Thursday, July 14, 2016

The "Curse" of Hahn

With the voided sale of Hahn.....some might question if it'll ever be reused in any fashion as an airport.

In the early 1950s.....the French came to build up the base.  The Americans later assumed the base and ran fighter operations from it until the early 1990s.  What can be said is that it's in the middle of nowhere....halfway between Trier and Mainz....along highway B327 or E42.  It was a two-lane road that ran west from the Rhine River to the base for a number of's only been since the mid-1990s that a four-lane was built to connect to Autobahn 61.

If you wanted to drive from Mainz out to's a one-hour drive.

The Pfalz political folks in the early 1990s were hyped up about acquiring the facility and thinking that minor passenger operations, and bulk cargo shipment.....would take over and be a big boom to the region.  The Frankfurt Flughafen company came in and tried to imagine how it'd work.  Eventually, they gave up.....passing it back to the state.

What Hahn had for a while was a bulked up Ryan Airways situation.....with around two million passengers coming out to use the facility.  A couple of airlines tried to use it for cargo but it just never took off.

What was the American attitude about Hahn before handing over the facility?  For winter weather, it was the crappiest place in Germany to be.  Fog would roll in and drift around for hours.  Winters were lousy....cold and miserable.  Roads had ice and you had to be careful.  It just wasn't a pleasant place for a airfield.

Sun Express runs a passenger flight out to Izmir, Turkey a couple of times each week from Hahn.  Wizz Airlines run around eight different flights daily from the passenger hub.....mostly to eastern Europe. Ryan still runs around 25 routes out of the facility daily, but there's talk they might move operations.

Maybe if Hahn had been within reach of Wiesbaden or Mainz (say 10 miles), then it might have better luck.  Maybe if the weather wasn't such a big issue......they'd have better luck.

My humble guess is that things are in a spiral and within ten years.....unless some genius figures out a better way to use the'll end like Sembach.....mostly shutdown and no active use of the runway.

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