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Learn how and when to remove this template message The base opened as a German commercial airport in , with the northern part of the base used as a field for fixed-wing aircraft and the extreme southern part near Zeppelinheim serving as a base for rigid airships. The airships were dismantled and their huge hangars demolished on 6 May during conversion of the base to military use.

Luftwaffe engineers subsequently extended the single runway and erected hangars and other facilities for German military aircraft. During World War II the Luftwaffe used the field sporadically as a fighter base and as an experimental station for jet aircraft. DELAG then built the first airport in Frankfurt, called Airship Base at Rebstock, which was located in Bockenheim in the western part of the city and was primarily used for airships in the beginning.

With the foundation of Deutsche Luft Hansa in a rapid boom of civilian air travel started and soon the airship base became too small to handle the demand. Plans for a new and larger airport located in the Frankfurt City Forest south-west of Schwanheim were approved in , but were not realised due to the Great Depression.

After the Machtergreifung in the government revived the plans and started the construction of the new airport. The approximately hectares runway received a grass cover.

In Frankfurt was a central distribution point for the transport of airmail to North America. On 6 May , the Hindenburg, flying from Frankfurt to New York , exploded shortly before it was scheduled to dock at Lakehurst.

The accident marked the end of scheduled airship traffic and the end of the airship era. On 9 May , the first bombers took off to attack France. From August to November a concentration camp was established in Walldorf , close to the airport site, where Jewish female prisoners were forced to work for the airport. The Allies of World War II destroyed the runway system with airstrikes in and the Wehrmacht blew up buildings and fuel depots in , shortly before the US Army took control of the airport on 25 March Their aim was to force the western powers to allow the Soviet zone to start supplying Berlin with food and fuel, thereby giving the Soviets practical control over the entire city.

The airports in Frankfurt, Hamburg and Hannover were the primary bases for Allied aircraft. The heavy use of these so-called " Raisin Bombers " caused damage to the runway in Frankfurt and forced the US Army to build a second parallel runway.

The airlift ended in September after the Soviet Union ended their blockade. Growth of the airport[ edit ] Civil air traffic at Frankfurt Airport in An Iran Air Boeing —B at Frankfurt Airport in In , restrictions for German air travellers were lifted and civil air traffic started to grow again. In , Frankfurt Airport handled more than , passengers; a year later it was more than half a million. About to aeroplanes took off from and landed in Frankfurt daily.

In , Lufthansa resumed flights to and from Frankfurt and in the same year the Federal Republic of Germany gained its air sovereignty back from the Allies.

The airport did not emerge as a major international airline hub until when a new passenger terminal called Empfangsanlage Ost Terminal East, literally "Arrival Facility East" opened in the north-east corner of the airport site.

Only four years later it was clear that the terminal was already too small for the demand. In , Frankfurt already had 2. In , it was decided to build an even larger terminal with a capacity of 30 million passengers per year. Work on this terminal began in The new main terminal[ edit ] Check-in concourse A in Terminal 1 The new terminal, called Terminal Mitte Central Terminal, today known as Terminal 1 is divided into three concourses A, B and C with 56 gates and an electric baggage handling system.

Everything opened to the public on 14 March It was assumed that the terminal capacity would be sufficient for the next 30 years. Along with the new terminal a railway station Frankfurt Airport station was opened, the first airport railway station in the Federal Republic of Germany. A few days later the old Empfangsanlage Ost was closed. The third runway[ edit ] Planning for a third runway called Startbahn 18 West began in This project spawned massive protests by residents and environmentalists.

The main points of conflict were increasing noise and pollution and the cutting down of protected trees in the Frankfurt City Forest. While the protests and related lawsuits were unsuccessful in preventing construction, the Startbahn West protests were one of the major crystallisation points for the German environmental movement of the s. The protests even continued after the runway had been opened in and in two police officers were killed by a gunman.

This incident ended the Startbahn West protests for good. Because of its orientation in the north—south direction, in contrast to the other east—west runways, the use of the third runway is limited. The Startbahn West can only be used for takeoffs to the south to avoid interference with air traffic on the other runways.

