Flughafen Frankfurt am Main
|IATA: FRA – ICAO: EDDF|
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||364 ft / 111 m|
|Aircraft movements||482,242 1,0%|
|Economic impact||$22.3 billion|
|Sources: Passenger traffic & movements - Fraport
German AIP at EUROCONTROL
Frankfurt Airport (IATA: FRA, ICAO: EDDF) (German: Flughafen Frankfurt am Main, also known as Rhein-Main-Flughafen) is a major international airport located in Frankfurt, the fifth-largest city of Germany and one of the world's leading financial centres. It is operated by Fraport and serves as the main hub for Lufthansa including Lufthansa CityLine and Lufthansa Cargo as well as Condor and AeroLogic. The airport covers an area of 2,100 hectares (5,200 acres) of land and features two passenger terminals with a capacity of approximately 65 million passengers per year, four runways and extensive logistics facilities.
Frankfurt Airport is by far the busiest airport by passenger traffic in Germany, the third busiest in Europe after London Heathrow Airport and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport and the 11th busiest worldwide in 2012. It handled 57.5 million passengers in 2012. With a freight throughput of 2.07 million metric tonnes in 2012 it is also the second busiest airport in Europe by cargo traffic. As of winter 2012/2013, Frankfurt Airport served 264 destinations in 113 countries, making it the airport with the most international destinations in the world.
The southern side of the airport ground was home to the Rhein-Main Air Base, which was a major air base for the United States from 1947 until 2005, when the air base was closed and the property was acquired by Fraport.
Frankfurt Airport lies 12 km (7.5 mi) southwest of central Frankfurt, near the Autobahn intersection Frankfurter Kreuz, where two of the most heavily used motorways in Europe (A3 and A5) meet. The airport ground, which forms a city district of Frankfurt named Frankfurt-Flughafen, is surrounded by the Frankfurt City Forest.
The airport is centrally located in the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main region, Germany's second-largest metropolitan region, which itself has a central location in the densely populated region of the west-central European megalopolis. Thereby, along with a strong rail and motorway connection, the airport serves as a major transportation hub to the greater region, less than two hours by ground to Cologne, the Ruhr Area, and Stuttgart.
On November 16, 1909, the world's first airline was founded in Frankfurt am Main: The Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-Aktiengesellschaft (DELAG). DELAG then built the first airport in Frankfurt, called Airship Base at Rebstock, which was located in Bockenheim in the western part of the city and was primarily used for airships in the beginning. It opened in 1912 and was extended after World War I, but in 1924 an expert's report already questioned the possibility of further expansions at this location.
With the foundation of Deutsche Luft Hansa in 1926 a rapid boom of civilian air travel started and soon the airship base became too small to handle the demand. Plans for a new and larger airport located in the Frankfurt City Forest south-west of Schwanheim were approved in 1930, but were not realized due to the Great Depression. After the Machtergreifung in 1933 the government revived the plans and started the construction of the new airport.
The Frankfurt Rhein-Main Airport and Airship Base was officially opened on July 8, 1936. In the following years it became the second-largest airport in Germany (after Berlin Tempelhof Airport) and was home for the two largest German Zeppelins, LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin and LZ 129 Hindenburg. It was planned to make Frankfurt the most important destination for Zeppelins in Germany, but after the catastrophic crash of the Hindenburg in Lakehurst on May 6, 1937, the airship era came to an abrupt end.
World War IIEdit
After the beginning of World War II in 1939 all foreign airlines left the airport and control of air traffic was transferred to the Luftwaffe. On May 9, 1940, the first bombers took off to attack France. From August to November 1944 a concentration camp was established in Walldorf, close to the airport ground, where Jewish female prisoners were forced to work for the airport. The Allies of World War II destroyed the runway system with airstrikes in 1944 and the Wehrmacht blew up buildings and fuel depots in 1945, shortly before the US Army took control of the airport on March 25, 1945. After the German Instrument of Surrender the war in Europe ended and the US Army started to build a new temporary runway at Frankfurt Airport. The southern part of the airport ground was occupied to build the Rhein-Main Air Base as an Air Force Base for the United States Air Forces in Europe.
