GERMANY’S popular Munich Airport will celebrate its 25th anniversary this May 17. Since its opening in 1992, the airport's rapid growth has led to a ranking among Europe's top 10 airports.
Even more impressive than the traffic statistics is Munich's popularity with passengers. Over the past 12 years, the Bavarian hub has earned the title of Europe's Best Airport nine times in the World Airport Awards conducted by Skytrax, the respected London-based aviation consultancy. And, in March 2015, it became the first European airport to earn a five-star status.
Since its opening, Munich Airport has more than tripled its annual passenger figures to yearly over 42 million. From 1992 till the anniversary in May, Bavaria's gateway to the world has handled 690 million passengers in total. The annual growth in passenger traffic has averaged 5.4 per cent. This is significantly higher than the average increases posted by all other German airports during the same period (3.5 per cent). Munich has also experienced above average gains in take-offs and landings. The number of annual movements has more than doubled totalling at 400,000. During these 25 years at the new location, the number of aircraft movements has passed the 8.3 million mark and increased at an average annual rate of 4 per cent.
One of the main driving factors behind the unrivalled success of Munich Airport is its development into one of Europe's leading hubs. It began in the mid-1990s with the decision by Lufthansa to station two long-haul aircraft in Munich for the first time. That marked the start of a steady expansion in hub traffic in Munich. The percentage of passengers changing planes in Munich has tripled from 12 per cent in 1992 to 36 per cent today. The thriving hub traffic at Munich Airport benefits in particular the people and the economy of Bavaria by providing them with fast and direct access to around 250 destinations in over 70 countries around the world.
With Terminal 2, which Munich Airport has jointly operated with Lufthansa since the summer of 2003, and the satellite terminal that was opened in April 2016, the airport’s annual passenger handling capacity raised to 50 million. Further, the airport has announced plans to expand Terminal 1. With the construction of a new pier and a central building complex, the terminal will gain capacity for an additional 6 million passengers per year.
The planned expansion is comparable to the construction of an entirely new airport. It will bring Terminal 1 right up to date. The added capacity will be equivalent to the annual traffic of a mid-sized German airport such as Hanover, for example. But now it is also an urgent priority to move forward decisively with the expansion of the runway system. For some time now, the two existing runways, which have a capacity of 90 schedulable aircraft movements per hour, have been fully ‘booked up’ during peak periods. The construction of the third runway is thus essential for keeping Munich and Bavaria on track for long-term growth and for continuing their success.
In addition to one of the densest networks of European routes – passengers at Munich Airport have an attractive range of 60 intercontinental destinations available to them. The number of weekly take-offs and landings to intercontinental destinations has increased notably from 52 to 320, since the start of hub development in 1995. By establishing excellent worldwide connections, Munich Airport now yields significant competitive advantages for the entire southern German economy in global competition among regions. The new satellite terminal and the planned third runway will create the necessary conditions to enable Munich Airport to continue serving as a reliable infrastructure facility and job engine for the state of Bavaria and city of Munich in the future.
Sustainability has become of central importance for Munich Airport. The airport’s goal is to become Germany's first airport to achieve carbon-neutral operations.
These 25 successful years will be celebrated at the airport from May 17 to 21, with several events such as a campus party for employees, a public music festival, public airport days on the apron, a photo exhibition comparing past and today’s airport facilities and operations.
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