Munich Airport has been granted planning permission by the District Government of Upper Bavaria to build a third runway, in a move to increase capacity at the gateway.
The regional government has given the go-ahead for the airport to build a third, parallel runway to the northeast side of the airfield.
It will be 4000m long and 60m wide and is expected to expand capacity at the airport from 90 aircraft movements an hour to 120.
The government ruled yesterday (26 July) that the runway was needed to meet projected future traffic growth at the airport, which sees passenger numbers increase from the current 35mppa to 58mppa by 2025.
The forecasts from the airport show that, with the new runway, there will be a demand for 536,000 aircraft movements by the end of the decade, while last year the airport registered approximately 390,000 movements.
If the new runway is not built, the government expects traffic to reach 473,000 movements in 2020.
The runway is expected to be finished by 2015, and will only be in use between 6am and 10pm in order to cut noise pollution at night.
Dr Michael Kerkloh, CEO of airport operator FMG, said the ruling was "the most important new starting point for Munich's competitiveness as an air transportation location since the relocation of the airport in Riem.”
He said: “This sets the stage in terms of planning permission regulations to continue this Bavarian success story in the long term.
“The expansion of Munich Airport to meet growing demand and the resulting increase in available flights and destinations will benefit in particular the population of Bavaria and the economy.”
Airport officials plan to turn Munich into a major hub on par with Germany’s largest airport, Frankfurt Airport.
According to Munich Airport, at the moment about 90% of long-haul flights to and from Germany pass through Frankfurt and Munich.