Pier G - Highly Flexible Thanks to Predictive Planning

Modular Approach

What is probably the single most important talent of Frankfurt Airport’s planners? The ability to look ahead! Because the biggest challenge facing infrastructure operators is figuring out well in advance when to build extensions so that they can start operating just as existing facilities encounter their limits. This kind of farsightedness is evident in the plans to give the new Terminal 3 a modular structure. The first meetings with the city of Frankfurt about enlarging the airport took place way back in the year 1997. With brilliant foresight, the new terminal was conceived as a set of modules that could be easily and flexibly adapted to meet actual needs on the fly. And what happened then? Passenger volumes grew rapidly in the years leading up to 2019, pushing the existing Terminals 1 and 2 to the limits of their capacity. In 2018 the decision was therefore made to start with Pier G, which was originally supposed to be built second. The idea was to quickly gain extra capacity; Pier G could be ready to begin operating in 2022, whereas more time would be needed to complete the significantly more complex main terminal building along with Piers H and J. Fraport hopped nimbly from one foot to the other, and was able to do so thanks to the new terminal’s inherent modularity.

The base of Pier G links it to the main terminal building.

The striking skylights in the check-in hall reinforce the impression of enormous space while admitting natural daylight. Source: Fraport AG / © Christoph Mäckler Architekten

Pier G’s modern, functional design and efficient processes ensure a relaxed stay for passengers. Source: Fraport AG / © Christoph Mäckler Architekten

Flexible Responses

The Covid-19 pandemic unleashed an unprecedented crisis in civil aviation. Across the board, the industry saw passenger volumes plummet by more than 90%. Frankfurt Airport was no exception, suffering a massive drop in business. Eventually the aviation sector will recover, however, as past crises have shown. For this reason as well, Terminal 3’s flexible modular structure will pay major dividends. Currently the plan is to start operating Pier G and the main terminal building with Piers H and J all at the same time in 2026. Pier G has already been almost completely finished in 2022, though, to give Fraport greater flexibility in case it’s needed sooner.

Pier G’s design is inspired by today’s urban lifestyle. It integrates space for both individual expression and social interactions.

Lean Processes

Pier G will initially provide capacity for between four and five million travelers a year, and once fully completed it will be able to handle up to seven million passengerson a total area of roughly 34,000 square meters. These will be able to quickly and easily head straight for their flights.

Close Connections

If there is enough demand to warrant it, Pier G can be operated on its own before the main terminal building is ready. It could be immediately integrated in the airport’s key hub functions, initially being served by shuttle buses circulating between it and the terminals in the north every few minutes. Luggage could also be temporarily transported across the apron. More than 2,000 parking spaces are already available for use in the new parking facility being built for Terminal 3.