German Chancellor Angela Merkel will open Frankfurt Airport’s much-anticipated fourth runway tomorrow (October 21).
The new ‘Runway Northwest’ will raise the gateway's airfield capacity by 50% per hour by allowing it to handle up to 126 aircraft movements hourly instead of today's limit of 83.
Capacity will be gradually ramped up over the years and the plan is to grow flight movements between 4% and 7% annually.
The fourth runway is 2,800 metres long and noticeably shorter than the airport's other runways, which are all over 4,000 metres.
Runway Northwest will therefore be used strictly for landings by aircraft smaller than the 747.
Germany’s Chancellor Merkel will be leading the VIP delegation travelling on the first aircraft to land on the new runway tomorrow.
“After more than ten years of discussions, mediations, regional planning processes, planning procedures, hearings, as well as three years of construction, the fourth runway is now ready to be put into operation”, Fraport said.
The ceremonial opening will also be attended by Dr Stefan Schulte, chairman of Fraport, Volker Bouffier, minister-president of the German federal state of Hessian and Dr h.c. Petra Roth, Lord Mayor of Frankfurt.
Dr Christoph Franz, CEO of Lufthansa, will also be at the event.
The first scheduled flight is due to land on the runway at 15.30.
Airport World will be reporting from the event in Frankfurt tomorrow.