Terminal 3 – Building the Future

With our new Terminal 3, we are expanding our capacity and reinforcing our position as an international aviation hub. 
Animated film about Terminal 3
Animated film about Terminal 3


Building the Future

Terminal 3 is being built in the south of Frankfurt Airport on the site of the former U.S. military base. The new Terminal 3, conceived as the centerpiece of a long-term strategic expansion project, continues to be an essential ingredient for ensuring the future of Frankfurt Airport despite unforeseen events like the COVID-19 pandemic. As other crises have shown in the past, the aviation sector eventually resumes expanding. Its inherent modularity makes it possible to flexibly schedule the construction and opening of its parts depending on the actual need for extra capacity. By the time it is finished, it will be able to handle up to 25 million passengers a year. The first construction phase comprises the main terminal building with arrival and departure levels, a marketplace, lounges and an automated baggage conveyor system plus Piers H and J for an initial passenger volume of 14 million. We don’t expect passenger traffic to return to pre-pandemic levels before 2026. Based on this forecast, there are currently no plans to open Terminal 3 (including Pier G) any earlier than 2026. It would then be possible to start operations with an initial three piers up to a capacity of 19 million passengers per year.

A combination of aesthetics and sustainability

The architecture of the new terminal is ultramodern. Numerous glass windows flood the generously dimensioned halls and areas with daylight, allowing the planners to largely dispense with artificial light sources. Pipes and cables are integrated into the architecture without disrupting the vast open spaces or detracting from their aesthetics. The new terminal is also setting standards on the sustainability front, with only minimal heating required thanks to energy-efficient construction techniques and state-of-the-art technology.

The futuristic marketplace in the middle of Terminal 3 extending over some 6,000 square meters is an eye-catching feature with a diverse selection of retail outlets, restaurants and cafés where passengers can shop or simply pass the time. The lounge zone with a view of the apron gives passengers direct access to the many shops and restaurants and space to relax and unwind. Terminal 3 also boasts numerous activity spaces and services. Children, for example, can fill the anxious time waiting for their flight in one of the play areas. Business travelers can spend some productive time undisturbed in the work & connect areas before they catch their flight or connecting flight.


A new transport system for arrivals

The new terminal is optimally connected and can be reached quickly and conveniently by passengers. Similar to the existing Sky Line, Fraport is building a new Sky Line to connect Terminal 3 with the two existing terminals. The journey from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3, with a short stop at Terminal 2, takes just eight minutes. In addition to the new Sky Line, Terminal 3 will also be easily accessible by taxi, coach or car. Drivers can use one of the 8,500 parking spaces in the parking garage right next to the terminal. There are also several hundred parking spaces for bicycles.

Visualization of the new terminal at Frankfurt Airport



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Market place


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Terminal 3


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Check-in Terminal 3


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Terminal 3

Terminal 3 außen

Click here to see the construction progress

With Terminal 3 as a strategic expansion project, Fraport ensures the long-term future of Frankfurt Airport. Terminal 3 sets new standards, as the following figures show:

  • Once Terminal 3 is complete in 2026, up to 19 million passengers will be able to depart from or arrive there.
  • Schengen and non-Schengen passengers will be able to use the three new piers with a total length of 1,400 meters.
  • Terminal 3 will offer at least 33 positions right next to the building which some of the most modern wide-body aircraft will be able to use.
  • The new terminal will have a floor area of approximately 176,000 square meters, which is equivalent to about 25 soccer fields.
  • Including all the upper and lower floors, the main building and the first three piers will cover a total area of around 403,000 square meters.
  • There will be up to 100 check-in counters and drop-off points at the new Terminal 3.
  • The new baggage system that will connect Terminal 3 with the existing terminals will feature up to 15 baggage carousels.
  • The journey with the new Sky Line from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3, with a stop at Terminal 2, will take 8 minutes.

Terminal 3 construction project

Fraport AG is in charge of one of the largest privately funded infrastructure projects in Europe with the new Terminal 3 at Frankfurt Airport. Here are the most important questions and answers about it.

The long-term growth in air traffic can only be managed to a limited extent with Terminal 1, inaugurated in 1972, and Terminal 2, inaugurated in 1994. By 2019, more than 70 million people have already departed or arrived at Frankfurt Airport. Unforeseen events like the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 have affected air traffic to an unprecedented extent. As other crises have shown in the past, the aviation sector eventually resumes expanding.
This is why the new Terminal 3, as a long-term expansion project, continues to be an important element for the future of Frankfurt Airport. With its modular design, the individual construction phases of the terminal can be closely aligned with actual capacity requirements.

