One of Europe’s largest infrastructure projects is taking shape in the south of Frankfurt Airport: the construction of Terminal 3. After it has been completed, it will have capacity for up to 19 million passengers a year. They will take off and land at three piers, enjoy a central marketplace, and relax in comfortable lounges.

80,000 m²

is the total wall surface

area in Pier J alone.

More on Pier J

News from the Building Site

Highlights of Terminal 3

Riding a drone through Terminal 3

The structures of the individual buildings of Terminal 3 are virtually complete. The next step is interior finishing. Fly with a drone through the main terminal building, a pier, and the future marketplace with its unusual ceiling featuring artistic drop shapes. Enjoy the interior highlights of the new Terminal 3 from a slightly different perspective.

More about the construction of Terminal 3
Highlights of Terminal 3

Filmed from a helicopter

Get an overview of the construction site and the progress in building Terminal 3 (as of September 2023). The helicopter circles the main terminal building and then flies over Piers G, H, and J. At the tip of Pier H, the apron control tower stretches skyward. The tour ends at the main terminal building above the marketplace.

Helicopter film 2022
Main Building

A work of art takes shape: construction of the drop ceiling

Above the marketplace – where travelers will enjoy spending time at Terminal 3 – a very special ceiling is taking shape. A total of 25,000 meters of aluminum tubing are being used to create huge drops that, when completed, will reflect sunlight to create a bright ambiance in the building’s interior.

More on the special ceiling

Sustainable Heating

Frankfurt Airport is doing a great deal to attain its climate targets: among other things, it has set itself the goal of operating completely carbon-free by the year 2045. The new Terminal 3 is also contributing to this effort. There, for example, the waste heat that is constantly given off by people and systems will be collected and put to use. During a mild winter there will be enough of it to meet all of the terminal’s heating requirements, thus preventing an annual total of about 10,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

More about sustainability
Sky Line People Mover

The new Sky Line route is ready to go

We all know the feeling when we drop the last piece of a puzzle into its hole. And the sensation was probably similar when the last two steel supports for the new Sky Line people mover line were lifted into place. A total of 248 puzzle pieces – steel and concrete supports – form the 5.6-kilometer-long route on which trains will eventually run back and forth among the terminals.

More on the Sky Line people mover

The Progress of Construction in Pictures

Time-lapse movie of the construction of T3

Rising skyward from a huge pit: work to build Terminal 3 is advancing, with the piers and main terminal building steadily gaining in height. Watch the progress made so far at the construction site in the south of the airport in a time-lapse video.

Learn more about planning the construction

The construction project in June 2017

The Terminal 3 construction site during the dry excavation phase: the huge pit spanning 65,900 square meters and the ramps for the drive-by platform give an idea of the new terminal’s dimensions.

Learn more about the dry excavation phase

The construction project in June 2018

The pit is deeper than the water table and therefore filled with groundwater. Industrial divers are the stars of a special underground engineering phase. The ramps for the drive-by platform have already been completed.

Learn more about the special underground engineering phase

The construction project in September 2019

From above, the last water-filled basins at the Terminal 3 construction site are easy to spot. The advancing work on the drive-by platform and Piers G and H is also plain to see.

Learn more about the ramps

The construction project in February 2020

Visible progress being made on the carcass: the first concrete structures are already standing, especially for Pier H and the main terminal building. The first V-shaped supports for the drive-by platform are also prominent.

Learn more about Piers H and J

The construction project in April 2021

The terminal is growing in height. The outlines of the main building with its three piers are clearly visible. The apron control tower with its 69 meters towers above everything.

Learn more about the control tower

The construction project in November 2021

The preparations for installing the first part of the main terminal building’s roof are in full swing. It will be shoved into its final position in January 2022, followed by four other sections.

More on the roof of the main terminal building

The construction project in May 2022

Work to build Pier G was completed back in April 2022. Because passenger volumes were still low, however, it was placed in a waiting state. The current plans call for it to begin operating together with the rest of Terminal 3 in 2026.

More on Pier G

The construction project in August 2023

The terminal continues taking shape. The parking facility has already been completed, and other areas are in the interior finishing stage.

More on the car park

A Glimpse of the Future

Vividly Experience Frankfurt Airport

Learn more about Terminal 3 in the Visitor Center at Frankfurt Airport; the attractions include a virtual tour.

Learn more

Peer interactively into the future and inspect Terminal 3 from all sides in 3D!

More News from the Building Site

Sky Line People Mover

Comfortable, safe, and fast: the new Sky Line people mover

So that passengers will be able to conveniently get to and from Terminal 3, the existing Sky Line people mover system is being expanded by adding more stations and new vehicles. A total of 12 such vehicles will carry passengers to their destinations. The hallmarks of this high-tech system are elegant design and sophisticated technology.

