Hamburg Airport

Hamburg Airport (IATA: HAM, ICAO: EDDH), also known as Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel Airport (German: Flughafen Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel), is an international airport serving Hamburg, Germany.

It originally covered 440,000 m2 (4,700,000 sq ft). Since then, the site has grown more than tenfold to 5.7 km2 (2.2 sq mi). The main apron covers 320,000 m2 (3,400,000 sq ft). The airport is 8.5 km (5.3 mi) north of the centre of the City of Hamburg in the Fuhlsbüttel quarter. Hamburg airport has 17 jet-ways and 54 apron positions. There are two terminal-buildings with the so-called Plaza-building in the middle of them. The Plaza hosts the central security check as well as shops, restaurants, lounges and other service-facilities. In all buildings level 1 is the departure level, while level 0 is arrivals. Hamburg airport offers 14 baggage claims on the arrival level.

Runways, taxiways and aprons are able to handle the Airbus A380, although there is no scheduled A380-service expected. Hamburg Airport is the diversion airport for Hamburg-Finkenwerder Airport (XFW), the airport of the Airbus plant in Hamburg, where all A380 are being painted and interior fitted.

In 2008, Hamburg airport served 12,840,000 passengers and 173,500 aircraft movements. Hamburg Airport (measured by the number of passengers) is the fifth busiest of the 16 German commercial airports (after Berlin Tegel Airport). The shareholders of Hamburg Airport are the City of Hamburg (51%) and Hochtief AirPort GmbH. (49%).


The airport was opened in January 1911 from private funding by the Hamburger Luftschiffhallen GmbH (HLG), making it the oldest airport in the world which is still in operation. The original site comprised 45 hectares and was primarily used for airship flights in its early days. In 1913, the site was expanded to 60 hectares, the northern part being used for airship operations, while the southeast area was used for fixed-wing aircraft. During the First World War, the airship hangar was used extensively by the military, until it was destroyed by fire in 1916.

During the British occupation, beginning in 1945, the airport was given its current name, Hamburg Airport. It was used extensively during the Berlin Airlift in 1948 as a staging area, as the northern air corridor went between Hamburg and West Berlin. When Lufthansa launched passenger operations in 1955, Hamburg was used as a hub until Frankfurt took over due to growth constraints posed by the location in the city. Lufthansa Technik still maintains a large presence at the airport due to the early activities of the airline at the airport.

In the 1960s discussions began with the aim of moving the airport to Heidmoor by Kaltenkirchen. Reasons cited were limited expansion possibilities, capacity constraints due to crossing runways, and noise. Lufthansa had introduced the Boeing 707 in 1960, which made more noise than previous piston engined aircraft. The plans were dropped due to bad experiences in other cities with airports being moved far from city centers and Lufthansa's move to Frankfurt. The construction of Berlin Brandenburg International Airport is relieving demand for intercontinental flights, negating the benefits of a move and expansion.

In the early 1990s, the airport began an extensive modernization process. The plan, called HAM21, included a new 500 m pier extension, a new terminal (Terminal 1), and the Airport Plaza between Terminals 1 and 2, which includes a consolidated security area. The Radisson Blu Hotel Hamburg Airport was added in 2009, combined with new roadside access and a station and connection to the rapid transit system of Hamburg (S-Bahn).


Hamburg has two terminals, Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, connected by the Airport Plaza and the baggage claim area that extends through the lower levels of all three buildings. These three buildings were designed by Gerkan, Marg, und Partner. Terminals 1 and 2 have a high, curved ceiling designed to emulate the shape of a wing.

Terminal 1

Terminal 1 was completed in 2005 and is highly similar to Terminal 2 in terms of design and size. It has numerous energy and water saving features like rain water collection for use in restrooms and a ThermoLabyrinth, which uses ground temperature to help regulate the building's temperature and reduce loads on the air conditioning systems.

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 was completed in 1993. It houses Lufthansa and other Star Alliance partners, including Condor and Germanwings.

Airport Plaza

The Airport Plaza contains the security clearance and extensive shopping areas. It houses the S-Bahn station and was completed in December 2008.

Wide-body aircraft in Hamburg

  • Air Berlin serves in the winter season two times a week to Palma de Mallorca, Nuremberg and Tenerife-South with Airbus A330-300.
  • Air Transat serves to Toronto, Canada with Airbus A310-300 during the summer season.
  • China Eastern Airlines serves once a week to Shanghai with an Airbus A330-200.
  • Emirates has a daily service to Dubai flown with Boeing 777-200 or -300. From 1 September a second Boeing 777-200 will fly daily to Dubai.
  • Iran Air serves two times a week (three times a week in summer season) to Tehran with an Airbus A300-600 or Airbus A310-300.
  • Turkish Airlines serves some flights between Hamburg and Istanbul-Atatürk with Airbus A330-200 or Airbus A340-300 during the summer season.

Airlines and destinations


Ground transport

The airport is located ca. 8 km (5 miles) north of Hamburg city centre and 8 km (5 miles) south of Norderstedt in the borough of Fuhlsbüttel. HVV, the Hamburg public transit network, runs the S-Bahn-line (suburban railway) S1 which links the airport directly to the city centre every ten minutes. The trip to the central train station takes approximately 25 minutes. By road, the airport can be reached from the A7 using the B433, which is the third ring road. Motorists from the east of the city must drive through Hamburg, because the A7 travels North/South from Schleswig-Holstein to Lower Saxony.

The airport is also linked by some local bus routes to nearby areas as well as regular coach services to the cities of Kiel, Neumünster and Lübeck.

Taxi stands are located on the arrival level in front of each terminal.

In other Media

Hamburg airport is the inspiration for Miniatur Wunderland's "Knuffingen Airport".

Building Activity

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