Reserve only from 2026: Frankfurt Airport will downgrade Terminal 2

When Germany’s largest airport opens its new Terminal 3 in 2026, Terminal 2 will be blocked. The 28-year-old building will become a reserve terminal for Frankfurt.

The head of the airport at the time, Horstmar Stauber, spoke of “a building of emphatic casualness”. He was referring to the 600-meter-long and 100-meter-wide building that opened in 1994 and became Terminal 2 at Frankfurt Airport. It was created to relieve Terminal 1, which opened in 1972 and was already operating at capacity.

The construction of Terminal 2 was supposed to cost 600 million marks, in the end it was 1.6 billion. In addition, 900 million was for technology and electronics “to ensure the interaction of the old and new terminal,” as Der Spiegel noted at the time. A huge amount for that time.

A set of operational and architectural accents

On the other hand, the new terminal in Frankfurt, with a total area of ​​430,000 square meters, was the first in the world to be designed for the new generation of large long-haul aircraft. It was the Cathay Pacific Boeing 747 with 350 passengers on board that was the first aircraft to land on one of the passenger boarding bridges on October 24, 1994. And with its 30-meter-high glass facade, it also set architectural accents for that time.

The investment was worth it. Tens of thousands of passengers use Frankfurt Terminal 2 daily. About 50 airlines – mostly members of the Oneworld and Skyteam alliances – are checked in here.

Dark Hour and Corona Shutdown

However, the history of the terminal building also has its dark moments. On March 2, 2011, a Kosovar Albanian living in Germany shot dead two American soldiers and seriously wounded two others at a bus stop in front of the building. And during the coronavirus crisis, airport operator Fraport had to close Terminal 2. It remained unused for 15 months. From June 1, 2021, it is back in operation.

But it won’t stay online forever. When Frankfurt Airport opens Terminal 3 in 2026, it will also close Terminal 2 again, at least temporarily. “It doesn’t make sense to operate three terminals at the same time while demand or passenger numbers are growing,” Fraport CFO Matthias Zieschang said last week when quarterly results were presented data.

No further investments for now

Terminal 2 will become the backup terminal. “Whenever it needs to be reopened, we will open Terminal 2,” Zieschang continued. This has consequences. In the following years, there will be no further investment in the building, continued the financial director.

However, after the Corona stop, Fraport was carrying out maintenance work. Among other things, five existing skylights, the roof, concrete strips in front of the building and four central escalators were replaced. The Aero portal was the first to report on the new closure.

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