More than 147 million passengers have been served in the last two decades, and it is now served by 70 airlines compared to 18 on its opening.
In the early morning hours of October 24, 1994, the first flight arrived at the sparkling new Terminal 2: a Cathay Pacific Boeing 747 from Hong Kong, carrying 350 passengers and 22 crew members.
The iconic terminal can be easily recognized when driving by the airport on the A3 autobahn near the “Frankfurter Kreuz” interchange.
Designed by JSK Architects of Frankfurt, it was said to set new standards in design and comfort, with the spacious and airy architecture – suffused by natural light from the glass facade and skylights to enhance the air travel experience.
Measuring an area of 306,000 m², Terminal 2 was the first passenger building to be built for the new generation of wide-body aircraft.
Although “superjumbos” like the A380 were a long way from production at that time, operator Fraport AG played a pioneering role in the industry by planning for the coming age of very large aircraft.
Since 2005, when the first A380 arrived at Terminal 2 IT has meanwhile registered more than 1,200 movements with the world’s largest commercial passenger aircraft.
Terminal has also been the scene of tragedy, as on March 2, 2011, a lone terrorist shot American soldiers on a bus in front of the terminal, resulting in the death of two people and severely injuring two others.
The dynamics of the aviation industry have changed rapidly since the opening of Terminal 2, and in 1994, Frankfurt had to handle traffic surges of about 100,000 passengers on peak days back in 1994.
From the outset, the gateways Terminals 1 and 2 were integrated above ground via the elevated Sky Line people-mover shuttle train and below ground via a high-speed baggage transfer tunnel linking the baggage systems of both terminals.
The terminal has become a visitor attraction in itself, and since 2005, 1.4 million people have enjoyed the panoramic view from the outdoor Visitors’ Terrace. Currently closed for refurbishment, the Visitors’ Terrace, accessed via the Food Plaza on Level 4 will reopen in Spring 2015.
Fraport AG’s executive board chairman Dr Stefan Schulte, comments on 20th anniversary milestone: “By building Terminal 2, we succeeded in providing the means necessary for continuing the success story of Frankfurt Airport and the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main region.
“The timely planning and implementation of the required facilities has enabled us to sustainably establish Frankfurt as one of the best-connected places in the global air transportation system.”