Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Frankfurt Airport Update

For a couple of years, the Frankfurt Airport folks have been looking over the numbers and realized that between the passenger capability of Terminal One and Terminal Two....at some point in 2020....they would have peaked out on capability.

Here in the local region (the Rhein Valley), the Frankfurt Airport is a significant part of the business structure.  It attracts a lot of travelers, business, and commerce.

Realizing the limit.....the management folks put together a new concept....Terminal Three.  To be honest, they've kinda maxed out on space on the north end of the runway.  So this entire new concept....Terminal Three...was to be built on the southside of the main runway.

Naturally, construction like this draws critics, and a number of them banded together.  So the plan for Terminal Three has been a uphill fight the whole way.  Last week, a multi-page document was sent in to argue against the construction permit.  Roughly thirty pages of text.  Most centering around the idea that the building plan really hasn't gotten down the nitty-gritty details that the critics believe is required before authorizing a building permit.

Yesterday afternoon, the regional folks who grant building permits....finished the entire review.  The building permit was granted.  Naturally, the reaction by the critics was swift....this was an illegal review and a illegal permit.

The issues in the Frankfurt Airport construction project?  Four big potential points.

First, the terminal itself is to be a glass-type building.  The pictures put into the local press indicate that the roof will be a normal roof....but the walls of the whole building will apparently be glass.

Second, they want to hook the baggage conveyer system of Terminal One and Two.....onto the new Terminal, which means a tunnel likely dug under the present main runway or at the end of the main runway.  It's at least 1.5 km in length.

Third, they need a shuttle train deal built connecting Terminal Two onto Terminal Three.  The current shuttle train between One and Two....is crap.  It was designed in the mid-80s and was part of the Terminal Two deal as it opened in the 1990s.  It should have been at ground level or as part of some subway structure....instead, it was placed around forty feet above the ground surface.  No one says much over how it'll connect to Terminal Three.

Finally, there is the issue of getting autobahn exits and entry to Terminal Three, along with a whole new parking building being built nearby.

The anticipated completion date of this terminal?  2021.  They expect to break ground around spring of 2015, and have it totally open by some point in 2021.

The potential for a Terminal Four?  Well....it's best not to bring this up, but you can figure by 2030....sixteen years from now....someone is going to openly discuss it in the Hessen area.  And who knows....maybe the US Army will have vacated the Erbenheim runway area by Wiesbaden, and the Frankfurt Airport folks take over the runway there....turning it into Terminal Four by that point.  It's best not to suggest that to folks in Wiesbaden....they'd get all hyper about that idea.

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