In 1948 the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies' railway and road access to the sectors of West Berlin under Allied control. Their aim was to force the western powers to allow the Soviet zone to start supplying Berlin with food and fuel, thereby giving the Soviets practical control over the entire city. In response, the Western Allies organized the Berlin Airlift to carry supplies via air to the people in West Berlin. The airports in Frankfurt, Hamburg and Hannover were the primary bases for the allied airplanes. The heavy use of these so-called "Raisin Bombers" caused damage to the runway in Frankfurt and forced the US Army to build a second parallel runway. The airlift ended in September 1949 after the Soviet Union ended their blockade.
Growth of the airportEdit
In 1951 restrictions for German air travellers were lifted and civil air traffic started to grow again. In 1952 Frankfurt Airport handled more than 400.000 passengers; a year later it was more than half a million. About 100 to 120 planes took off from and landed in Frankfurt daily. In 1955, Lufthansa finally recommenced their flights to and from Frankfurt and in the same year the Federal Republic of Germany gained its air sovereignty back from the Allies. In 1957 the northern runway was extended, first to 3,000 metres and then to 3,900 metres, to make it compatible with jet aircraft.
The airport did not emerge as a major international airline hub until 1958 when a new passenger terminal called Empfangsanlage Ost (Terminal East, literally "Arrival Facility East") opened in the north-east corner of the airport ground. Only four years later it was clear that the terminal was already too small for the demand. In 1961 Frankfurt already had 2.2 million passengers and 81,000 take-offs and landings, making it the second busiest airport in Europe behind London Heathrow Airport.
In 1962 it was decided to build an even larger terminal with a capacity of 30 million passengers per year. Work on this terminal began in 1965. The southern runway was extended to 3,750 metres in 1964. In 1970 a new airplane hangar was inaugurated - it accommodated six jet airplanes and was the world's largest airplane hangar at the time.
The new main terminalEdit
The new terminal, called Terminal Mitte (Central Terminal, today known as Terminal 1) and divided into three concourses (A, B and C) with 56 gates and an electric baggage handling system, was opened to the public on March 14, 1972. It was assumed that the terminal capacity would be sufficient for the next 30 years. Along with the new terminal a train station (Frankfurt Airport station) was opened, the first airport train station in the Federal Republic of Germany. A few days later the old Empfangsanlage Ost was closed.
The third runwayEdit
Planning for a third runway (called Startbahn 18 West) began in 1973. This project spawned massive protests by residents and environmentalists. The main points of conflict were increasing noise and pollution and the cutting down of protected trees in the Frankfurt City Forest. While the protests and related lawsuits were unsuccessful in preventing the construction of the runway, the Startbahn West protests were one of the major crystallization points for the German environmental movement of the 1980s. The protests even continued after the runway had been opened in 1984 and in 1987 two police officers were killed by a gunman. This incident ended the Startbahn West protests for good. Because of its orientation in the north-south direction, in contrast to the other two runways which run east-west, the use of the third runway is limited. The Startbahn West can only be used for takeoffs to the south because otherwise they would interfere with air traffic at the other runways. Due to this restriction the runway must be partially or fully closed when northward winds are too strong.
Terminal 2 and the second train stationEdit
In 1990, work on a new terminal (Terminal 2) began because it was anticipated that Terminal Mitte would reach its capacity limit sooner than expected. The new terminal, divided into concourses D and E, was built to the east of the existing terminal where once the Empfangsanlage Ost had been. With its opening in 1994, Frankfurt Airport increased its terminal capacity to 54 million passengers per year. Along with the terminal opening, a people mover system called Sky Line was established to provide a fast connection between Terminal 2 and Terminal Mitte (now renamed Terminal 1).
In 1999 a second train station, primarily for InterCityExpress long-distance trains (called Frankfurt Airport long-distance station), opened near Terminal 1 as part of the new Cologne–Frankfurt high-speed rail line. At the same time local and regional trains were centered at the existing underground train station, now renamed Frankfurt Airport regional station.
