The future Terminal 3 at Frankfurt Airport is one of the largest construction sites in the country. But hardly anyone talks about the 4.5 billion euro infrastructure project. There is a reason for this: the budget and scheduling are on schedule – in contrast to the long-standing delays at the capital’s airport in Berlin.
When the signs in air traffic were still pointing to growth before the pandemic, the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of T3 took place south of the two parallel runways in 2015. An extension with three piers, called Piers G, H and J, is planned and designed for 19 million passengers per year. The new building will be connected to the existing terminals T1 and T2 via a 5.6-kilometer-long skyline railway line, which is currently under construction – with a travel time of eight minutes.
However, the completion of Pier G was brought forward in order to be able to fall back on more capacity if necessary, which was not necessary for the time being due to the slump in air traffic. After a good 70 million passengers in 2019, only just under 18 million were handled at Frankfurt Airport in 2020. In the first ten months of this year, 40.7 million passengers were counted.
Pier G in sleep mode
“In Pier G, everything is trimmed for cost efficiency,” says Alexander Zell from Fraport AG. Tourists in particular should be able to fly on vacation quickly from here, “short distances and short processes” is the motto. Here there is no luxury with lounges, but a functional minimalism with bare walls and open ceilings where all the pipes are visible. The jets to be handled here are to be used in point-to-point traffic with short ground times.
Structurally everything is finished and approved, including fire protection. Only the check-in terminals still lack the hardware such as monitors, as well as the technology for the security check lanes, because the latest is only to be purchased when the time of commissioning has been determined. Pier G could then be opened with a lead time of one year.
Yet it is not so far. The empty corridors look more like a modern lost place, an airport at rest. Life will probably only come here when Pier H and Pier J, and with them the entire Terminal 3, have been completed. That should be the case in 2026.
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