Frankfurt-Hahn Airport is situated about 10km from the town of Kirchberg, Rhein-Hunsrück district in the central German state of Rhineland-Palatinate and 20km from the town of Simmern. Although the airport carries Frankfurt in its name it is actually not near the city but instead over 120km to the west of Frankfurt.
The airport is operated by Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH of which a major shareholder is Fraport AG (65%), the operator of Frankfurt International Airport which has provided much of the finance to upgrade the airport. Other shareholders are the states of Hessen (17.5%) and Rheinland-Pfalz (17.5%).
The airport has a single runway (03/21, 12,467ft, 3,800m) and has seen a steady increase in the number of passengers since it was opened in 1993. Passenger figures in 2007 were over four million with nearly 41,000 flights (60 flights a day).
Since 1993, in only 15 years of operation, the airport has become the 11th-largest passenger airport and the fourth-largest cargo airport in Germany (2007 saw 289,404t of cargo).
Prior to 1993 the airport was known as Hahn Airbase and was a major front-line NATO facility being the home base of the United States Air Force 50th Fighter Wing (only a small part of the airport is retained as the airbase).
The airport is particularly popular with low-cost operators (Wizz Air and Iceland Express) and one of the major users of the airport is Ryanair (Boeing 737-800 service started in April 1999). The airport has good road access and regular bus services to Frankfurt, Cologne and Luxembourg. In April 2008 the Russian airline Vladivostok Avia started a three-times-a-week service to Moscow.
FRANKFURT-HAHN TERMINAL BUILDINGS
When the airport first started civilian operations in 1993, the passengers had to be checked through in the converted officers’ club. This carried on until 1998 when passenger numbers reached the limit of the facility’s capacity.
In August 1999 a new passenger terminal began construction and on 31 March 2000 terminal 1 was opened with an area of 3,000m² and facilities consisting of two shops and one restaurant as well as nine check-in counters, three gates and a suitcase conveyor. The terminal was expanded to two floors one year later to give an additional area of about 4,200m². This meant an additional gate and luggage belt and a total of seven retail outlets and four restaurants for passengers.
In June 2003, the second terminal was officially opened. This new facility contained eight check-in counters, four departure gates, four security checkpoints, two luggage-claim belts and 740m² of concession space. Terminal 2 was at that time connected to terminal 1 with a covered walkway. This gave the airport a total of around 10,000m² of floor space for 11 shops, two banks and nine restaurants. The total investment for terminals 1 and 2 was €17m.
NEW TERMINAL BUILDING
As part of the development of the airport, and due to rising passenger traffic, Frankfurt-Hahn began construction of a new terminal expansion (costing €3.9m) in November 2004 (65m × 65m). In April 2005 after only five months construction the roof of the new terminal infrastructure was completed. The two older terminals have now been joined under one roof to form a single main terminal building with a total area of 13,500m² (the capacity is now around eight million passengers a year).
The terminal was officially opened as one entity in June 2005. The newly expanded terminal has an additional 1,800m² of retail space, three new departure gates and 1,100m² of operations and traffic areas. The new structure has required some reorganisation – for instance the car rental stands in terminal 1 have now been relocated to the connecting structure.
In addition many new shops have been located to the extended area for passenger convenience. There is also a new central security area where all passengers are processed and two new luggage belts.
The architect for the expansion was the Frankfurt am Main JSK International architect’s office and Adolf Lupp GmbH & Co KG from Nidda was the general contractor for the turnkey project.
FURTHER FRANKFURT-HAHN PROJECTS
With the expansion of the airport’s infrastructure other projects have been completed to contribute to the airport’s infrastructure such as a new access road directly to the terminal and to the cargo area and also the extension of the runway from 3,040m to 3,800m. Further projects include the enlargement of the apron.
In addition, in May 2008, a new aircraft maintenance company was established at the airport, Haitec AG, which has leased the entire existing aircraft maintenance hangar in order to implement these new services and is currently building the required infrastructure. The company plans to invest €4m in 2008 into the Hahn airport site.