Closure of the Rhein-Main Air BaseEdit
On December 30, 2005, the Rhein-Main Air Base in the southern part of the airport ground was closed and the US Air Force moved to Ramstein Air Base. The property was handed back to Fraport which allows the airport to use it to build a new passenger terminal. The property of the housing area for the soldiers, called Gateway Gardens, which was located north-east of the airport ground, was given back to the city of Frankfurt in the same year and will be developed as a business district in the following years.
The Airbus A380 and The SquaireEdit
From 2005 to 2007 a large Airbus A380 maintenance facility was built at Frankfurt Airport because Lufthansa wanted to station their future A380-aircraft-fleet here. Due to economic reasons only half of the facility has been built so far. Both terminals also underwent major renovations in order to handle the A380, including the installation of a third boarding bridge at several gates. Lufthansa's first Airbus A380 went into operation in June 2010 and was baptised Frankfurt am Main.
In 2011 a large office building called The Squaire (a portmanteau of square and air) opened at Frankfurt Airport. It was built on top of the Airport long-distance station and is considered the largest office building in Germany with 140,000 m2 (1,500,000 sq ft) floor area. Main tenants are KPMG and two Hilton Hotels.
The fourth runwayEdit
Plans to build a fourth runway at Frankfurt Airport had been under-way since 1997 but due to the violent conflicts with the building of the third runway, Fraport let residents groups and environmentalists participate in the process to find an agreeable solution. In 2000 a task force presented their conclusion which generally approved a new runway, but in shorter length (only 2.800 metres compared to the other three 4.000 metres long runways) which would serve as a landing-only runway for smaller aircraft. Additional requirements included improved noise protection arrangements and a strict ban on night flights between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. across the whole airport. In 2001 Fraport applied for an approval to build a new runway, with three possible variants assessed. This concluded that a runway north-west of the airport ground would deliver the fewest adverse effects for local residents and the surrounding environment. The plans were approved by the Hessian government in December 2007, but the requested ban on night flights was lifted because it was argued that an international airport like Frankfurt would need night flights, especially for worldwide freight transport. Construction of the new 2,800 meters (9,240 feet) long Runway Northwest in the Kelsterbach Forest began in early 2009.
The centre line separation from the existing north runway is about 1,400 meters (4,620 feet). This will allow for simultaneous instrument landing system (ILS) operations on these two runways, which has not been possible on the existing parallel runways because they do not meet the 3,500 foot requirement for ILS operations. This will enable the airport to increase its capacity from the current 83 to 126 aircraft movements per hour.
Ban on night flightsEdit
On October 11, 2011, the Hessian Administration Court ruled that night flights between 11pm and 5am (the so-called Mediationsnacht) are no longer allowed at Frankfurt Airport after the inauguration of the new runway, and therefore overrode the approval from the Hessian government from 2007 which allowed 17 scheduled flights per night. On April 4, 2012 the German Administrative Court confirmed the decision of the Hessian Administration Court, banning night flights between 11pm and 5am.
Expansion of Terminal 1Edit
To handle the predicted passenger amount of about 90 million in 2020, a new terminal section adjacent to Terminal 1 for an additional six million passengers opened on 10 October 2012. It is called Flugsteig A-Plus and exclusively used by Lufthansa mainly for their long-haul flights. Flugsteig A-Plus features eight parking positions and is able to handle four Airbus A380 or seven Boeing 747 at once.
Frankfurt Airport has two large passenger terminals and a smaller First-Class-Terminal which is exclusively used by Lufthansa. Unlike other international airports, the terminal operations are grouped for airlines and airline alliances rather than flight destinations (domestic or long-haul routes).
Terminal 1 is the oldest and largest one of the two passenger terminals. It is divided into concourses A, B, C and Z and has a passenger capacity of approximately 50 million. The landside is 420 meters long. Terminal 1 is primarily used by Lufthansa, Lufthansa's associated companies (Swiss, Austrian Airlines) and Star Alliance partners (e.g. Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, All Nippon Airways, Croatia Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, TAP Portugal, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines). On October 10, 2012, a 800 meter-long westward expansion of Terminal called Pier A-Plus went into operation. The new terminal section will exclusively be used by Lufthansa and Star Alliance partners. It provides more docking stations for serving wide-body aircraft like the Airbus A380 and allows Lufthansa to concentrate all U.S. flights at the two A-Piers for easier and faster transfer processes.