More on the Sky Line people mover
Road Connections

Good to know …

… that your car is safely parked just steps away from where you’ll emerge from the terminal after returning from your holiday or business trip. The new parking facility, with capacity for 8,500 vehicles alongside the check-in hall of Terminal 3, ensures convenience before and after traveling. It’s also great to know that 200 of its spaces are equipped for charging electric cars with power generated by a photovoltaic system on the building’s roof. Take a drive or stroll around one of Europe’s largest parking facilities!

More about the road connections

Media Gallery



Here in the gallery you can find easy-to-understand informational graphics showing the complex construction project.

See all infographics


Our videos provide exclusive glimpses of the fascinating project to build Terminal 3.

See all videos

The Most Important Milestones in Our Interactive Timeline

July 8, 1936

A lively past

The expansion of Frankfurt Airport into an airship port with giant airship hangars began in the south of the airport in 1934. At its inauguration in 1936, everyone talked about this new “world airport”. But the demise of the Hindenburg, one of the largest airships ever built, in a highly publicized accident abruptly ended the zeppelin era in Frankfurt. From that time on, passenger aircraft with increasing passenger capacities replaced the airships. Almost all major European cities were now accessible from Frankfurt. The new Terminal 3 has been under construction in the south of the airport since October 2015.

Read all
October 1997 to June 2000

Dialog on expansion

Following talks between Fraport and the city of Frankfurt on the  expansion of the airport in the late 1990s, a comprehensive two-year mediation process was initiated. Besides Fraport, it involved representatives of the government of the state of Hesse, residents of nearby communities, citizens’ initiatives, employers’ associations, and trade unions. Over the course of two years, the participants agreed on the general conditions for expanding the airport. In June of 2000, the government of Hesse approved the project. Immediately afterward, the supervisory board of Fraport AG publicly announces its plan to expand the airport.

Read all
2001 to 2005

Architectural and implementation competition

No fewer than 46 architectural firms all over Europe submitted their ideas for the new terminal at Frankfurt Airport. Foster and Partners of London won the architectural competition on June 28, 2002 by convincing the eight-member jury with a modern, sustainable concept. In the subsequent competition to choose who would design the actual terminal, Frankfurt-based architect Christoph Mäckler won out against nine other architectural firms with his credo of “modern with a feel-good ambiance”. The three main parts of the building―the check-in hall, the airside areas after the security checkpoints, and the central marketplace―were conceived as modules that could be flexibly modified as required.

Read all Read more
December 18, 2007

Zoning plan approved

The landmark decision to approve the zoning plan met the prerequisites for expanding the airport by building a new runway and a new terminal. It defined the construction projects and infrastructural measures that Fraport would implement. The resolution also covered the enlargement of the Zeppelinheim interchange on the A5 motorway and the construction of a new Sky Line people mover line to link Terminal 3 with Terminals 1 and 2.

Read all

Permission received to build Terminal 3

The official approval for building Terminal 3 was a major milestone―the planning work was then able to really get going. In the first phase of the project, two piers with 24 adjacent aircraft parking positions were built. The permit also stipulated that the new Sky Line station there would be in a raised position alongside the terminal drive-by platform. The original plans had called for it to be on the first underground level of the terminal building.

Read all
October 2015

Groundbreaking ceremony

A very special day: after more than 15 years of intensive planning, permit applications, and tests, the official starting gun went off at Frankfurt Airport for Europe’s largest-ever privately funded infrastructure project. Four hundred Fraport employees and 200 invited politicians and business leaders were on hand for this momentous occasion.

Read all Read more
November 2015 to May 2016

Excavation of an area of 65,900 square meters

Right after the groundbreaking ceremony in October 2015, the first phase of construction got underway: dry excavation. A pit spanning 65,900 square meters was created in only six months. To accomplish this feat, excavators removed enough earth to fill an average of around 300 dump trucks a day. At the peak of activity, the volume amounted to 5,500 cubic meters per day.

Read all Read more
June 2016

Road construction

Terminal 3 must be easy to reach by car, taxi and bus. To ensure this, new access roads were built and the Zeppelinheim interchange on the A5 motorway was enlarged and extended. The first major related project was construction of the access and exit ramps for the elevated drive-by platform, which would be at the same height as the departures level of Terminal 3. First a total of 48 foundation piles 1.2 meters in diameter with lengths of up to 18 meters were driven into the ground. Their role was to stabilize the ground so the ramps would have a sturdy foundation. Then cages made of steel reinforcement bars (rebars), with a length of nine meters and weighing 4.5 tonnes, were lifted onto the piles, welded together, and filled with concrete. For the access ramp, molds were made of appropriately shaped formwork and then filled with concrete.

