Frankfurt–Hahn Airport

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Frankfurt–Hahn Airport
Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn
Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn logo.svg
Terminal2 hahn airport.jpg
Airport type Public
Operator Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH
Serves Rhineland-Palatinate
Location Kirchberg, Germany
Focus city for Ryanair
Elevation AMSL 1,649 ft / 503 m
Coordinates 49°56′54″N 007°15′51″E / 49.94833°N 7.26417°E / 49.94833; 7.26417Coordinates: 49°56′54″N 007°15′51″E / 49.94833°N 7.26417°E / 49.94833; 7.26417
HHN is located in Rhineland-Palatinate
Location of airport in Rhineland-Palatinate
Direction Length Surface
ft m
03/21 12,467 3,800 Asphalt
Statistics (2016)
Passengers Decrease 2.609.156
Source: [2]

Frankfurt–Hahn Airport (German: Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn, IATA: HHNICAO: EDFH) is an international airport located 10 km (6.2 mi) from the town of Kirchberg and 20 km (12 mi) from the town of Simmern in the Rhein-Hunsrück district of Rhineland-Palatinate to the west of central Germany.

Despite the name, the airport is about equidistant between Frankfurt and Luxembourg – about 120 km (75 mi) to each city by road. It is closer to the German cities of Koblenz at about 70 km (43 mi) and Mainz at about 90 km (56 mi). The airport officially changed the name from Hahn to Frankfurt–Hahn at the same time as Ryanair started flying there. Lufthansa began legal proceedings against Ryanair in 2002, claiming the usage of "Frankfurt" in the airport's name to be deceptive advertising, but lost the case.[1] Until 2009 the airport was owned by Fraport, which also operates Frankfurt Airport.[2] Frankfurt-Hahn Airport served 2.60 million passengers in 2016, slightly down from 2.66 million in 2015.


Military past[edit]

During the Cold War Hahn Air Base was a frontline air base, and home of the United States Air Force 50th Fighter Wing (in various designations) for most of those years as part of the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE). It was one of several USAFE bases in Germany (Zweibrücken, Ramstein, Sembach, Bitburg, Spangdahlem, and Rhein-Main) all within 100 kilometres (62 mi) of each other. Beyond their location in the heart of US troop concentrations, these air bases were well situated to reach all locations within Europe and the Mediterranean region.

At the end of the Cold War, Hahn Air Base had more than 13,000 people and three squadrons of F-16 tactical fighters. When the Cold War threat of an invasion of West Germany subsided, the United States was left with a huge excess capacity of expensive airfields in Europe.

As a result, the 50th TFW was inactivated in 1991 after 35 years at Hahn. The 496th TFS was inactivated on 15 May, the 313th TFS on 1 July, and the 10th TFS on 30 September. The 50th Tactical Fighter Wing was inactivated on 30 September 1991. The 50th was activated as the 50th Space Wing at Falcon (later, Schriever) AFB, Colorado on 30 January 1992.

Most of Hahn Air Base was returned to civil German authorities On 30 September 1993, though USAFE retained a small portion as a radio communications site until its final return to German authorities in 2012.[3] It is still frequently used for military charters, these flights being operated by, amongst others, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.

The German government decided to turn the former NATO airfield into a civil airport. One of the main investors in the development of the new Frankfurt–Hahn Airport was Fraport AG, which primarily runs Frankfurt International Airport, the aim being to reduce the amount of traffic using that airport.

The faculty and police training school of the Rheinland-Pfalz State Police were combined at a new joint facility located at the air base's former housing area in 1996.

Development into a low-cost airport[edit]

The German government decided to turn the former airfield into a civil airport. One of the main investors in the development of the new Frankfurt–Hahn Airport was Fraport, which primarily runs Frankfurt Airport, the aim being to reduce the amount of traffic using that airport. However, in 2009 Fraport sold its 65% Frankfurt–Hahn shares for €1 including debt of €120 million to the federal state Rhineland-Palatinate.[4]

Hahn charges its airline operators less than Frankfurt Airport; this has made the airport popular with low-cost carriers, especially Ryanair which uses the airport as a major base.

