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The expansion of Terminal 1 was given the green light in 2018. Construction vehicles have been preparing the ground since April 2019. The terminal is to have an additional pier with a central terminal building. While this project is the largest investment in financial terms, it is only one of several strategic projects, with which the airport aims to meet the challenges of the future: to secure its existing business and open up new fields.
It is shortly after midday on an ordinary Wednesday in January at Munich Airport. The Christmas holidays are over, and there is still a good while to go before carnival. A queue has formed in front of the entrance to departure area B and passport control; the display tells passengers that the waiting time is more than 15 minutes. A family of four from Bahrain are starting to get nervous. They are due to fly on the Emirates afternoon flight to Dubai and have barely an hour left before departure. Fortunately, a service employee approaches them quickly. He sends them over to departure area C, where the security checkpoints are all free; «same way to the gates», he says. Patiently, he repeats this information for all newly arriving passengers. Some hesitate, like the two young men who are not yet familiar with the new extra security checkpoint area upstairs in Terminal 1. More than 25 years after it opened, Terminal 1 now has insufficient capacity for today’s requirements and is thus set to be modernized, renovated, and expanded.
The man who will build the newest structure at the airport is sitting in one of the oldest buildings. Nestled cheek by jowl with the chic annex of the Hilton hotel are three simple, two-story office buildings that date from the end of the 1980s when the airport was built. Michael Hiss smiles at this observation: «The shoemaker’s son always goes barefoot. What is important is what the shoes he makes look like.» It is barely three years since the 47-year old Frankfurt native and client representative in charge handed over Terminal 2’s new satellite building – on time and on budget.
Now, another major project awaits him and his colleagues at the newly established subsidiary, Flughafen München Realisierungsgesellschaft mbH. With a budget of over € 450 million, this project constitutes Munich Airport’s most important investment in its own future.
Over the next four years, Hiss, his approximately 50 employees and numerous construction firms will build a new pier for twelve aircraft at Terminal 1 as well as a new check-in building for passengers, encompassing a total floor area of 95,000 square meters. The new complex will be built along the front of Terminal 1 and project 320 meters into the current apron.
In the current arrival area B, the existing building will be completely gutted and redesigned. Then the public area will advance to where the current building edge meets the apron, becoming the central entrance to the new departures area for all flights to non-Schengen countries. In future, the entire northern part of the terminal including the new building will be reserved for flights to these countries with regular passport controls; the entire southern part, which will also be modernized and redesigned – thus the current areas C and D –, will be reserved for flights to Schengen countries, without passport control.
The start of construction brings to an end almost five years of planning for Katrin Hennig (architect) and Stefan Fornasier (aerospace engineer), who head up the project group that prepared the expansion. They and their whole team were delighted to receive the planning approval notice from the government of Upper Bavaria in November 2018. «Terminal 1 is bursting at the seams», says Fornasier, «it is high time that we finally get started on construction.» The security checkpoints and baggage claim areas need significantly more space, as do the food and retail outlets, and the airline companies for their lounges. What will differentiate the new building from the existing airport buildings is the design of the interior. «No longer will that brilliant white dominate, instead there will be warmer colors, more wood and other natural materials», Hennig tells us.
She herself has changed sides with the start of construction, and since the beginning of the year has been responsible for the further conversion measures and the marketing of areas in Terminal 1. Instead of the interests of the client, she is now focused on the current and future users. Even though it will be at least 2023 before the first tenant can move into the new building, there is already real interest in some areas such as one of the two new lounges. Terminal 1 will have many more restaurants and shops in the future, and offer entirely new retail, interaction, and event areas. Overall, the quality of stay is to be enhanced significantly.