This expansion is essential to keep Frankfurt Airport among the leading hubs in Europe and the world.
After a reconfirmation from Fraport AG’s supervisory board, the owner and operator of Frankfurt Airport (FRA) announced its decision to start construction of a new Terminal 3 this year, to accommodate a significant increase in passenger numbers in the coming decades.
Basing itself on expert studies of passenger growth from two independent research institutes, the airport management company projects passenger numbers will rise to between 68 million and 73 million passengers by 2021. The airport’s current terminal capacity is 64 million passengers.
The vision of the new terminal includes dedicated train service, an open layout, a glass structure to let in natural light, fully automated check-in facilities with automatic bag drops, and plenty of space for shopping and lounging around.
The airport will also expand its baggage conveyor system, trying to ensure all of its planned 14 million passengers who use this new terminal in future receive their bags quickly on arrival. To lessen the environmental impact and reduce its CO2 footprint, the airport company aims to operate Terminal 3 without using fossil energy sources.
Stefan Schulte, Fraport AG’s executive board chairman, said of the decision to proceed with the building of a new Terminal 3: “Frankfurt Airport is Germany’s largest place of employment and serves as the ‘Gateway to the World’ for the state of Hesse and Germany as a whole. The new Terminal 3 will underscore this role and thus further strengthen our region.”
The new Terminal 3 will be constructed on the premises of the former U.S. military base on the south side of the airport.
The airport company will rely on multiple general contractors to complete the project more effectively and in a timely manner, while supporting the local economy. As Matthias Zieschang, Freeport’s CFO explains: “This method already proved successful with the new Pier A-Plus at Terminal 1 that was inaugurated in 2012 on schedule and on budget. In addition, this method allows regional companies to offer their expertise and thus to benefit from the construction of the new terminal.”
The EU-wide notice and invitation to tender will be issued shortly and the airport plans to begin excavation toward the end of 2015. Construction will take place over approximately seven years, with the new Terminal 3 expected to commence operations in 2022.