The Hahn airport is going up for sale.....well....if Hessen agrees to the deal.
Here's the background to this. Hahn has relied upon state aid at various times to carry it through to some marginal success. In the old days....the system was developed where a state could continue with various deal and funding programs to help a marginal airport survive. In this case, the airport about forty miles to the west of Wiesbaden/Mainz....is currently the joint property of the states of Hessen (17.5 percent) and Rheinland Pfalz (remainder). The EU developed a standard which insists on limited support for airports, for ten years. After that.....either the airport survives or it fails. Since Hahn can't make a profit, there's only course left here.
The Hahn model for success? It's a twelve-thousand foot runway, with a marginal number of buildings. It was supposed to be where low-budget carriers (like Ryan Airways) would operate and avoid hefty costs.
Somewhere around 2007, Hahn's passenger numbers hit a peak with four million folks using the airport. If they'd sustained that number.....we wouldn't be talking about this sale today.
Every year since 2007, we've seen a five-to-ten percent drop in passengers. For 2013, it was near 2.66 million. (Wiki numbers)
What the news folks tend to say is that the Pfalz has called up Hessen and dropped the subject of selling it into their lap. Hessen might ask a few questions, but they will agree within a period of time to the deal.
Who buys Hahn? That's a curious question. There might be a Chinese company or two....interested in the more remote airport, with an extended runway. FRAPORT, the owner of the Frankfurt Flughafen....might come to be interested.
There's a curious limit to the Frankfurt airport in terms of operating time. Local folks living around the Frankfurt operation have forced over the years a closed-time, usually around midnight for flights to stop, and at start-up somewhere between 0530 and 0600 AM. Naturally, if you get delayed and approach the midnight time.....the flight usually gets pushed into landing at an alternate airport. Hahn, being somewhat close to the Frankfurt airport.....would be an interesting property to utilize. Toss in some rapid-rail transport between the two airports, more use as a cargo port, and it might make more financial sense.
My humble guess is that by the end of 2015....it will be sold off, and there might be some big changes coming to Hahn over the next five years.