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New state-of-the-art Terminal 3 to raise the airport’s capacity to in excess of 90 million passengers per annum.

Project details

Location: Frankfurt, Germany

Important developments: New Terminal 3

Scheduled completion: 2023

Principal companies involved: Fraport AG; Fraport Ausbau Süd GmbH; Christoph Mäckler Architects

Total investment: Up to €4 billion

Frankfurt Airport has laid the cornerstone for its new Terminal 3, the benefits of which operator, Fraport, claims will be felt across the whole of Germany.

The size of the project will mean that up to 5,000 workers a day and around 75 tower cranes will be deployed on the Terminal 3 construction site at various times over the next five years.

The new 21 million passengers per annum capacity terminal – complete with Piers G, H and J – is scheduled to fully open in 2023, ensuring that Germany’s aviation hub is equipped to accommodate in excess of 90 million passengers yearly.


With a record 69.5 million passengers (+7.8%) using Frankfurt Airport in 2018 and forecasts projecting that its annual throughput could reach 78 million per annum by 2025, the additional capacity will certainly be most welcome.

Terminal 3’s Pier G, with an initial capacity of 5mppa, will come onboard first as it is scheduled to be completed by 2021 in the southern part of Frankfurt Airport.

It will be add an extra 55,000sqm of floorspace and 13 gates and when joined by the Main Terminal Building and Piers H and J – all of which are slated to open in 2023 – Frankfurt’s new Terminal 3 will be a sizeable complex with a 130,000sqm footprint and 360,000sqm of floor space.

According to Fraport, there is a future option to add a Pier K, thus increasing the new terminal’s total capacity to 25mppa.


Fraport supervisory board chairman, Karlheinz Weimar, commented: “Frankfurt Airport is a premium air traffic hub. This is obvious from the growing number of travellers wishing to fly from and via Frankfurt.

“In view of the buoyant growth in passenger volumes, it is high time to enlarge our capacity. So, it’s good news that one pier can be completed ahead of the rest.

“Pier G will begin operating and providing additional capacity as early as 2021. This leaves no doubt that we were right to opt for an architectural design that could be flexibly adjusted as required.”

When fully open in 2023, Terminal 3 will have 95 check-in desks/drop-off points, 48 aircraft gates and nearly 11,600sqm of shops and restaurants. It will also have its own 8,500 vehicle capacity car park.

Explaining the concepts behind the terminal’s design, architect, Christoph Mäckler, said: “More than anything else, passengers want to be able to rest and relax before, and after, their flights.

“This was an essential leitmotif for designing Terminal 3, alongside maximising the technical and functional flexibility of the building complex.

“The light-flooded interior spaces feature high-quality materials in warm natural hues to evoke a pleasant ambiance that invites passengers to relax and stay a while.


“In this respect, the new terminal will be the first of a new generation worldwide.”

Fraport Ausbau Süd GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fraport AG, is responsible for managing, supervising and monitoring the construction project.

The approved budget amounts to between €3.5 and €4 billion, Fraport’s largest single investment at Frankfurt Airport.

Fraport AG CEO, Dr Stefan Schulte, enthused: “We are building the future with Terminal 3 – for Frankfurt Airport, the entire Rhine-Main region and far beyond.

“By employing state-of-the-art technology and intelligent processes to create an outstanding passenger experience, we are meeting the promise inherent in our slogan, ‘Gute Reise! We make it happen’.

“Frankfurt is already an international leader in terms of connectivity. No other aviation hub in the world offers more destinations to business or leisure travellers than Frankfurt Airport. And Terminal 3 will further strengthen Germany’s most important gateway to the world.”


Speaking at the cornerstone laying ceremony, Dr Thomas Schäfer, Minister of Finance for the state of Hesse, noted: “Today we aren’t just laying the cornerstone for a new airport building. We are also establishing the basis for more jobs, more opportunities, and greater economic vitality.

“The construction of Terminal 3 is an important step for strengthening the airport’s competitiveness and therefore also that of the state of Hesse as a centre of economic activity.

“Over the next few years, Fraport AG will invest up to €4 billion in the project. This has the potential to create many new jobs while increasing the importance of Frankfurt Airport as Germany’s largest place of employment.

“But even though the airport is the powerhouse of Hesse’s economy, this doesn’t mean that it has free rein. The state government will continue to insist that the aviation industry uphold its strong commitment to reducing noise and environmental burdens.”

Some 500 individual contracts are being awarded for a wide variety of tasks, which is benefitting a large number of small and mid-sized construction companies, including in the Frankfurt region.


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