Frankfurt International Airport is located near Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Frankfurt International Airport is the largest airport in Germany and the largest in mainland Europe, serving as an important hub for international flights from around the world.
Frankfurt International Airport is run by Fraport AG. The southern side of the airport was known as the Rhein-Main Air Base and was a major airlift base for the United States from 1947 until late 2005.
Frankfurt International Airport is a hub of Lufthansa, the German national carrier. Because of under-capacity in Frankfurt, Lufthansa divides traffic between Frankfurt and Munich’s Franz Josef Straub International Airport when possible.
Frankfurt International Airport currently serves more destinations than London’s Heathrow International Airport, but in terms of passenger traffic Frankfurt International is third in Europe, behind London’s Heathrow Airport and Paris’s Charles de Gaulle Airport.
- Passenger traffic at Frankfurt International Airport in 2005 was 52,219,412, compared with 67,915,389 at Heathrow Airport, and 53,756,200 at Charles de Gaulle Airport.
- In terms of plane movement, Frankfurt was second in Europe with 490,147 planes, between Charles de Gaulle Airport (522,619) and Heathrow (477,888).
- In terms of cargo traffic, Frankfurt was second in Europe with 1,963,141 metric tons (2,163,992 US tons), just behind Charles de Gaulle Airport (2,010,000 metric tons) and Heathrow (1,389,591 metric tons).
Nevertheless, there are plans to expand Frankfurt International Airport with a fourth runway and a new Terminal 3, modifications the airport to be able to service the new Airbus A-380 plane have already taken place, including the building of a large A380 maintenance facility near the former U.S. Air Base which is not yet complete. After Dubai (with forty-three A380s), the airport will be the base for the second-largest A380-fleet in the world (up to fifteen A380s).
The Rhein-Main Airport and Airship Base opened in 1936 and was the second-largest airport in Germany (after Tempelhof Airport in Berlin) through WWII. After the war, it served as the main West German operations base for the Berlin Airlift.
Frankfurt International Airport did not emerge as a major international hub until 1972, when its new passenger terminal (now Terminal 1) opened