Need for future Terminal 3 at Frankfurt Airport confirmed by independent institutes

Posted: 17 September 2014 | Fraport | No comments yet

At a press conference, Fraport AG presented the results of expert studies by two independent institutes on Frankfurt Airport’s forecast passenger growth up to 2030…

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At a press conference today, Fraport AG (the owner and operator of Frankfurt Airport) presented the results of expert studies by two independent institutes on Frankfurt Airport’s forecast passenger growth up to 2030. Both institutes forecast that passenger volumes at the Frankfurt Airport (FRA) global aviation hub will rise to between 68 million and 73 million passengers by the year 2021. Thus, the airport’s current terminal capacity of 64 million passengers per year will be exceeded by 2021.

Fraport AG executive board chairman Dr. Stefan Schulte said: “Society’s need for mobility continues to grow – and thus the number of people choosing to travel by airplane. Both of the independent expert studies – which validate our existing internal capacity planning – clearly show that the construction of Terminal 3 is urgently needed. Only with Terminal 3 will we be able to continue offering our customers the quality and service that they rightly expect from a leading international airport like Frankfurt. Residents and businesses in our region should also be able to expect this.”

The analyses of the two renowned institutes, Intraplan and MKmetric, confirm the findings of internal assessments carried out by Fraport AG on FRA’s future passenger growth. The MKmetric institute expects that passenger traffic will rise to 68.2 million by 2021 and might reach 75.7 million by 2025. Intraplan’s forecasts indicate that passenger figures will rise to 72.9 million, or 78.0 million, for the same years respectively. The analyses of the two institutes are confirmed by the long-term traffic forecast of the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, according to which air passenger figures in Germany will rise by 2.5 percent annually until the year 2030. In another study commissioned by Fraport AG, the consulting firm NACO (Netherlands Airport Consultants) concludes that additional terminal capacity will be required to ensure smooth operations at Frankfurt Airport, once passenger numbers have reached the 64 million mark. Passenger volumes of up to 68 million and more – as forecast by the Institutes for the year 2021 – would have a massive impact on airport operations and thus impair the overall quality and competitiveness of Frankfurt Airport.

At times, FRA is already reaching capacity limits for check-in facilities at peak traffic periods during the summer holidays. This situation is similar for security, passport and custom control channels. Schulte explained: “Without construction of a third terminal, increasing numbers of large aircraft – which primarily serve intercontinental routes – will have to be handled at remote parking positions away from the terminals. This is contrary to German as well as European quality standards. Consequently, aircraft congestion and waiting times on the taxiways would reach unacceptable levels.”

Fraport also examined various alternatives to the new Terminal 3 for creating additional terminal capacity and aircraft docking positions. The results of these assessments clearly show that all examined alternatives are far from being viable or suitable to meet future requirements. Either the alternatives are not compliant with existing zoning laws or they are not feasible for technical reasons, while other alternatives would require unrealistic demolition of existing buildings or place a further strain on already heavy traffic loads in the northern part of the airport – or they would simply not provide any significant capacity gains.

This detailed examination leads to the conclusion that there is no way to get around building the new Terminal 3. “Inaugurating Terminal 3 only in 2021 already means that we will have to temporarily accept reductions in service quality. If passengers and staff have to endure this, then it should only be for a short period,” stressed Schulte.

In this context, Schulte also underlined that the German state of Hesse – with its globally leading aviation hub – has a legitimate right to possess a cutting-edge, innovative and sustainable Terminal 3. The new terminal would also represent an architectural landmark and serve as a showcase for optimum passenger services and quality.

Regarding the next steps to be taken, Schulte added that “Fraport has verified the capacity requirements of Terminal 3 in a well-founded and comprehensive manner.  We have made all of this documentation available to the Hesse state government. We look forward to having discussions on the results at any time.” In addition, Fraport has issued the main results of the independent institutes via the Internet.

Fraport AG estimates construction costs for the new Terminal 3 – including all ancillary infrastructure measures such as access roads and parking lots – to range between €2.5 billion and €3 billion.

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