At the Heart of Terminal 3
The Highlights


The heart of Terminal 3 beats where passengers start their journeys and are welcomed back by their loved ones when they return: the main building. The centerpiece of the new terminal, its highlights include an 18-meter-high departure hall and a futuristic marketplace with a ceiling consisting of drop-shaped steel elements.

More on the new terminal’s main building

Dry Excavation

Sand and earth as far as the eye can see: a scene that’s reminiscent of a gigantic sandbox. It was here that the construction of Terminal 3 began. But before the new building could climb skyward, first it was necessary to dig down. To make the pit, which spanned 65,000 square meters and reached a depth of 5.5 meters or just above the water table, trucks carried away around 5,500 cubic meters of earth each day during periods of peak activity.

Learn more about fascinating worlds and unexpected depths!

Special Underground Engineering

The word “diving” is much more likely to conjure up images of exciting underwater worlds than of Germany’s largest airport. But it has taken more than excavators, cranes, and construction workers to build Terminal 3. During the underground engineering phase, specially trained divers joined the on-site team and performed essential tasks underwater in the pit, which had been excavated to below the water table.

More about the divers at the construction site

A Tale of Stone and Concrete

Emerging from the pit, the building grows upward. Construction of the above-ground parts of the main terminal building starts with a large number of so-called white troughs. The underground levels are built inside six pits over a total area of 65,000 square meters. For such a large construction project, work is separately contracted for several hundred units in which the work of various trades has to be coordinated. But just like all the little gears and levers inside a mechanical clock mesh perfectly, everything proceeds smoothly while building here.

More on construction of the terminal carcass

The Trick with the Enormous Roof

How do you get a roof the size of two-and-a-half soccer fields on top of the main terminal building? The planners of Terminal 3 thought long and hard to find a way of meeting this challenge. The original plan was for heavy-duty cranes to lift the roof in one piece from two sides onto the building. But since work to build Pier G has already started on one side, that is no longer an option. The solution: to push five roof segments from one side onto the top, one after the other.

More about the roof

A Story of Big and Little Pipes

While the upper levels are still being built, installation of the technical systems starts on the underground levels. In the main building of Terminal 3 alone, around 290 kilometers of pipes and conduits for heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and fire extinguishing systems will be laid – almost the distance between Frankfurt and Munich!

More on the technical systems