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NEWS Last modified on September 19, 2014

Studies forecast traffic surge at Frankfurt Airport

Fraport AG has presented the results of studies by two independent institutes that have forecasted a surge in passenger traffic will take place at Frankfurt Airport up to 2030.

Both institutes forecast passenger volumes at Frankfurt Airport (FRA) will rise to between 68 million and 73 million passengers by 2021, and the airport’s current terminal capacity of 64 million passengers per year will be exceeded by 2021.

The analyses of the two renowned institutes, Intraplan and MKmetric, confirms the findings of internal assessments carried out by Fraport AG on FRA’s future passenger growth.

Fraport AG executive board chairman, Dr Stefan Schulte, explains: “Society’s need for mobility continues to grow, and thus the number of people choosing to travel by aircraft.

“Both of the independent expert studies, which validate our existing internal capacity planning, clearly show that the construction of Terminal 3 is urgently needed.

“Only with Terminal 3 will we be able to continue offering our customers the quality and service that they rightly expect from a leading international airport like Frankfurt. Residents and businesses in our region should also be able to expect this.”

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The MKmetric institute expects passenger traffic will rise to 68.2 million by 2021 and might reach 75.7 million by 2025, while Intraplan’s forecasts indicate passenger figures will rise to 72.9 million, or 78 million, for the same years respectively.

The analyses of the two institutes are confirmed by the long-term traffic forecast of the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, according to which air passenger figures in Germany will rise by 2.5% annually until the year 2030.

In another study commissioned by Fraport AG, the consulting firm NACO (Netherlands Airport Consultants) concludes additional terminal capacity will be required to ensure smooth operations at Frankfurt Airport, once passenger numbers reach the 64 million mark.

Passenger volumes of up to 68 million and more as forecast by the Institutes for the year 2021, would have a massive impact on airport operations and impair the overall quality and competitiveness of FRA.

FRA is already reaching capacity limits for check-in facilities at peak traffic periods during the summer holidays, while the situation is similar for security, passport and custom control channels.

Schulte continues: “Without construction of a third terminal, increasing numbers of large aircraft – which primarily serve intercontinental routes – will have to be handled at remote parking positions away from the terminals.

"This is contrary to German as well as European quality standards. Consequently, aircraft congestion and waiting times on the taxiways would reach unacceptable levels.

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Fraport AG also examined various alternatives to the new Terminal 3 for creating additional terminal capacity and aircraft docking positions, and results of assessments Fraport says, clearly shows that all examined alternatives are far from being viable or suitable to meet future requirements.

This detailed examination leads to the conclusion that there is no way to get around building the new Terminal 3, stresses Schulte: “Inaugurating Terminal 3 only in 2021 already means that we will have to temporarily accept reductions in service quality. If passengers and staff have to endure this, then it should only be for a short period.”

In this context, Schulte also underlined the German state of Hesse with its globally leading aviation hub has a legitimate right to possess a cutting-edge, innovative and sustainable Terminal 3.

The new terminal would also represent an architectural landmark and serve as a showcase for optimum passenger services and quality, and Schulte, adds: “Fraport has verified the capacity requirements of Terminal 3 in a well-founded and comprehensive manner.

“We have made all of this documentation available to the Hesse state government. We look forward to having discussions on the results at any time.”

Fraport AG estimates construction costs for the new Terminal 3, including all ancillary infrastructure measures such as access roads and parking lots to range between €2.5 billion and €3 billion.

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