The world record for the heaviest single piece of air cargo, a 189.98 metric tonne generator for a gas power plant in Armenia, was loaded onto a cargo flight departing from Hahn in 2009 using the Antonov 225.[5]

In 2013, Etihad Cargo announced the relocation of their cargo operations from Hahn to Frankfurt Airport, which caused a downturn for the airport as Etihad was one of the most important customers.[6] Additionally, Ryanair cancelled and reduced capacity on several routes for summer 2014 as three of nine aircraft based at the airport were removed.[7]

In January 2014, the airport announced it had accumulated debts of €125 million while passenger and cargo traffic were decreasing. The figures mean the airport could be closed within the next ten years.[8] As of March 2015, the owners, the German states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse, have sought to sell the indebted airport.[9]

In March 2015, Yangtze River Express announced it too would cease their cargo operations at Frankfurt–Hahn Airport in favour of Munich Airport. Frankfurt-Hahn lost its largest freight customer and four cargo destinations.[10] Months earlier, Qatar Airways and Aeroflot had also ceased their cargo operations at the airport.[9] By July 2015, the airport's freight numbers dropped by 36 percent.{cn}

In response to rumors that intended to buy Frankfurt-Hahn, a spokesperson for the airport revealed in April 2016 that three bids were made on the airport, all three of them coming from China.[11] In June 2016, a local German government statement confirmed that China's Shanghai Yiqian Trading Company had acquired a majority stake in Frankfurt-Hahn airport.[12] The transaction, whose value was estimated in the "low double-digit million euro range", involved the sale of the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate's 82.5% shareholding in the airport.[13] A few weeks later, it was announced that the sale to Yiqian might be cancelled as the company failed to provide the first part of the deferred payment for the airport and general doubts regarding their credibility rose.[14] Finally, the agreement with the Chinese investor fell through which led to severe political trouble and an official inquiry against the responsible politicians. The airport has been put up for sale again in mid July 2016.[15]

Later in June 2016, the cargo subsidiary of Air France-KLM announced to shut down its cargo reloading point at the airport due to internal restructuring measures. Air-France KLM Cargo used facilities at the airport to collect freight and transfer it to Paris, both by trucks.[16] In August 2016, RAF-Avia from Latvia announced to base two aircraft at the airport to operate ad-hoc charter flights.[17]

As of early October 2016, a new buyer for the loss-making airport had still not been found. It has been stated that a closure of the airport and redevelopment into a business park is considered as an option if no solution is found in the near future, for the airport might face bankruptcy.[18]

In January 2017, the HNA Group, a Fortune Global 500 company, announced that it would invest 40–50 million euros in the airport in 2017, if it buy it. It planned to have three cargo and three passenger flights to mainland China each week.[19]


Check-in area


The airport consists of two passenger terminals and one cargo terminal. The passenger terminals, designated A and B, are equipped with some shops and restaurants, for example a branch of McDonald's.[20] The apron features eleven stands for mid-sized aircraft, such as the Boeing 737, which are reached on foot. The cargo apron has three stands for large aircraft such as the Boeing 747-8F.


Frankfurt–Hahn has a long runway of 3,800 metres (12,467 ft) in the direction of 03/21. This, combined with a large apron, allows it to handle some of the world's biggest aircraft such as the Antonov An-124 or the Boeing Dreamlifter, both types being frequent visitors. It has an Instrument Landing System available to both sides, with runway 21 being category 3 approved; low visibility conditions are a frequent problem at the airport, especially during autumn and winter.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights at Hahn:[21]

Airlines Destinations
Ryanair Alicante, Bari, Dublin, Faro, Féz, Girona, Gran Canaria, Jerez de la Frontera, Kerry, Lamezia Terme, Lanzarote, Lisbon, London-Stansted, Málaga, Marrakesh, Nador, Naples, Palma de Mallorca, Pescara, Pisa, Plovdiv,[22] Porto, Riga, Rome-Ciampino, Santiago de Compostela, Tangier, Tenerife-South, Thessaloniki, Timișoara, Trapani (resumes 24 March 2018),[23] Treviso, Valencia, Vilnius
Seasonal: Alghero, Burgas (begins 29 March 2018),[24] Chania, Cagliari, Comiso, Edinburgh, Eilat-Ovda,[25] Ibiza, Montpellier, Newquay, Ponta Delgada, Pula, Reus, Zadar
Wizz Air Gdańsk (ends 25 March 2018), Katowice, Kyiv-Zhuliany, Sibiu (begins 22 June 2018),[26] Skopje, Timişoara, Tuzla


Airlines Destinations
AirBridgeCargo London-Heathrow
Atlas Air Dover, Ramstein, Mumbai
Etihad Cargo Abu Dhabi, Colombo, East Midlands
MyCargo Airlines Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Nippon Cargo Airlines Amsterdam, Milan–Malpensa, Tokyo–Narita
Silk Way Airlines Baku
Suparna Airlines Tianjin, Xi'an,[27] Zhengzhou


