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Düsseldorf International to invest some 300 million euros in the future

Düsseldorf International Airport is continuing to build up its infrastructure in anticipation of additional hub functions. “Düsseldorf has developed into one of the most interesting airport locations in Germany. After Frankfurt and Munich, Düsseldorf is the only airport with significant intercontinental traffic. Over the medium term, the share of long-haul traffic will double from ten percent today to twenty percent,” says Christoph Blume, spokesperson for airport management. In particular, the Air Berlin Group and Lufthansa are betting on Nordrhein Westfalen’s largest airport. “That the airport is increasingly assuming hub functions opens up new perspectives for us. We have thus added an investment program amounting to some 300 million euros to prepare the airport over the next three years for its future as a hub.” Some 200 million euros will go to expanding the airport’s infrastructure and 100 million euros are slated for building up the non-aviation segment.

In Düsseldorf, all signs point towards economic growth. “We are the most important airport in Germany’s largest economic region. Increasing intercontinental traffic and the growing network of established domestic and international commercial airlines support this function,” continues Blume. For example, Air Berlin Group is expanding its operations in Düsseldorf and uses the airport as its long-haul hub with new flights to Beijing and Shanghai. Air Berlin is counting on a further increase in the US and Asia routes. Lufthansa is also continuing to increase its offer in Düsseldorf with intercontinental routes to Toronto, Miami, New York, and Chicago. Other prominent examples for this development are flights to important international hubs: for example the Delta Air Lines Atlanta service, the two daily Emirates flights to Dubai, or Northwest’s service to Detroit.

“We want to be the airport with the shortest and easiest transfers. In cooperation with the airlines, we will expand our airport to optimally implement hub functions. We have an excellent starting point for this,” says Blume. For example, the “airport of the short paths” guarantees its passengers shortest transfer times of 35 minutes.

“The planned measures involve the operative infrastructure on the one hand, and on the other, expanded offers for our passengers in the non-aviation area,” continues Blume.

DUS hub is preparing for increasing transfer traffic

With an eye on the increasing transfer traffic and guaranteed fast transfer times, Düsseldorf Airport has already implemented a new terminal concept. Terminal C is used exclusively for non-EU traffic, Terminal B mainly for Schengen flights. For transfer passengers, a transfer passageway is being built between Terminals B and C. In addition, various restructuring measures are necessary to guide passengers optimally within the terminals. For example, expansion of the passport and security controls in terminals B and C and creation of new waiting areas are planned. And new lounge areas are being built in Terminal C. Emirates Airlines will offer its customers their own lounge area in the future. And Air Berlin is also expanding its own lounge, located next to the airport’s Open Sky Lounge. Düsseldorf International will then have a total of eight lounges. In view of increasing transfer traffic, a new arrivals hall including a security and passport control area is being built. This will make transfers quick and easy for transfer passengers in Terminal A as well. Currently, 31 million euros are being invested in the new terminal concept.

New baggage storage increases the capacity of sorting facilities

But not only terminals are being improved. With a view to its hub functions, the airport will build a central unit with baggage storage for a total of 3,000 pieces of baggage in order to increase capacity, especially for transfer baggage. Some 48 million euros will be invested in baggage conveying technology.

Airlines are expanding the Düsseldorf hub as a maintenance center

Proof that the airlines see their future in Düsseldorf is the construction of new hangars. Air Berlin, for example, will concentrate its long-haul aircraft in Düsseldorf and expand their maintenance site. There will be room for three wide-body aircraft in the approx. 20,000 square meters of the new hangar 7. Lufthansa will also be stationing three Airbus 340-300 long-haul aircraft in Düsseldorf and is planning to expand its hangar capacity by building a new maintenance hangar 11 next to the old freight hangar. In addition, the parking positions in the west and east aprons will be enlarged. Some 135 million euros are invested in these measures.

Systematic expansion of the non-aviation area

Keeping pace with the growing significance of Düsseldorf Airport as a hub, retail offers are also being enhanced. The shopping and eating facilities in the terminals are designed with the new concept in mind. Düsseldorf already sets international standards with its attractive mixture of restaurants and shops. The duty free area in Terminal C is being expanded. Says Blume, “We will continue to offer our growing numbers of customers a pleasant atmosphere at the airport with innovative shops, new ideas in gastronomy, and optimized shopping areas.”

Parking capacity adjusted to meet growing passenger numbers

The growing business and intercontinental traffic at the Düsseldorf hub is bringing additional passengers to the capital of Nordrhein Westfalen. The parking garage capacity is being increased this year by 5,000 parking spots thanks to a new rental car center and the adjacent terminal parking garage P7. Additionally, a new long-term parking garage is being built next to the existing P4, in order to offer first class service to passengers who want to leave their cars for an extended period. Investments for these measures amount to about 76 million euros. The airport will then have a total of some 25,000 parking spots.