Germany's Frankfurt International Airport opened its new (fourth) 2800m Runway Northwest on 21-Oct-2011. The runway, constructed at a cost of EUR760 million, will boost capacity by 50% from 83 takeoffs and landings per hour to a potential 126, and from the current 53 million passengers p/a to 88.6 million by 2020. The runway was first proposed in 1997 and overcame local opposition and a years-long approval process. Around 40% of the airport's traffic is in the intercontinental segment and two-thirds of all intercontinental traffic to/from Germany operates via Frankfurt.
Meanwhile, ACI Europe warned "Europe still needs to come to terms with airport expansion, if it wants to maintain its global relevance". The association added Europe is lagging behind in infrastructure development and is "facing a critical airport capacity crunch that both national governments and the EU seem to be ignoring". [more - original PR - DFS] [more - original PR - Fraport executive board chairman speech] [more - original PR - ACI Europe]
ACI EUROPE: “With a new hub airport opening next year in Berlin and another runway due to open in 2015 at Munich Airport, Germany is clearly capitalising on airport development to boost its competitive position...Germany is becoming one of a handful of exceptions in the European landscape. Too many other countries are putting their heads in the sand and the EU has yet to show us that it is coming to grips with the fact that airports are the primary enablers of Europe’s connectivity. Europe’s global relevance will pay a high price, if the airport capacity crunch continues to go unaddressed," Olivier Jankovec, director general. Source: Company statement, 21-Oct-2011.