Read all Read more
Summer 2017

Start of the special below-ground engineering phase

In the second phase―special below-ground engineering―wet excavation deepened the pit further down to its final depth well below the water table. After specially trained divers had prepared the bottom, concrete was poured to create a solid foundation. To prevent more water from entering the pit from the sides, first it was sealed by retaining walls. After the poured concrete had cured to the required hardness, the water in the pit was pumped out, purified, and returned to the soil.

Read all Read more
March 2018

The new people mover

Fraport began building a new Sky Line people mover to make sure that everyone can get to and from Terminal 3 without hassles, including passengers changing planes at Frankfurt Airport and those who get to Terminal 1 by train. Besides the tracks, a large maintenance building and a new station are being constructed at Terminal 1, with all of the work being done in cramped conditions between other facilities without interrupting operations―a major engineering and logistical challenge. Work on the bored piles for the route began in July 2019.

Read all Read more
August 2018

Building permit for Pier G

The building inspectorate of the city of Frankfurt issued a permit for the construction of Pier G to begin earlier than originally planned. The new pier would shoulder part of the traffic handled by the existing Terminals 1 and 2.

It is a full-fledged, state-of-the-art aircraft and passenger handling facility with lean, straightforward processes. Once it begins operating, initially four to five million passengers per year will be able to travel via Pier G.

The contract was awarded to the general contractor at the end of 2018, and construction began in June 2019. The first phase of construction work for Pier G was largely complete before the end of 2021.

Read all Read more
January 2019

Start of shell construction for Piers H and J

Following the foundation work, the construction of Pier H with an integrated apron control tower began, marking the official start of the structural work for Terminal 3. Work on Pier J also kicked off in the first half of 2019. Between them, the two piers will have 24 adjacent aircraft parking positions. Pier H will have two levels for Schengen passengers and Pier J three floors for non-Schengen travelers.

The two gates are seamless shell structures. Several smaller sections were built about a meter apart and then joined by concrete. Seven sections would form the 400-meter-long Pier H, while the even longer Pier J measuring 600 meters, would comprise eight.

Read all Read more
April 2019

Cornerstone ceremony for the main terminal building

Work to build the main terminal building kicked off with a cornerstone ceremony on April 29, 2019. The building is the heart of Terminal 3 where many passengers begin and/or end their journeys. The spacious departure hall features an 18-meter-high ceiling and a surrounding glazed exterior. Travelers can conveniently check in here and drop off their luggage. And after clearing the security check, they can relax and enjoy themselves in a lounge area spanning 6,200 square meters plus a large marketplace filled with numerous shops, restaurants and cafés.

Read all Read more
May 2019

Start of construction of the drive-by table

Passenger cars and taxis will be able to use an access ramp to drive straight up to a drive-by platform measuring 550 by 30 meters in front of the departure hall. Another ramp leads back down on the other side.

But it will take a while before vehicles can roll over the asphalt. First the main load-bearing system of the 14.5-meter-high structure has to be built. A stable foundation for the drive-by table is ensured by 13-meter-long large bored piles and 28 transversely aligned reinforcing steel frames resting on V-shaped supports.

Read all Read more
July 2019

The new Sky Line train

Fraport is building a new Sky Line train to make sure that everyone can get to and from Terminal 3 without hassles, including passengers changing planes at Frankfurt Airport and those who come by rail to Terminal 1. Besides the tracks, a large maintenance building and a new station will be built at Terminal 1, with all of the work being done in tight conditions between other facilities without interrupting operations―a major engineering and logistical challenge!

In addition to the preparatory work on the new Sky Line station at Terminal 1, the first bored pile work for the route was started in July 2019.

Read all Read more
Late 2019

Final steps of the foundation work

The foundation work at the Terminal 3 construction site neared its grand finale: concrete was poured into the last water-filled pit while work on the underground levels of the main building had already begun nearby. As soon as the underwater concrete was dry, the water was pumped out. After excavating 670,000 cubic meters of earth and pouring 40,000 cubic meters of underwater concrete, the foundation work was completed so that construction of the main terminal building could begin.

Read all Read more
March 2020

Start of work on the new maintenance building

To ensure regular service by the 12 trains of the new Sky Line line, work on a new maintenance building began east of Terminal 2. The preparations began in February 2020, followed by construction work that continued through the summer of 2021.

