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Oct
04

Capacity for another 6 million passengers

Frankfurt Airport opens Pier A-Plus as scheduled

After roughly four years’ construction work, on October 2 Frankfurt Airport opened the Pier A-Plus – the 800 meter-long westward expansion of Terminal 1 – on schedule. Its commissioning means that Germany’s biggest hub can serve up to six million additional passengers a year, bringing the total up to approximately 65 million passengers per annum. The EUR 700 million new-build is available for the exclusive use of Deutsche Lufthansa AG and its Star Alliance partners. In particular, Pier A-Plus provides more docking positions to serve wide-body aircraft such as the Airbus A380 and the Boeing B747 family.

“The punctual launch of the new Pier A-Plus represents another quantum leap in Fraport’s strategy to secure the competitiveness and future capabilities of Frankfurt Airport,” said Dr Stefan Schulte, chairman of airport operator Fraport’s executive board. “The extra capacity for up to six million passengers a year will allow us to meet the growth in traffic expected in the coming years and to strengthen our position as one of the world’s leading aviation hubs. This terminal expansion also sets new quality standards in terminal management and raises the bar for our passengers’ travel experience.”

Featuring around 185,000 square metres of total useable floor space, Pier A-Plus is the largest above-ground construction project at Frankfurt Airport since the opening of Terminal 2 in 1994. It provides seven docking positions for long-haul aircraft: four designed for double-decker jets such as the A380 superjumbo, each served by three passenger bridges, and three more positions with two passenger bridges each for aircraft like the Boeing 747-8 and Airbus 340. Alternatively, to ensure optimum flexibility, eleven narrow-body jets can be handled simultaneously.

The new pier makes the transfer processes significantly easier and faster at Lufthansa’s biggest hub. In the future, all flights to and from the US will be handled at Area A. This will reduce the minimum connecting time for many transfer flights on these routes from currently 60 to 45 minutes. It will also significantly increase the so-called docking rate, as more aircraft can dock directly onto the terminal and do not have to be parked at remote apron positions. This is much more convenient for travellers than having to be transported to the terminal by bus, and it reduces the complexity of operations.

The new Pier A-Plus features one First Class, two Senator and two Business lounges, where guests can take a break, work and obtain refreshments. These facilities expand Lufthansa’s total lounge space at Frankfurt Airport by almost 50 percent to more than 14,000 square meters. Many other details in the pier also enhance passenger comfort. For example, the moving walkways are longer and broader in order to shorten walking distances and make it easier to overtake other users. What is more, the seats in the spacious waiting areas are fitted with integrated power outlets and USB ports for electronic devices.

The Terminal 1 expansion also sets a new standard with its retail concept. A total area of some 12,000 square meters can house 60 shops and restaurants, concentrated mainly around two central marketplaces. For the first time in Frankfurt, the Duty Free and Travel Value outlets are conceptualised as walk-through shops. After passing the security control points, travellers are automatically guided through the sales areas.