Apron in front of the passenger terminal
Overview of the cargo apron
2004 2,751,585
2005 Increase 3,076,823
2006 Increase 3,704,633
2007 Increase 4,014,898
2008 Decrease 3,940,159
2009 Decrease 3,793,710
2010 Decrease 3,493,451
2011 Decrease 2,894,109
2012 Decrease 2,790,961
2013 Decrease 2,667,402
2014 Decrease 2,447,140
2015 Increase 2,667,000[28]
2016 Decrease 2,609,156[29]
Source: ADV[30]

Ground transportation[edit]

Frankfurt–Hahn Airport is almost equidistant from Frankfurt and Luxembourg. Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (Frankfurt main railway station) is 123 km from the airport and Gare Centrale Luxembourg (Luxembourg central railway station) is 118 km from the airport.[31]


Hahn is served by a number of (mostly private) coach operators that run regular services to Frankfurt am Main (1 h 45 min, via Frankfurt Airport, Terminal 2), Cologne (2 h 15 min), Luxembourg (1 h 45 min) and a number of other cities in western Germany and the region.


The airport has no railway station (it used to have a freight railway connection). The nearest train station is in Traben-Trarbach (20 km by road, 10 km as the crow flies), the terminus of the Pünderich–Traben-Trarbach railway. The nearest long-distance railway stations are Bullay (15 km to the NW, on the Koblenz–Trier–Saarbrücken line), and Idar-Oberstein (26 km south), Kirn (22 km SE) and Bad Sobernheim (30 km SE), all on the Mainz–Bad Kreuznach–Saarbrücken line. Frequent buses also run to the main railway station of nearby cities, the closest being Mainz (1 h 10 min, 60 km or 37 mi to the east) and Koblenz (1 h 5 min, 50 km NE). There have been, however, plans to reactivate a rail line to the airport that was formerly used by the U.S. military for the former air base.


Hahn has reasonable road connections. The nearest Autobahn connections are approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) to the west (A1) or east (A 61). Parking and car rental are available at the airport.

Other facilities[edit]

The head office of AirIT Services AG, a subsidiary of Fraport, is in Building 663 at Hahn Airport.[32]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ [1] - Airline industry article
  2. ^ - "Fraport sells its Frankfurt-Hahn shares for €1" 3 February 2009
  3. ^ News Release No. 811-11: DOD Announces Return of Facilities in Germany, 22 Sep 2011 Archived 28 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine. - DOD News Release 22 Sep 2012
  4. ^ Klingelschmit, Klaus-Peter (9 February 2009), "Flughafen für 1 Euro gekauft", die Tageszeitung (in German), retrieved 20 May 2012 
  5. ^ Hahn–Airport official website – Press release 12 August 2009.
  6. ^ "Umzug nach Frankfurt/Main - Etihad Cargo verlässt Frankfurt-Hahn". 
  7. ^ "Ryanair streicht Angebot am Hahn weiter zusammen". 
  8. ^ "Frankfurt-Hahn vor dem Aus?". 
  9. ^ a b "Rheinland-Pfalz will Flughafen Hahn weiterhin verkaufen". 
  10. ^ "Größter Frachtkunde am Flughafen Hahn zieht sich zurück". 
  11. ^ Randy Woods for Air Cargo World (2016) - Frankfurt Hahn Dismisses Rumors of Amazon Bid, article retrieved April 23, 2016.
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ - Frankfurt-Hahn wird neu ausgeschrieben (German) 15 July 2016
  16. ^ - "Air France KLM Cargo leaves Hahn" (German) 4 July 2016
  17. ^
  18. ^ - "Still hoping for an investor for Hahn Airport" (German) 10 October 2016
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Official website of the airport Frankfurt-Hahn". 
  21. ^ - Destinations retrieved 26 February 2017
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Neun Prozent Wachstum am Hahn". 
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Unsere Flughäfen – Regionale Stärke, Globaler Anschluss". 
  31. ^ "Calculate your route". Michelin. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  32. ^ "AirIT Services AG Archived 25 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.." Fraport. Retrieved on 28 May 2011.


  • Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982 USAF Reference Series, Office of Air Force History, United States Air Force, Washington, D.C., 1989
  • Endicott, Judy G., USAF Active Flying, Space, and Missile Squadrons as of 1 October 1995. Office of Air Force History
  • Fletcher, Harry R., Air Force Bases Volume II, Active Air Force Bases outside the United States of America on 17 September 1982, Office of Air Force History, 1989

External links[edit]

Media related to Frankfurt-Hahn Airport at Wikimedia Commons