First Vehicle for New Sky Line Presented at Frankfurt Airport

Nov. 8, 2022
Travel time between terminals 1 and 3 is 8 minutes. Capacity is 4,000 passengers per hour and direction.

The first vehicle for the new Sky Line people mover was presented at Frankfurt Airport. This new transportation system will link Terminal 3 with the existing terminals. The first of a total of 12 such vehicles has now been supplied from Siemens Mobility’s factory in Vienna, and Executive Board Chairman Dr. Stefan Schulte of Fraport AG presented it to the public on Nov. 3. On hand were also Albrecht Neumann, CEO of Rolling Stock at Siemens Mobility, and Stefan Bögl, CEO of the Max Bögl group. Over the next few weeks, the vehicle will be prepared for its first test trips, which are scheduled to take place in 2023.

Schulte said: “I’m very pleased to present part of Frankfurt Airport’s future today. The new Sky Line will integrate Terminal 3 into the existing airport infrastructure. And the arrival of this first vehicle marks yet another important milestone in the overall project. We are deploying state-of-the-art technology and intelligent construction methods to implement our vision of a futuristic airport terminal. Travelers, guests, and employees can all look forward to short paths, high frequencies, and outstanding levels of comfort and convenience.”

The new Sky Line supplements the existing transportation system that passengers have been using for many years to get between terminals 1 and 2. The new driverless system will provide sufficient capacity to carry up to 4,000 persons an hour in each direction to and from them and Terminal 3. It will operate fully automatically around the clock. Each of the 12 planned vehicles will consist of two permanently linked cars, each of which is 11 meters and 2.8 meters wide and weighs 15 metric tons. One car of each vehicle will be reserved for non-Schengen travelers.

Siemens is manufacturing the vehicles of the new Sky Line people mover to meet Fraport AG’s special requirements. These include a large number of folding seats to ensure that passengers always have enough space for their luggage, as well as specially designed grab bars that allow greater freedom of movement. When the system is completed, the vehicles will run on angled wheels surrounding a guide rail mounted on a concrete surface. All of these measures will help ensure safe travel.

Neumann explained: “The delivery of the first fully automated vehicle marks an important milestone in the construction of the new Sky Line. Going forward, these conveyances will efficiently, comfortably, and sustainably carry passengers to and from the new terminal. The trains are based on our proven Val solution, which is already in use worldwide, including at airports in Bangkok and Paris.”

The vehicles will be serviced in a new maintenance building and washed by a dedicated system. This first vehicle of the new Sky Line people mover will also be provisionally parked in the maintenance building. Over the weeks ahead, it will be prepared for its first test runs. The Max Bögl group is responsible for building much of the new, 5.6-kilometer-long route on which the new Sky Line will operate. This work has been ongoing since July 2019 and is proceeding right on schedule.

Bögl said: “We’re honored to be making such an important contribution to building the new Sky Line people mover for expanding Frankfurt Airport. Much of the bidirectional route, including switches, will rest on columns at a height of 14 meters, with the rest at ground level. A total of 310 prestressed and reinforced concrete sections up to 60 meters long and weighing up to 200 metric tons have been installed for this project. It’s a fantastic team effort based on close collaboration among all project players.”

The new Sky Line will carry travelers from the long-distance and regional train stations at the airport straight to the main building of Terminal 3 in only eight minutes. Vehicles will run every two minutes between the new terminal and the two existing ones, 365 days a year. Regular operation of the new people mover will begin right on time for the planned inauguration of Terminal 3.