Cologne/Bonn Airport is located in the Wahner Heide nature reserve, 15 km south-east of Cologne and 20 km north-east of Bonn . It is the sixth largest airport in Germany and one of the country’s few 24 hour airports. In terms of cargo flights Cologne/Bonn Airport is No. 2. In 2005 the number of passengers climbed to 9,5 million.
In 1913 the first plane took off from the Wahner Heide military training area on an artillery reconnaissance flight. In 1939 an airfield was built for the German Luftwaffe.
After World War II, British troops took over and expanded the airport. A 1,866m-runway was built in this period. In 1951 Cologne/Bonn Airport was opened for civilian air traffic.
During the 50s and 60s two more runways and a new terminal were constructed. On 1 November 1970 a Boeing 747 took off for New York for the first time. In 1986 Cologne/Bonn Airport was chosen by UPS as the location for their European hub.
In the late 90s Cologne/Bonn Airport started an expansion program. Several new parking lots and a second terminal were built, and in 2004 a railway station on the new ICE-high-speed-track Cologne-Frankfurt was opened.
Coinciding with the start of several low-cost airlines in Germany , Cologne/Bonn opened new capacity. This enabled Cologne/Bonn Airport to make competitive offers to the airlines. Consequently, Germanwings and Hapag-Lloyd Express and started operations from Cologne/Bonn as their hub in the fall of 2002. They were joined by easyJet in late 2003 and Wizzair in June 2006.
As a result, the number of passengers in 2003 rose by 43% compared to 2002. Cologne/Bonn Airport is actively searching for airlines willing to establish the first trans-Atlantic low-cost flights.