Read all Read more
April 2020

Construction of the parking facility

Construction of a new parking structure began next to Terminal 3. It would have room for 8,500 vehicle, with 2,200 parking spaces already available for use after the completion of Pier G.

Read all Read more
June 2020

Work progressing on the interior of Pier G

To make sure that passengers would also have a pleasant travel experience in Pier G, work on the larger installations, exterior walls, and interior systems got underway.

Read all Read more
4th quarter 2020

Main terminal building taking shape

After the cornerstone of Terminal 3 was ceremonially laid in April 2019, the main building rose steadily from the construction pits. The schedule called for the shells of all of the below-ground levels to be completed by the fall of 2020. While work continued on the upper levels, plumbing was already being installed down below. For the main building alone, this involved a total of about 290 kilometers of pipes for the HVAC, sanitary, and fire extinguishing systems: nearly the distance between Frankfurt and Munich as the crow flies.

Read all Read more
May 2021

A roof over the check-in hall

While work on the carcass of the main terminal building approached completion, the next milestone got underway: the roof of the check-in hall. This is roughly the size of two and a half soccer fields and therefore had to be shoved onto the top of the building from one side as a series of hinged elongated sections similar to those of a roller shutter (but much larger). First, however, the construction site was prepared for the heavy equipment required for this task. The auxiliary structures for connecting the sections were installed during the following summer. In the fall, heavy-duty cranes would go into action to lift the sections onto the roof and push them into their final positions.

Read all Read more
July 2021

The people mover station at Terminal 1

Work began to build the new Sky Line station between Terminal 1 and the Sheraton Hotel just a few minutes’ walk from the regional and long-distance train stations. The supports were installed, followed soon afterward by construction of the main body of the station and the connections between it, the terminals, the train stations, and the hotel. After arriving at the airport by train, passengers heading for Terminal 3 will proceed there.

Read all Read more
Summer 2021

Standing tall

The shell of the new apron control tower at Pier H reached its final height of nearly 70 meters. The shell of the turret, which extends six meters up above the tower’s shaft, had also already been completed. Beginning in the summer of 2021, this was followed by work to build the exterior and install various technical systems. Large angled glass panes will provide the controllers with a 300-degree view. The tower also boasts Terminal 3’s tallest elevator.

Read all Read more
October 2021

Heavy equipment helped the marketplace take shape

The impressive marketplace, featuring an exotic undulating steel ceiling 127.4 meters long, is the centerpiece of the main terminal building. Twenty steel girders had to be assembled to hold up the roof. Due to the marketplace’s location inside the main terminal building, it was necessary to use a special crawler crane. There were 45 truckloads of parts for the ceiling, which took three days to assemble. The crane carried the girders, weighing about 31 tonnes each, one at a time from the front of the building and lifted them into place.

Read all Read more
Late 2021

Construction of Pier G

The first phase of the work to build Pier G, which will have capacity for up to five million passengers a year, was largely completed before the end of 2021. Depending on how the demand situation develops as air travel volumes recover, Fraport AG has the option of putting it into operation earlier than the rest of Terminal 3. The main terminal building itself, including Piers H and J (for another 14 million passengers a year) presumably won’t be needed until 2026.

Read all Read more
1st quarter 2022

A bridge for the motorway interchange

A new bridge structure was installed to enlarge the Zeppelinheim interchange on the A5 motorway and optimally link the new Terminal 3 to the surrounding network of roads. First, piles were installed to support the 142-meter-long, four-section structure. In mid-2021, the bridge sections were then brought to the site and lifted into place at night while the entire motorway was temporarily blocked to traffic. The plans called for the interchange to begin operating in the first quarter of 2022.

Read all Read more
January 2022

Construction of Pier G completed

After completion of its construction, Pier G was temporarily decommissioned due to low passenger volumes. It is now kept in stand-by mode. The current plans call for it to begin operating in 2026 along with the rest of Terminal 3. However, Pier G can begin operating even earlier, if needed.  A period of twelve months will be required for the last installations and tests, before Pier G can become fully operational.

Read all Read more
April 2022

Pushing 2,000 tonnes of weight: first roof section of the check-in hall installed

To create the roof of the main terminal building, five steel sections have to be installed one by one.  The roof sections – weighing some 2.000 tonnes each – are first pre-assembled on an auxiliary construction, before being shoved onto the roof from one side via rails. Installation of the roof’s first segment took place in January 2022. The final element is scheduled to be placed into its position in the autumn of 2022.

Read all Read more
August 2022

Partial opening of the Zeppelinheim interchange

Terminal 3 was growing fast, and the pace of work on the access roads was even quicker. Altogether, 10 kilometers of new ones were being built. Many sections had already been completed and were being used. And on August 19 another large piece of the puzzle fell into place when part of the expanded Zeppelinheim interchange started operating. Drivers arriving from the south and heading for CargoCity directly benefited from this, since they could now reach their destination faster. 