Construction of the terminal is being split into three construction phases, each of which is tailored to capacity requirements. The main building along with Piers H and J are being built in the first construction phase, which has been ongoing since 2015. In recent years, a steady increase in the number of passengers has led to an increase in congestion in Terminals 1 and 2. To provide short-term relieve, it was decided to bring forward the construction of the second construction phase, consisting of Pier G, after a thorough examination of various options in accordance with the planning approval. You can find more information about Pier G here and here.

Construction work is also being undertaken to connect the new terminal to the existing infrastructure. This includes expanding the Zeppelinheim interchange on the A5, building a parking garage with 8,500 parking spaces and creating a new people mover system to extend the existing Sky Line. Another facet of the construction project involves connecting the structures to Frankfurt Airport’s existing technical infrastructure.

Fraport expects to return to the pre-crisis level by 2026. Only then does the airport operator plan to bring Terminal 3 to the market (including Pier G). Commissioning would then be possible up to a capacity of 19 million passengers per year. On the way to the pre-crisis level, the initial focus is on capacity utilization at the existing terminals. As the construction project progresses, the picture here will become clearer. Follow the current construction progress here: www.terminal3.info

Terminal 3 is being built on the site of the former U.S. military base on the south side of Frankfurt Airport. The Rhein-Main Air Base was the primary air base of the United States Air Force in Germany from 1945 to 2005. The “candy bombers” who carried supplies to the people of Berlin in the airlift mission took off from here during the Cold War. After the air base was closed on September 30, 2005, the land was made available to Frankfurt Airport.

Access to Terminal 3 will be easy and convenient. That is why it is being connected to the existing road network through the expansion of the Zeppelinheim interchange on the A5. Passengers and visitors traveling by regional and long-distance rail services and arriving at Terminal 1 will also be able to take the new Sky Line, which travels via Terminal 2, to Terminal 3 in a journey that takes just eight minutes.

Terminal 3 is one of the largest privately funded infrastructure projects in Europe. Fraport AG is not only building the new terminal and all its connections while the airport continues to operate but is also using its own financial resources to do so.

As an airport operator, Fraport is constantly involved in discussions with various airlines. There is indeed a lot of interest in Terminal 3 and the feedback is positive. Terminal 3’s state-of-the-art design and its excellent connections with Terminals 1 and 2 are particularly appealing to airlines that place importance on the passenger experience, customer-focused services and cutting-edge handling processes. Due to airlines’ short planning cycles, the decision on which airlines will occupy Terminal 3 will not be finalized until just before it opens.

The construction of Terminal 3 commenced on the date of the ground-breaking ceremony on October 5, 2015. The project, which is one of the largest privately funded infrastructure projects in Europe, officially got underway after more than 15 years of intensive planning meetings, approval procedures and inspections. Construction is currently proceeding according to plan. You can find detailed information about the current progress of the construction project here: www.terminal3.info

Fraport is placing a lot of emphasis on environmentally friendly and sustainable techniques in the construction of the new terminal. The new terminal, which is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, will produce significantly fewer emissions than Terminals 1 and 2. During below-ground construction work, it is installing its own infiltration systems, which will extract surface water, purify it and pump it back to the airport land where it will infiltrate the lower soil levels. Once the terminal building is complete, it will also feature intelligent, resource-conserving technology. Efficient construction techniques will mean that the waste heat released by technical devices and equipment is used as heating so that the building will require only minimal heating power.

Fraport laid the best possible foundations for this by establishing its own independent project company. Experience of Fraport’s own and similar infrastructure projects has shown that when embarking on the implementation phase it is preferable to establish a separate and independent organizational form to the greatest possible extent. So, in September 2016, Fraport Ausbau Süd GmbH – a wholly owned subsidiary of the Group – was established and put in charge of construction. It has all the resources it requires at its disposal. The efficient organizational structure also provides quick and clear decision-making channels.

We’re building a gateway to the world – why not become part of this project? 

The construction of Terminal 3 will create a new flagship of excellence for Frankfurt Airport and the region, and we are looking for experts to build it. 

As a company, we are investing on a large scale in the construction of Terminal 3, which is an important piece of infrastructure for maintaining the international competitiveness of Frankfurt Airport – a major engine powering the local and regional economy. In doing so, we are drawing on the extensive experience we have gained with other infrastructure projects in Germany and other countries. We also benefit from the fact that we are a reliable partner to the companies we contract. After all, we are also entrepreneurs. Terminal 3 is set to become a new flagship of excellence for Frankfurt Airport and the entire region, and we are looking for experts to work together with our own specialists to build Terminal 3. Our intention is to bolster the (regional) economy as broadly as possible, and we have therefore decided to avoid entrusting all the building services to a single general contractor.


Online application for planning services (available in German only)

Online application for construction work (available in German only)


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Media contact

Christian Engel

Communications Manager – Infrastructure and Terminal 3 Project

c.engel2@fraport.de +49 69 690-30713