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The Aviation business division is responsible for FMG’s core business. It provides and markets aviation infrastructure and services for airlines and passengers, working with the authorities and other stakeholders. In the process, it promotes the hub function of Munich Airport. Hubs bundle flights in an efficient and resource-friendly manner. This creates lots of different connections using a minimum number of aircraft. Long-haul transport in particular would not be possible to the accustomed extent without feeder services. The share of transfer passengers that has remained stable in percentage terms since 2015 at 36 percent safeguards the important hub function of Munich Airport. In absolute terms, the number of transfer passengers has increased since 2011 by 1.42 million passengers.
Munich Airport has the densest network of intra-continental flights in Germany, meaning that it is able to offer travelers several European destinations and – in conjunction with its inter-continental services – transfer connections to long-haul destinations. Munich Airport’s distinguishing features are its short minimal connecting time, a high standard of service and amenities, and efficient processes. Its outstanding connection options are also reflected in its good rating in the Airport Industry Connectivity Report 2017 published by the ACI. This report assesses the quality of connections at individual air traffic hubs. Munich Airport achieved sixth place in the European ranking, and 11th place worldwide. However, Munich Airport is not just attractive as a hub for transfer passengers – its wide range of direct connections also scores points with travelers. This segment was given a second wind in 2017 by the stronger presence of the Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings.
A hub bundles flights in an efficient and resource-friendly
manner. This enables many different connections to be made
using a minimum number of aircraft.
Example: Connections between ten airports
In 2017 a new passenger record was set with 44.6 million travelers – an increase of 5.5 percent over the previous year. To a large extent, competitors were able to compensate for the flight cancellations due to the insolvency of Air Berlin. In the ranking of airports in Europe with the highest volume of passengers, Munich Airport remained in ninth position. The number of aircraft movements rose again and – thanks to an increase of 2.6 percent – reached a value of around 405,000 flights, despite the severely negative impact of the insolvency of Air Berlin.
In the months of July, August, and September, Munich Airport recorded around 13 million passengers – this far exceeded the value for the previous year once again.
Freight turned around in Munich (362,831 tonnes) achieved the highest growth rate of 8.5 percent. The cargo volume, that is, the total of freight and mail turnaround, rose slightly more moderately by 7.1 percent to 378,803 tonnes. «Belly-hold» cargo, which is transported on passenger flights, recorded a particularly positive performance: It increased by 14.1 percent to 310,820 tonnes. Well over 90 percent of this important freight share is transported on long-haul routes – a traffic segment that would simply not exist in this form without Munich Airport's hub function.
In 2017, Deutsche Lufthansa deployed the state-of-the-art long-haul aircraft, the Airbus A350, in a regular service in Munich for the first time. Lufthansa is stationing a total of 15 machines of this type in Munich and is strengthening the location thanks to the efficiency of these aircraft with low consumption and lower noise pollution. The significance of Munich as a long-haul airport with an attractive catchment area is also demonstrated by the announcement in 2017 that five Lufthansa Airbus A380s would be stationed there for the 2018 summer timetable. This is the largest passenger aircraft in the world and can be used economically only at efficient hubs with a particularly high level of demand.
In 2017 the number of direct destinations served by Munich grew by nine, to 266. Lufthansa in particular considerably expanded its traffic network at the Munich location with various increases in the frequency of continental and intercontinental flights. The low-cost airline Eurowings extended its offering by around a hundred daily departures to 30 destinations and announced the stationing of three long-haul aircraft in Munich for the year 2018. Eurowings has been flying out of Terminal 2 since March 2017. Over the course of the year, Etihad Airways and Oman Air also moved into Terminal 2 because of the codeshare cooperation with Lufthansa. Condor consolidated its long-haul offering in the summer timetable with the destinations of Las Vegas and Seattle and increased the frequencies to Punta Cana; in the winter timetable, it flew to Fort de France as part of a triangular route with Bridgetown, and also to Dubai and Recife. United Airlines launched a new daily connection to San Francisco. The Irish low-cost airline Ryanair introduced two daily flights between Dublin and Munich in summer 2017. In the winter timetable, easyJet operated up to eight daily flights to Berlin-Tegel to compensate for the discontinued connections run by Air Berlin.
