Monday - Sep 25, 2017

Frankfurt Airport expansion gets the long awaited green light

Frankfurt Airport expansion gets the long awaited green light

After a long wait and considerable debate, the city of Frankfurt has finally given their approval to Fraport’s building application to build their new Terminal 3 at the airport, Europe’s third-largest.

According to estimates from the Fraport management, building costs for the project are liable to surpass €2 billion (USD$2.67 billion) for only the first phase of construction, which is now due to get underway early next year. The new Frankfurt Airport terminal is planned to be constructed in stages, with the first phase aimed at providing capacity to serve an additional 14 million passengers a year.

A spokesperson for Fraport stated that the airport anticipates reaching maximum capacity, at least in its current format, of around 65 million passengers a year by 2021, whilst the new terminal, when completed , will provide the ability of increased capacity of 25 million passengers a year.

The reason for the delay in granting building approval was the severe objections from anti-airport campaigners, who complained that the airport’s situation, just outside the city of Frankfurt, already creates too much noise in its current format and any form of expansion will make the situation even more difficult for the hundreds of thousands of Frankfurters living close to its flight path’s.

In the meantime, campaigners in Frankfurt are pressing hard for a night flight ban that they have succeeded in imposing on Fraport to be extended by an additional two hours, whilst hoping that the recently elected coalition of conservatives and greens in the local state of Hesse would more active in preventing the expansion of the airport.

Prior to the elections, representatives of the CDU and Green parties stated in their coalition agreement the support to investigating reasonable alternatives to building a new terminal.

The project still has to undergo a demand assessment, and the state government is reportedly still in continuous talks with Fraport on this matter, while it remains unclear when this assessment will be completed, which may hold up building work on the project.

Frankfurt airport handled around 60 million passengers last year, with that figure expected to rise by between 2 and 3 percent in 2014.

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