Munich Airport flying on silver wings

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Munich Airport, Bavarian's gateway to the world, has big plans underway such as achieving carbon-neutral operations by 2030, welcoming more airlines and negotiating the expansion of cargo infrastructures with various interested parties.

This year, on May 17, Germany's Munich Airport completes 25 years of operations. The first flight to take off from the airport was a Lufthansa Boeing 747 which lifted from the north runway for a scenic flight over the Alps with 218 guests of honor onboard.

The annual traffic volume of more than 42 million passengers per year has more than tripled since the opening year of 1992, and the number of take-offs and landings has doubled to approximately 400,000. Over the past 25 years, Munich Airport has handled around 8.5 million flights.

Among the most recent developments at the airport, the major one has been the opening of Germany's first midfield terminal in April 2016. The 600-meter long terminal expands the airport's handling capacity by 11 million passengers per year and takes the retail and dining options and overall passenger comfort to a new level. In terms of its environmental impact and energy efficiency, the "green terminal" sets new standards for the airport industry. Climate protection is a top priority for Munich Airport, which has a strategic target of becoming Germany's first airport to achieve carbon-neutral operations by 2030. To meet this ambitious goal, the airport plans to cut CO2 emissions by 60 percent and the remaining 40 percent through compensatory measures in the surrounding region. Recently, Lufthansa announced its decision to station 15 Airbus A350 jets in Munich. This environment friendly aircraft fits in the goal of Munich Airport heading towards becoming ‘green airport’.

On the cargo front, the airport has been negotiating the expansion of cargo infrastructures with various interested parties. In 2016, Munich Airport has recorded significant growth in the air cargo business and the growth even surpassed the passenger segment growth.

Key cargo milestones

TimelineDevelopments
May 16-17, 1992May 16-17 Move from Riem to current site 
1995First regular cargo flight (Amerer Air/UPS)
1997Cargo throughput of 124,000 tonnes
2002Antonov AN-225 "Mriya" loads 210 tonnes
2003Inauguration of Terminal 2 & handled 163,000 tonnes of cargo volume
2005Express Center for Integrators opens & handled 218,000 tonnes of cargo volume
2007New Cargo Terminal West and Veterinary Border Inspection Post open & Handled 266,000 tonnes of cargo volume
2012New Cargo Terminal East opens & first Boeing 747-8F lands
2016Satellite Terminal opens & handled 354,000 tonnes of cargo volume
2017Maiden flight by Lufthansa’s A350

Another move by the airport has been the extension of sister partnership agreement with Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), launched in 2015. It now extends to joint marketing activities to raise awareness of the partner airports in the respective countries including exhibitions at the airports, mutual links between websites and joint appearances at events. The existing cooperation agreement covers activities including IT, security and real estate development. Delegations from the two airports have already exchanged visits to exchange ideas and share their experience in airport operations and processes.

For the future, all of the indicators point to continuing growth. With the start of the 2017 summer timetable, the Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings will have four Airbus A320 airliners stationed in Munich and will offer 89 flights per week to 32 attractive destinations in Europe.

Munich in southern Germany is also host to one of the biggest trade fairs, Air Cargo Europe that will be held from May 9 to 12. The air cargo community flocks together in Munich to discuss various issues impacting the industry currently.

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