As well as Airport Security, Airport Safety is crucially important for airports. This includes the safe operation of aircraft and a guarantee of the technical operational readiness of the infrastructure and systems that ensure the safe processing of air operations. Munich Airport is continually enhancing the existing Safety Management System (SMS) to maintain and improve its renowned high safety standard even with increasing numbers of passengers and increasing levels of complexity in air traffic. For example, Safety Management identifies and assesses risks in the context of Safety and Risk Assessments, and initiates measures to guarantee the safety of flight and airport operations in accordance with international standards.
In 2014, the EU passed new regulations for the certification of airports with the aim of harmonizing safety standards, and achieving a consistently high level of safety at all European airports. As part of this process, Munich Airport gained certification based on the requirements set out by the EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) in December 2017. With that, it fulfilled a crucial prerequisite for retaining its operating license. Munich Airport is still subject to regular inspections and checks performed by the responsible license authority, the South Bavaria Air Agency under the government of Upper Bavaria.
The Munich Airport Rescue and Firefighting service is responsible not only for fire safety on the campus, but also rescue services. With its two stations, it can reach any point on the runways within a maximum of 180 seconds of an alarm being triggered. This quick response meets the strictest requirements (category 10) set out by the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), and is therefore in keeping with the high safety standards in place at Munich Airport. Since October 2017, the Airport Rescue and Firefighting service has joined the previous Corporate Safety unit to form the new Group Safety corporate division, after it was previously organizationally assigned to the Aviation business division. The aim of this restructuring was to be able to manage critical safety situations as effectively as possible in conjunction with the authorities at the airport. The regular emergency drill required by the ICAO to ensure that Munich Airport could retain its operating license was due in September 2017. Alongside the Airport Rescue and Firefighting service, over 550 emergency personnel with more than 120 vehicles from the fire service, the emergency services, the Technical Relief Service (THW) and the Bavarian Red Cross, Maltese Cross, and St John’s Ambulance services worked together successfully.
Collisions between aircraft and heavy birds or flocks of birds can pose a danger to the safety of flight operation. For several years, Munich Airport has therefore implemented a special biotope management scheme: The green areas around the runways are mowed as rarely as possible, and there are no particularly large bodies of water near to the flight operation areas, as otherwise ducks and geese would congregate there. Suitable steel cables are stretched over the drainage ditches near the runways to make access difficult for waterfowl in particular. Specially trained staff from «Wildlife Management» also monitor the bird population on the airport campus to prevent any possible dangers due to bird flight movements in good time. Despite these safety measures, the protection of the birds that have settled at Munich Airport is still considered important.
In 2017, during the EASA certification process, the government of Upper Bavaria audited FMG's animal hazard management. The company is now certified in accordance with the EASA provisions. On the issue of bird strike prevention, FMG works closely with the relevant partners and institutions, in particular the airlines, German air traffic control, regional and higher-level authorities, and the GBSC (the German Bird Strike Committee). The statistics from the GBSC show that Munich Airport has had a relatively low bird strike rate for many years now. The average bird strike rates in Areas 1 and 2 in Germany for 2017 were 163.5 and 80 percent respectively higher than the rates recorded for Munich Airport.
|2017||Area 1||Area 2|
|Average for German Airports||3.90||0.63|
|1) Reported bird strikes for aircraft per 10,000 aircraft movements (Source: GBSC; as of March 26, 2018)
Area 1: Take-off 0–500 feet above ground; landing 200–0 feet above ground
Area 2: Take-off 501–1,500 feet above ground; landing 1,000–201 feet above ground
The bird strike statistics for 2017 can no longer be compared with previous years as the data on which they are based has changed due to new European reporting regulations.