Hamburg Airport

Hamburg Airport

On 10th January 1911, saw the official formation of a limited company, the "Hamburg Airship Hangar Company" (HLG). Some time was spent looking for a suitable site for an airfield, and finally 44.8 hectares of land to the west of Lake Alster and north of the Borstel racecourse were chosen, close to the then sleepy village of Fuhlsbüttel. In May 1911, the excavation work for the airship hangar began, and that autumn, the people of Hamburg were treated to the marvellous sight of an airship crossing the sky above their city – the "Schwaben".

In 1912, the new airship hangar commenced operations in January. However, the "zeppelins" did not have the new airport to themselves for very long: the "magnificent men in their flying machines" soon took possession of the site with the first aeroplanes, the airship's new rivals.

During the First World War, the shortcomings of the "dirigibles" were already becoming evident – accidents were occurring with increasing frequency, and the operators responded by concentrating more on airship construction and on the training given to the pilots. More than 750 military pilots trained and won their pilot's licence in Fuhlsbüttel; and throughout the war military couriers transported urgent letters and packages on many air routes – not only in Germany, but also in England, France, Austria and Italy. Finally, the German War Office closed the site to the public completely; Fuhlsbüttel was now used solely as a military airfield.

On the 1st of September 1920, for the first time a plane operated by the newly-founded airline KLM flew from Amsterdam over Bremen to Hamburg, and continued on to Copenhagen. This flight - called "Europe - Northwest Flight" - was the very first international scheduled service in Europe.

In the early 1930s, air travel was extremely hardly hit by the repercussions of the world economic crisis. In the space of three years, betwen 1930 and 1933, Fuhlsbüttel lost some 35% of its cargo traffic and about 10% of its passengers, while the number of scheduled flights fell from 5,756 to 3,819.

1939-1945: Little is known about the fate of Hamburg Airport during the war, about the number of take-offs and landings and the airport's importance for the Luftwaffe: at the end of the war, all documents covering the period 1939–1945 were burnt. But the changes in the airport's appearance were plain to see: a busy traffic interchange had – at least seemingly – reverted to the rural idyll it had been before. Hundreds of birches and fir trees, huge woven mats and camouflage nets were intended to make the airport seem like an area of unspoilt nature for enemy reconnaissance pilots.

In 1945, after the capitulation of the German government, the Royal Air Force set up base at the airport, which had miraculously escaped any war damage. The installation of the new 'landlords' was accompanied by a change in nomenclature: Fuhlsbüttel was renamed "Hamburg Airport". Sovereignty over civil aviation, too, was in the joint hands of the Allies, who issued a proclamation on 20th September 1945 to the effect that no German was allowed to own or operate aircraft. The administration of Hamburg Airport also passed to the British army.

On 30th March 1970, Lufthansa's first large-capacity aircraft, a Boeing 747, approached the hill in front of the No. 1 and No. 2 hangars. A "jumbo jet" stands 19.33 metres above the ground, so a new gate had to be built specially for the giant airliners.

In 1986, the airport celebrates its 75th birthday with an open day.

2006 will go down in the annals of Hamburg Airport as being a particularly successful year. The number of passengers breaks the 11 million barrier for the first time. This year a total of 11,954,040 passengers use the airport, representing an increase of 12 percent. In addition to numerous new services the reason for this extraordinary growth lies in the use of larger aircraft and better utilisation of capacity.

2008 is also a good year for people living in the immediate vicinity of the airport, as nighttime aircraft movements at Hamburg Airport are significantly reduced. There is a decrease of around 30 per cent between 11:00pm and midnight, whilst the decrease between midnight and 6:00am is as high as 48 per cent. A major reason for this is the cessation of night postal flights as of 31 March, 2008.

Three words, one airport: fast, beautiful, modern.

The New Hamburg Airport – includes the new Airport Plaza, framed by the two state-of-the-art passengers terminals; a dynamic parking guidance system; wide access roads; additional parking spaces as well as a connection to the S-Bahn rapid transport system and the deluxe hotel being built within walking distance of the terminals.

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Hamburg Airport
Flughafen Hamburg GmbH Flughafenstr. 1 - 3,
Hamburg 22335

Contact Info
+49 (40) 50 75-0
Contact Form

Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel Weather info
Broken clouds

Location of this weather station:
0.7 km Northwest

Reported on:
Wed, 2018-08-15 09:50

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