Terminal 1 is functionally divided into three levels, the departures level in the upper deck with check-in counters, the arrivals level with baggage claim areas at ground level and, underneath, a distribution level with access to the regional station and underground and multilevel parking. Departures and arrivals levels each have separate street approaches. A bus station is located at arrivals level.
A satellite view of Terminal 1 shows it to have 54 gates equipped with jetways (25 in Concourse A, 18 in Concourse B, 11 in Concourse C). Frankfurt Airport's official website shows a total of 103 gates (a figure which includes "stand" gates, which are gates with no jetways).
Terminal 2 was opened in 1994 and is divided into concourses D and E. A continuous concourse between 1C and 2D provides direct, but non-public access between the two terminals. Terminal 2 has a passenger capacity of approximately 15 million. It is primarily used by Oneworld partners (e.g. Air Berlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines) and SkyTeam partners (e.g. Aeroflot, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, Saudia, TAROM, Vietnam Airlines).
Terminal 2 has eight gates with jetways and 34 stands, a total of 42 gates.
Passengers and visitors can change terminals with the people mover system SkyLine which has stops at Terminal 1 AZ (passengers only), Terminal 1 BC and Terminal 2 DE. The travel time between the terminals is 2 minutes with trains arriving every 2–3 minutes during the day. Additionally there is regular bus service between the terminals.
Lufthansa First Class TerminalEdit
Lufthansa operates a separate First Class Terminal near Terminal 1 for the use of its first class passengers. The terminal can only be used by passengers flying Lufthansa First Class or Lufthansa's Miles & More HON Circle members. They also must be departing on a flight operated by Air Dolomiti, Austrian Airlines Group, Lufthansa, Lufthansa Regional or SWISS. Passengers flying other Star Alliance partners in First Class do not have access to the First Class Terminal. The terminal has 200 staff and is used by about 300 passengers daily. It provides individualised security screening and customs facilities, valet parking, a white-linen restaurant, a cigar room and bubble baths. Passengers clear exit immigration controls in the terminal and then are driven from the terminal directly to their aircraft by a chaffeured Mercedes-Benz S-Class or Porsche Panamera.
Passenger airlines and destinationsEdit
107 airlines fly to 275 destinations in 111 countries from Frankfurt Airport, with approximately 1,365 flights per day. Lufthansa and their Star Alliance partners account for 77% of all passengers at Frankfurt Airport. 65% of all intercontinental flights in Germany are operated at Frankfurt Airport, followed by Munich Airport with 17%.
Due to capacity constraints until Autumn 2011 when the fourth runway went into operation, there are few low-cost carriers at Frankfurt Airport. Those airlines use Frankfurt-Hahn Airport as an alternative which also provides lower operational costs. Despite its name, Frankfurt-Hahn Airport lies about 120 km (75 mi) west of Frankfurt, closer to Koblenz and Mainz.
Passenger destinations mapEdit
|This section is outdated. (January 2014)|
Frankfurt Airport is the second-largest multimodal transport airport in Europe and has several logistics facilities. These facilities are grouped at two areas at the airport ground: In the north (CargoCity Nord) and in the south (CargoCity Süd). In 2010 it was the second-busiest airport by cargo traffic in Europe after Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, handling 2,231,348 metric tonnes of loaded and unloaded freight.
The 98 hectare large CargoCity Süd is home to a cargo center for dispatch service providers and freight forwarding businesses. Several transport companies like DHL Global Forwarding, Air China, Emirates, Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Korean Air and Fraport Cargo Services are based here.
CargoCity Nord is the headquarters of Lufthansa Cargo. Additional facilities here are a Perishable Center for fresh produced goods and the Frankfurt Animal Lounge for the transport of living animals.
