Fraport AG, the owner and operator of Frankfurt Airport (FRA), has announced its final decision to commence construction of the new Terminal 3 in 2015. The decision comes after a comprehensive and detailed analysis of an audit study commissioned by the Hesse state government to assess the airport’s future capacity requirements.
Fraport AG’s supervisory board also confirmed its decision in favor of the planned construction of FRA’s Terminal 3 in the southern part of the airport.
Fraport will soon issue an EU-wide notice and invitation to tender for the first phase of the excavation works on the site of the future Terminal 3. Due to the time frame required for the EU tender process, the excavation works are scheduled to start towards the end of the year. Construction time for the terminal is scheduled to take place over a period of some seven years. Thus, the new Terminal 3 is expected to become operational in 2022.
Fraport’s decision is based on expert studies by two independent research institutes on Frankfurt Airport’s forecast passenger growth. The results of these studies were essentially confirmed by the recent audit commissioned by the Hesse state government.
Commissioned by Fraport AG in September 2014, these studies forecast that passenger volumes at the FRA global aviation hub will rise to between 68 million and 73 million passengers by the year 2021. This means the airport’s current terminal capacity of 64 million passengers per year will be exceeded by 2021.
The audit commissioned by the Hesse state government also examined possible alternatives in the northern part of Frankfurt Airport for creating additional terminal capacity. However, the audit confirmed the studies’ conclusions that the most viable solution, from an economic point of view, is to build the first planned phase of the new terminal in thesouthern part of the airport.
The alternative proposals by the Hesse state government to expand FRA’s capacity by a northern extension of Pier A- Plus and a newly-built, extended Pier C might well be considered under qualitative aspects, but do not represent a true alternative to Terminal 3.
In effect, these alternatives would require high investments but not create the required capacity expansion or provide additional docking positions for large aircraft types. Furthermore, the proposed alternatives lack the necessary zoning decisions as well as any legal permission by the responsible aviation authorities.