Featured image: Munich Airport

5/17/1992: New Munich Airport Opens for Business

DALLAS – Today, in 1992, the current Munich Airport (MUC), located on the “Erding North” site, commenced operations.

The previous evening saw the main moving operation from the old Riem location to the new site. The move, the largest of this size in European aviation history to date, took just 16 hours to complete. Five thousand people and 700 trucks were involved.

MUC has two parallel runways (08R/26L and 26R/08L) and plans are in place for a third located to the north-east of the current north runway. Photo: Munich Airport

Official Opening

The new Munich Airport officially opened on May 11 with two thousand specially invited guests in attendance. The honor of operating the first flight from the new facility was given to a Lufthansa Boeing 747-200.

Operations at Munich-Riem commenced in 1939. However, the airport had outgrown the site by the dawn of the jet age. Plans were announced in August 1969 by the Bavarian Government to build a new airport 29 kilometers north of the city.

A year after opening, 12 million passengers had used the new facility. By the mid-1990s, MUC had become one of Europe’s leading hubs.

Constrained at its main base in Frankfurt (FRA), German flag carrier Lufthansa (LH) decided to open a secondary hub at MUC. The airline initially based two wide-bodied jets at the airport, offering short- and long-haul connections.

A view of Terminal One. Emirates began serving MUC in 1999. Photo: Munich Airport


The rapid growth led to the terminal quickly reaching capacity. Subsequently, LH and MUC signed an agreement to finance, build, and run a second terminal. This was the first such agreement between an airport and an airline.

Terminal 2 opened in June 2003 and is used exclusively by LH and its partner airlines.

Today, Munich Franz Josef Strauss Airport, named after the former Bavarian Minister-President, is the second busiest in Germany and the ninth busiest in Europe.

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