Cargo airlines and destinationsEdit
Frankfurt Airport has four runways of which three are arranged parallel in east-west direction and one in north-south direction.
|Direction/name||Length in m / ft||Surface||Arrangement||Start of operation||Use|
|07C/25C (Runway North)||4000 × 60 / 13,123 × 197||Asphalt||East-west||1936||Take-offs (landings allowed)|
|07R/25L (Runway South)||4000 × 45 / 13,123 × 148||Asphalt||East-west||1949||Take-offs and landings|
|18 (Runway West)||4000 × 45 / 13,123 × 148||Concrete||North-south||1984||Take-offs in southbound direction only|
|07L/25R (Runway Northwest)||2800 × 45 / 9,240 × 148||Concrete||East-west||2011||Landings only (not allowed for Airbus A380, Boeing 747, MD-11)|
During normal operation the two outer parallel runways (07L/25R and 07R/25L) are used for landings and the central parallel runway (07C/25C) and the Runway West (18) for take-offs. The three parallel runways have two markings because they can be operated in two directions while the Runway West can only be used in one direction.
In 2010 three runways (Runways North, South and West) handled 464,432 aircraft movements, which equated 83 movements per hour. With the start of operation of the Runway Northwest in October 2011 the airport should be able to handle 126 movements per hour. It is predicted that aircraft movements will increase up to 700,000 in the year 2020. By the use of the fourth runway Frankfurt Airport is able for the first time to handle independent parallel landings because the distance between the north and the north-west runways is 1,400 m (4,593 ft). This was not possible with the north and south runways because they do not meet the safety distance ordered by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
The airport ground and the surrounding area of Frankfurt Airport offer a large variety of on-airport businesses as well as airport-related businesses, like office space, hotels, shopping areas, conference rooms and car parks. The development of an airport city has significantly increased in recent years.
Sheraton Hotel & Conference CenterEdit
Frankfurt Airport CentersEdit
The Frankfurt Airport Center 1 (FAC 1) near Terminal 1 offers office and conference facilities, the newer FAC 2 is located within Terminal 2 and offers office space for airlines.
Airport City MallEdit
The Airport City Mall is located on the landside of Terminal 1, departure hall B. It offers national and international retailers and label stores, a supermarket and several restaurants.
The Squaire is an office building with a total floor area of 140,000 m2 (1,506,900 sq ft). It is directly connected to Terminal 1 through a connecting corridor for pedestrians. The accounting firm KPMG, Lufthansa and two Hilton Hotels (Hilton Garden Inn Frankfurt Airport with 334 rooms and Hilton Frankfurt Airport with 249 rooms) occupy space in The Squaire.
Main Airport CenterEdit
The Main Airport Center, named after the Main river, is an office building with ten floors and about 51,000 m2 (549,000 sq ft) of office space. It is located at the edge of the Frankfurt City Forrest near Terminal 2.
Gateway Gardens is a former housing area for the United States Air Force personnel based at the Rhein-Main Air Base, close to Terminal 2. Like the air base, the housing area was closed in 2005. Since then the area is being developed into a business location for airport-related companies. Lufthansa moved its airline catering subsidiary LSG Sky Chefs to Gateway Gardens, Condor and SunExpress are headquartered here. DB Schenker, the logistics company of Deutsche Bahn, is currently building a 66 m (217 ft) high-rise building.
Fraport's facilities are on the property of Frankfurt Airport. Its head office building is by Gate 3. The newly constructed headquarters were inaugurated there in 2012. The Fraport Driving School (Fraport Fahrschule) is in Building 501 of CargoCity South (CargoCity Süd).
Lufthansa's main building, where the board of directors is seated, is called Lufthansa Aviation Center (LAC). Lufthansa operates the Lufthansa Aviation Center (LAC), Building 366 at Frankfurt Airport. Several company departments, including Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, and Media Relations, are based out of the LAC. Lufthansa also uses several other buildings in the area, like the Lufthansa Flight Training Center for flight training operations and the Lufthansa Basis BG2 as a central base and for crew briefing. As of 2011 Lufthansa Cargo is headquartered in Building 451 of the Frankfurt Airport area. As of 2012 Lufthansa Cargo is located at Gate 25 in the CargoCity Nord area, Lufthansa Technik is located in the CargoCity Süd area.
