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Frankfurt Airport expands with new runway

The Local · 21 Oct 2011, 15:24

Published: 21 Oct 2011 15:24 GMT+02:00

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The planning and construction took 14 years, and was prompted by a 1997 call by the then chair of Lufthansa’s board, Jürgen Weber, for an expansion of the airport.

“If the infrastructure is not further developed, the airport will one day no longer be the economic motor of the region,” he said, according to a report in Friday’s Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung.

It is hoped the fourth runway will keep Frankfurt as a major international hub along with London’s Heathrow and Dubai – even though it is too short for a Boeing 747 or Airbus 380 to land on.

Ground was broken for the new runway in May 2009, the start of a huge undertaking which cost €1.5 billion, while a further €670 million was spent on moving a chemicals factory to a nearby industrial park.

An additional €160 million was spent on compensatory environmental measures, including reforestation of 282 hectares in the region – the area which had to be chopped down for the runway.

Airport operator Fraport said it had paid for 11,372 frogs and toads, 805 lizards as well as rare grasshoppers to be collected from the runway area and moved elsewhere before construction began. A total of 2.5 million cubic metres of soil was moved and two runway bridges built over the A3 autobahn.

The airport registered around 53 million passengers last year, getting on or off the more than 464,000 arriving and departing planes.

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This year the number of passengers is set to increase by seven percent, while the annual figure is expected to reach more than 88 million in nine years. A third terminal is already being planned, to deal with around 25 million passengers a year on its own.

DAPD/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:44 October 21, 2011 by berfel
Fantastic construction effort. All that inconvenience over the decades should have its rewards in reduced congestion and unnecessary dealys.

But will those expectations be fulfilled with increased taxes on transport for emitting the demon gas CO2?? And what about landing fees?

Have German airports in general, priced themselves out of the market? Certainly business travel will decline as manufactruing migrates away from anticipated energy shortages programmed by the government.

Will Wrocław and Prague become the airports of choice for travelling to Germany?

Perhaps those locations would have been a better investment for Fraport. ;-)
12:12 October 22, 2011 by nemo999
So when does the runway extension project begin, so that A-380 and 747 can use the runway? I ask because I will really miss the messed up traffic pattern on the A-3 due to all of the construction, I will not know what to do with all the extra time I am not spending on the road.
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