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Third terminal approved for Frankfurt Airport to meet rising passenger demand

The City of Frankfurt has issued a building permit to build a third terminal at Germany’s Frankfurt Airport (FRA) to help boost the airport’s ability to cope with rising demand for air travel.

FRA’s owner and operator the Fraport Group said the capacity of the existing two terminals to cope with an increasing number of passengers is expected to be “exhausted” by 2020, with growth already exceeding projections.

Fraport said long-term traffic forecasts issued by the German transport and digital infrastructure ministry indicate that the number of passengers will grow by an annual average of 2.5% by 2030, which makes aviation “Germany’s fastest-growing mode of transportation”.

However, Fraport said FRA “has already exceeded this value, posting average passenger growth of 3% in recent years”, as a result of “FRA’s significant international hub function”. Fraport said current trends point to passenger numbers continuing to rise, with growth reaching 2% to 3% by the end of 2014.

The modular construction of the new terminal will be implemented in phases, with the first phase to be completed “no later than 2021”, Fraport said.

The first phase will include the central terminal building and two piers designed to serve up to 14 million passengers each year. When fully completed, the new terminal will provide a total of 50 aircraft docking positions.

Fraport said the construction project, on FRA’s southern side, “is an integral part” of the airport’s expansion programme. FRA’s baggage conveyor systems and ‘Sky Line’ elevated passenger train network will also be expanded to link the new terminal to the existing terminals and airport rail stations.

Planning for the passenger terminal is focused on using “highly efficient energy standards” and the design of the building’s technical systems “will completely eliminate the need for external heating”, Fraport said.

Fraport’s executive board chairman Stefan Schulte said the group would continue to analyse passenger data to “assess requirements for future terminal capacity”. He said: “The deciding factor is that we will continue to be able to provide our passengers with the necessary capacity and a wide range of flight connections with the best possible services and processes.”

Schulte said: “German companies are very successful on the global market, which secures and creates jobs and prosperity in Germany. Prerequisites for this success are direct, fast and reliable flight connections to the rest of the world. This is the role of Frankfurt Airport for the region, the (federal) state of Hesse and Germany as a whole.”

Figures posted by Fraport earlier this year for fiscal year 2013 (4-page / 224 KB PDF) showed that revenue increased by 4.9% to €2.56 billion compared to the previous year, while the group’s operating profit rose to some €880 million, which was an increase of 3.7%. Passenger numbers at FRA increased by nearly 1% to more than 58 million. Fraport said cargo traffic at FRA also “developed positively”, rising by 1.4% to almost 2.1 million tonnes.

In July 2014, Fraport recorded the busiest passenger month in FRA’s history with almost 5.9 million passengers served. “Despite weather-related cancellations during the reporting month, passenger traffic advanced by 2.3% compared to the same period last year,” Fraport said.

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