To handle the predicted passenger amount of 90 million in 2020, a third, large new terminal is scheduled to be built by Fraport south of the existing terminals at the ground of the former Rhein-Main Air Base. The new Terminal 3 should be able to house up to 25 million passengers and will feature 75 new aircraft positions. An extension of the people mover system SkyLine is planned to transport people to Terminal 1, the airport railway stations and Terminal 2.
Frankfurt Airport can easily be accessed by car, taxi, train or bus as it features an extensive transportation network. There are two railway stations at the airport: one for suburban/regional trains and one for long-distance trains.
Frankfurt Airport is located in the Frankfurt City Forest and directly connected to an Autobahn intersection called Frankfurter Kreuz where the A3 and A5 meet. It takes a 10–15 minutes by car or taxi to get to Frankfurt Central Station or the city centre.
Passengers driving their owns cars can park in multilevel parking garages (mostly underground) along the terminals. A long term holiday parking lot is located south of the runways and connected by shuttle bus to the terminals.
Bus and coachesEdit
Various transport companies provide bus services to the airport from the surrounding areas as well as by coach to long-distance destinations.
Airport regional stationEdit
Frankfurt Airport regional station (Frankfurt Flughafen Regionalbahnhof) at Terminal 1, concourse B, provides access to the S-Bahn commuter rail lines S8 and S9 which depart every 15 minutes during the day to Hanau Central Central in the east via Frankfurt Central Station, Frankfurt Hauptwache station and Offenbach East Station, and to Wiesbaden Central Station in the west via Rüsselsheim and either Mainz Central Station (line S8) or Mainz-Kastel (line S9). The journey time to Frankfurt Central Station is 11 minutes, to Hauptwache station 15 minutes.
Airport long-distance stationEdit
Frankfurt Airport long-distance station (Frankfurt Flughafen Fernbahnhof) was opened in 1999. The station is squeezed in between the motorway motorway A 3 and the four-lane Bundesstraße B43, linked to Terminal 1 by a connecting corridor for pedestrians that bridges the Autobahn. It is the end point of the newly built Cologne–Frankfurt high-speed rail line, which links southern Germany to the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area, the Netherlands and Belgium via Cologne at speeds up to 300 km/h (190 mph). About 10 trains per hour depart in all directions.
Deutsche Bahn operates the AIRail Service in conjunction with Lufthansa, American Airlines and Emirates. The service operates to the central stations of Bonn, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Freiburg, Karlsruhe, Leipzig, Hamburg, Hannover, Mannheim, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart and to Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe.
Ground transportation statisticsEdit
In 2006, 29.5% of the 12,299,192 passengers whose air travel originated in Frankfurt came by private car, 27.9% came by rail, 20.4% by taxi, 11.1% parked their car at the airport for the duration of their trip, 5.3% came by bus, and 4.6% arrived with a rental car.
In 2011, Frankfurt Airport was the third busiest airport in Europe in terms of total passenger traffic, but it was second behind Paris-Charles de Gaulle in terms of plane movements and cargo traffic.
Incidents and accidentsEdit
- On 22 May 1983 during an Air show at Rhein-Main Air Base, a Canadian RCAF Lockheed F-104 Starfighter crashed into a nearby road, hitting a car and killing all passengers, a vicar's family of five. The pilot was able to eject.
- On 19 June 1985 a bomb cloaked in a canvas bag was detonated approx at 14:42 in the afternoon in Hall B of the Rhein Main Frankfurt Airport, leaving the section to look like a battlefield. The blast resulted in 3 deaths and 32 injuries, of which 4 were considered serious.
- In September 2007, German authorities arrested three suspected terrorists for plotting a "massive" terror attack, which posed "an imminent threat" to Frankfurt Airport and the US Air Force base in Ramstein.
- With 71,500 people employed at about 500 companies, Frankfurt Airport is the single largest workplace in Germany as of 2010.
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- Statistical data prepared by Fraport department MVG-MF based on polls conducted in the departure lounges every four days
- DeStatis: Luftverkehr auf allen Flugplätzen 2010, Chapters 4+5
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Media related to Frankfurt Airport at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- Current weather for EDDF at NOAA/NWS
- Accident history for FRA at Aviation Safety Network
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