The decision comes after a comprehensive and detailed analysis of an audit study commissioned by the Hesse state government to assess the airport’s future capacity requirements.
The terminal will be located in the southern part of the airport.
Airport operator, Fraport, claims its decision to start construction this year is based on expert studies by two independent research institutes on Frankfurt Airport’s forecast passenger growth.
The studies forecast that passenger volumes at Frankfurt will rise to between 68 million and 73 million passengers per annum by 2021 ensuring that the airport’s current design capacity of 64mppa will be exceeded over the next six years.
The quality audit commissioned by the Hesse state government also examined possible alternatives in the northern part of Frankfurt Airport for creating additional terminal capacity.
However, it confirmed the studies’ conclusions that the most viable solution, from an economic point of view, is to build the first planned phase of the new terminal in the southern part of the airport.
Alternative proposals included expanding Frankfurt Airport’s capacity through a northern extension of Pier A-Plus and a new, extended Pier C.
They were rejected because of the costs involved, insufficient capacity created and the lack of permissions.
Fraport’s executive board chairman, Dr Stefan Schulte, explained: “We have thoroughly assessed and scrutinised all possible alternatives before deciding in favour of Terminal 3.
“We are very well aware of our responsibility to our shareholders, our customers, passengers and employees, as well as to the people living in the region.
“Frankfurt Airport is Germany’s largest place of employment and serves as the ‘Gateway to the World’ for the state of Hesse and Germany as a whole.
“The new Terminal 3 will underscore this role and thus further strengthen our region.
“To accommodate the forecast traffic growth, it is now necessary to commence construction for the third terminal during the current year.”
Fraport’s CFO, Dr Matthias Zieschang, added: “With an investment volume of between €2.5 billion and €3 billion, Terminal 3 will be one of Germany’s largest infrastructure projects.
“Refraining from using a single general contractor for the entire terminal construction, Fraport will instead award targetted multiple contracts to various companies performing specific tasks related to the project.
“This method already proved successful with the new Pier A-Plus at Terminal 1 that was inaugurated in 2012 on schedule and on budget.
“In addition, this method allows regional companies to offer their expertise and thus to benefit from the construction of the new terminal.”
Fraport will soon issue an EU-wide notice and invitation to tender for the first phase of the excavation works on the site of the future Terminal 3.
Due to the time frame required for the EU tender process, the excavation works are scheduled to start towards the end of the year.
Construction time for the terminal is scheduled to take place over a period of seven years to ensure it opens for business in 2022.