History of Munich Airport

The airport move in 1992

In only 16 hours Munich Airport moved from Riem to Erdinger Moos from May 16 to May 17, 1992. This was the largest move of this size in the European aviation industry to date.

Two years of meticulous preparation and around 5,000 people and 700 trucks ensured that the move and the immediate start of operations at the new Franz Josef Strauss Airport went off without a hitch.


Some facts about the move

  • 16 hours: Duration of the move to Erdinger Moos
  • 110 tons: Weight of the heaviest removal transporter
  • 5 thousand: Moving helpers in action
  • A new terminal is being built here. The aerial photograph shows the construction site of the airport in 1989. © Peter Bock-Schroeder
  • Munich Airport moves to its new location in just one night. © Gregor Feindt
  • Queen Sylvia of Sweden, Georg von Waldenfels (right) and Willi Hermsen ceremonially opened the new Munich Airport. © Peter Bock-Schroeder
  • Opening on May 17, 1992: Maintenance hall 4 is converted into a temporary terminal building. Customs and the Federal Border Guard waited behind camping tables for the incoming passengers. © Herbert Stolz

Then and now: Passenger numbers

  • Since the airport opened in 1992, the number of passengers in Munich has more than tripled. The new Munich Airport opened in 1992 with 12 million passengers. The terminal reached its capacity limit within a few years. With the opening of Terminal 2 in 2003 and its expansion to include the satellite, the number of passengers also increased significantly: In 2016, 42.3 million passengers used Munich Airport.

Aircraft movements

  • Munich Airport recorded 192,000 take-offs and landings in its early years. In 2016, the total was 394,000. Meanwhile, the capacity bottlenecks in the runway system are becoming increasingly evident. During peak traffic hours, there are no longer any free slots for takeoffs and landings, which means that many of the connections in demand cannot be realized.

Air freight

  • Air freight at Munich Airport experienced a particular boom: in 1992, just 57,000 tons of freight were handled. The growing demand for passenger and freight traffic necessitated extensive expansion measures: In 2005, a new 4,400-square-meter cargo hall was put into operation. In 2007, a new forwarding agent building was opened where more than 50 trucks can dock simultaneously. In 2016, 356,000 metric tons of freight were handled through Munich Airport.

A comparison in pictures: The apron in 1992

Various functional vehicles from the corporate security and ground handling services departments meet in front of the South African Airways Jumbo Jet on the apron. Back in the early 1990s, there was no alternative to combustion engines.

View of today's apron at Munich Airport

In the present electric vehicles play a key role on Munich Airport's apron - from stairways to baggage conveyors and lifters for freight pallets to passenger cars.