Owing to this restriction the runway must be partially or fully closed when northward winds are too strong. Terminal 2 and the second railway station[ edit ] The apron of Terminal 2 In , work on a new terminal Terminal 2 began because it was anticipated that Terminal Mitte would reach its capacity limit sooner than expected.

The new terminal, divided into concourses D and E, was built to the east of the existing terminal where once the Empfangsanlage Ost had been. With its opening in , Frankfurt Airport increased its terminal capacity to 54 million passengers per year. Along with the terminal opening, a people mover system called Sky Line was established to provide a fast connection between Terminal 2 and Terminal Mitte now renamed Terminal 1.

In a second railway station, primarily for InterCityExpress long-distance trains called Frankfurt Airport long-distance station , opened near Terminal 1 as part of the new Cologne—Frankfurt high-speed rail line. At the same time local and regional rail services were based at the existing underground station, now renamed Frankfurt Airport regional station.

The property was handed back to Fraport which allows the airport to use it to build a new passenger terminal. The property of the housing area for the soldiers, called Gateway Gardens, which was located north-east of the airport site, was given back to the city of Frankfurt in the same year and will be developed as a business district in the following years. The Airbus A and The Squaire[ edit ] From to , a large Airbus A maintenance facility was built at Frankfurt Airport because Lufthansa wanted to station their future A aircraft fleet there.

Due to economic constraints only half of the facility has been built so far. Both terminals also underwent major renovations in order to handle the A, including the installation of a third boarding bridge at several gates. Aerial view of the central airport buildings including The Squaire in the back In , a large office building called The Squaire a portmanteau of square and air opened at Frankfurt Airport. Since , the people mover "The Squaire Metro" connects the Squaire with the nine-storey parking structure.

On a length of about metres the so-called MiniMetro system with its two cabins can carry up to 1, passengers per hour. In , a task force presented their conclusion which generally approved a new runway, but of shorter length only 2.

In , Fraport applied for approval to build the new runway, with three possible options. The conclusion was that a runway north-west of the airport site would have the least impact on local residents and the surrounding environment. The plans were approved by the Hessian government in December , but the requested ban on night flights was lifted because it was argued that an international airport like Frankfurt would need night flights, especially for worldwide freight transport.

In , the website Airport Watch reports weekly protests have been occurring at the airport since the opening of a fourth runway a year previously.

On 4 April , the German Administrative Court confirmed the decision of the Hessian Administration Court, banning night flights between 11pm and 5am. It is called Flugsteig A-Plus and exclusively used by Lufthansa mainly for their long-haul flights.

Terminals[ edit ] Frankfurt Airport has two large main passenger terminals 1 and 2 and a much smaller dedicated First Class Terminal which is operated and exclusively used by Lufthansa. Terminal 1[ edit ] Terminal 1 Terminal 1 is the older and larger one of the two passenger terminals.

The landside is metres long. It has been enlarged several times and is divided into concourses A, B, C and Z and has a capacity of approximately 50 million passengers per year. Terminal 1 is functionally divided into three levels, the departures level on the upper floor with check-in counters, the arrivals level with baggage claim areas on the ground floor and, underneath, a distribution floor with access to the regional station and underground and multilevel parking.

Departures and arrivals levels each have separate street approaches. A bus station is located at arrivals level. Terminal 1 has a total of gates, which include 54 gates equipped with jetways 25 in Concourse A, 18 in Concourse B, 11 in Concourse C. Concourse Z sits on top of Concourse A sharing the same jet bridges between both concourses. Flights to non-Schengen destinations depart from the Z gates and Schengen flights depart from the A gates.

Pier A was extended by metres in , and a link between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, as well as the Hall C extension opened in It provides more stands for wide-body aircraft like the Airbus A Terminal 2[ edit ] Terminal 2 Terminal 2, which has a capacity of 15 million passengers a year, was opened in and is divided into concourses D and E.

A continuous concourse between Terminal 1C and 2D provides direct, but non-public access between the two terminals. It has eight gates with jetways and 34 apron stands, a total of 42 gates and is able to handle wide-body aircraft such as the Airbus A

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