The publicly-owned Munich Airport has a vision of the future where startup entrepreneurs and business executives alike never need to stray into the escalator-less world beyond the confines of an airport again.
They can live at airport hotels, eat at airport Irish pubs and work in futuristic business hubs situated on the airport grounds. Then, if they need to network with a business in another city, they can hop onto a plane and step into this exact same ecosystem when they land.
To this end, the Bavarian airport has announced plans to build “a unique project for the future” that will offer 500,000 square metres of business space to startups, “global players” and investors on the grounds of the airport.
“This new high-tech campus offers a blueprint for a city of the future for high-tech industries in sectors such as aviation and space technologies, in digitalization, energy and mobility,” the airport claimed in a press release.
The surrounding area also offers ample possibilities for real estate development, the airport noted.
“Airports need to pursue new ways of developing their locations in the era of digitalization and globalization,” explained Dr. Michael Kerkloh, a board member for Flughafen München GmbH.
Thomas Weyer, the airport's CTO, said that “150,000 people pass through Munich Airport on a daily basis. These passengers, visitors and employees are potential customers and business partners for the LabCampus.”
Weyer’s vision is that workers at the new “city” will travel along wide boulevards by segway or on automated buses, according to the Süddeustche Zeitung, which compared the project to Silicon Valley. The first part of the project, slated to be finished in 2.5 years, is expected to cost €400 million.
The first section of the business park is scheduled to be completed in two and a half years time, with the airport claiming it will provide 5,000 jobs.
The airport has already won over Siemens, the Fraunhofer Institute and Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg as partners for the project.