The project to enlarge the Zeppelinheim interchange is eliminating a crucial bottleneck. Once it is finished in early 2023, it will also allow northbound vehicles leaving CargoCity South to drive onto the A5. 

Read all Read more
August 2022

The apron control tower: installing the panes at a height of more than 60 meters

Once Terminal 3 begins operating, there will be considerably more aircraft taxiing around with guidance from the apron controllers. The cabin of the control tower at Pier H is designed to ensure an unobstructed 360-degree view. It was encased with 15 glass panes in August 2022. To perform this task at a height of more than 60 meters over the ground, the installers stood on suspended scaffolds while guiding the panes into place on the tower. After this balancing act was successfully completed, work began to flesh out the tower with equipment and technical installations of various kinds. 

Read all Read more
October 2022

First vehicle for new Sky Line arrives

Another key event: on October 14 the first vehicle for the new Sky Line people mover was delivered. Its two cars, each of which is 11 meters long and weighs about 30 metric tons, arrived at Frankfurt Airport on lowboy trucks. After arriving from the factory in Vienna where they had been built, they were lifted by cranes up to and onto the 17-meter-high tracks. Then they were driven into the new maintenance building where they are now being prepared for their first test trips.

Read all Read more
March 2023

The exterior of the main terminal building: made of 7,000 square meters of glass

The main building is Terminal 3’s hub. It’s here that passengers will start and end their journeys. And the gargantuan check-in hall was appropriately designed to highlight its function. The most impressive part is the 18-meter-high glazed exterior that rests on a steel substructure and comprises a total of 700 individual panes. Installing it requires millimeter precision and, to some extent at least, overhead work. The steel struts are slender and inconspicuous to focus attention on the intricate glass façade.

Read all Read more
May 2023

Parking just a short walk from the check-in hall

Between April 2020 and May 2023, one of Europe’s largest parking facilities was erected right alongside the main building of Terminal 3. It has room for 8,500 vehicles on eight levels, including special spaces equipped with systems for charging electric vehicles. After the new terminal begins operating at the start of 2026, the power for them will be generated directly on-site by rooftop photovoltaic systems. There are also about 300 spaces for bicycles.

Read all Read more
June 2023

Expanded Zeppelinheim Interchange Opened

The expanded Zeppelinheim motorway interchange was opened for traffic. This marked the completion of the road linking Terminal 3 to the existing highway network. Its importance is underscored by the anticipated traffic volumes: up to 20,000 vehicles a day are expected to use the new road connection, among other things to conveniently drive straight to the new terminal. A total of about 10 kilometers of new roads were built to connect T3 with the airport’s two other terminals, the A5 motorway, and CargoCity South.

Read all Read more
July 2023

The central heating and cooling plants of the new terminal are ready for operation

Underneath the main terminal building are two combined heat and cold generation plants whose output would be enough to heat more than 4,000 single-family homes. From here, heat and cold are distributed to the individual structures of Terminal 3. Attention has been paid to ensuring the use of environmentally friendly technology. Among other things, radiant cooling systems on the roof of the main terminal building and a heat recovery solution ensure efficient energy use.

Read all Read more
October 2023

First tests of the new Sky Line people mover

In the first test on the completed track in October, one of the new people mover trains travelled just a few meters at reduced speed. Everything went smoothly. One after the other, all of the automated two-car vehicles are now being put through their paces on a designated siding – first manually and then in automatic mode. After the new Terminal 3 opens in 2026, they will carry up to 4,000 passengers an hour in each direction between it and Terminal 1 with a stop at Terminal 2, taking just under eight minutes to complete the journey at a peak velocity of 80 km/h.

Read all Read more
December 2023

"Drop ceiling" art in the main terminal building

A real eye-catcher is completed: the unique “drop ceiling” of the main terminal building’s central marketplace, consisting of a total of 25,000 meters of aluminum tubing. Daylight pours inside via lightwells to evoke a very special ambiance and entice passengers to enjoyably spend some time in the marketplace with its wide range of shops and restaurants.

Read all Read more
January 2024

Working at a height of 65 meters

The carcass of Terminal 3’s apron control tower has been finished, and work to flesh out its interior is proceeding. Workplaces for eight controllers are being created in the completely glazed turret on the tower’s 14th level. An excellent view of the apron will let them monitor traffic adjacent to the runways to ensure the safety and security of aircraft and ground vehicles.



Read all More on the apron control tower