg Wikivoyage - Travel Guide

    On the history of the airport

    Citizens' initiatives and information on airport expansion

    Other Information

    Individual evidence

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