Terminal 3 is taking shape in the south of Frankfurt Airport on an area formerly serving as an American military base. For 60 years starting in 1945, the “U.S. Rhein-Main Air Base” was a major strategic facility of the U.S. Air Force in Germany. During the 1948/49 Berlin Airlift in the Cold War era, so-called “candy bombers” took off from here to supply Berlin’s blockaded population with much-needed goods. After the base’s closure on September 30, 2005, the area was turned over to Fraport and integrated in the airport.
A total of 46 architectural firms from all across Europe submitted their ideas for the new terminal, which were then evaluated by an eight-member jury. A plan drawn up by the London-based Foster and Partners won the first round. It then served as the basis for the realization competition, in which Frankfurt architect Christoph Mäckler prevailed with a clean, forward-looking design.
October 5, 2015 was a very special day for Fraport, which operates Frankfurt Airport. That was when, after years of intensive planning, evaluations and checks, the official starting gun went off for one of Europe’s largest privately funded infrastructure projects: the first construction phase of Terminal 3. Fraport’s management and a large crowd of employees attended the event, as well as invited guests from politics and business.
Just as the dry excavation began with a ceremonial groundbreaking, the terminal’s official construction kicked off with the laying of the foundation stone on April 29, 2019. Around 700 guests were invited.