Frankfurt Airport's new runway boosts hub reputation

7 Nov 2011

Frankfurt Airport’s new fourth runway is expected to boost capacity by 50 per cent, from 83 takeoffs and landings hourly to a potential 126, and from the current annual 53 million passengers to 88.6 million by 2020. About 50 per cent of present users are transit travellers, reflecting “Fraport’s” role as one of Europe’s most important hubs.

The 2,800-metre northwest runway, which is parallel to two other runways, welcomed its first aircraft touch down in late October, with a government plane bearing Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The E760 million (US$1.05 billion) construction project was much welcomed by airport authorities, who admitted they could no longer manage the peak demand of 100 takeoffs and landings per hour. Dr Stefan Schulte, Fraport executive board chairman, said at the opening ceremonies: “The new runway will allow Frankfurt Airport finally to overcome its capacity constraints and to offer the international aviation industry growth opportunities once again. Equally important, we will be able to deliver our airlines and passengers even better punctuality and quality of service now."

The new runway was first proposed in 1997, but earth-moving began only 2009 after much study and discussion, which led to Fraport management agreeing to implement a host of environmental remedies. These included planting 288 hectares of forest to replace the 282 hectares lost after construction, and the relocation of 11,372 frogs and toads, 805 lizards, 17 ant populations, as well as 300 tree stumps inhabited by rare stag beetles, locusts and several plant species.

Another expansion project is now underway – the A-Plus Terminal extension (an addition to Terminal 1) – opening next summer, which will feature a mall and more gates and lounges catering to Airbus A380 services.

For more details about Fraport, visit

Margie T Logarta

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