At a passenger volume of roughly ten million, the Cologne/Bonn Airport, also called Koeln/Bonn-Konrad Adenauer or Flughafen Koeln-Wahn, is Germany’s sixth largest airport.
As there is no ban on nighttime flights – an attempt to limit permits was thwarted in September of 2012 – the Cologne/Bonn Airport has established itself as a major logistical hub for European air cargo traffic. United Parcel Service (UPS) has been taking advantage of Cologne-Bonn’s strategic location and nighttime flight permits since 1986, while FedEx moved its hub for Central and Western Europe to Cologne/Bonn in 2010.
As 40 percent of all central European air cargo trade movement is generated within a 250-kilometer radius of the airport, it comes as no surprise that Cologne/Bonn is now Germany’s second-largest air freight hub moving nearly 750,000 euro-tons of air cargo.
Location of Cologne/Bonn Airport
Surrounded by a nature reserve, the airport is situated fifteen kilometers southeast of Cologne, and sixteen kilometers northeast of Bonn in the heart of North Rhine-Westphalia, which is often dubbed the backbone of the German economy. Meanwhile, the airport itself is a major economic factor in the region. Providing employment for more than 13,300 people, the airport is one of the ten largest employers in the area.
The airport’s location served as a takeoff and landing place for airplanes as part of the German military’s artillery observation during World War I. Left idle until 1939, the air base played an important strategic role in the defense of nearby Cologne during World War II, after which the British expanded the areal and constructed two runways and landing strips. Civilian use of airport installations began in 1961, and the airport has gone through several rounds of expansions and modernizations since.
Airport Features & Amenities
The Cologne/Bonn airport covers an area of roughly 1,000 hectares, and comprises three runways and landing strips as well as two terminals. The construction of the second terminal, which concluded in 2000, and the opening of the airport railway station in 2004 were two major milestones in the airport’s more recent history. The latter has drastically improved the airport’s regional and long distance accessibility, and has opened it up to the route networks of regional trains, trams and the flagship ICE trains.
With direct access to major arteries of the expressway system (Autobahn), as well as three parking garages with a capacity for 12,500 automobiles, commuting to and from the airport by car is hassle-free. An outdoor parking lot and short-term parking zones, as well as a car wash and gas station round out the picture. Though the terminals are only 350 meters apart, travelers can take advantage of a complimentary shuttle service connecting both terminals and the parking garages.
Terminal 1 houses a large convention and banquet center with its own restaurant, and an adjacent hotel provides an additional venue for conferences and meetings.
Since 2011, the entire airport offers free high-speed wireless Internet service to all passengers and visitors. A one-time registration is necessary to activate the service. A multimedia app is available for iPhone and Android smart phones, and offers real-time flight information, as well as a terminal map, and updates on available parking spots.
Parents traveling with small children will appreciate a large play area. Meanwhile, aviation enthusiasts can not only visit the airport’s observation desk, but can also book guided group tours through the airport’s visitor service.