2001 to the present day

More modern and more efficient than ever before: the new Dresden Airport

Opened in March 2001, the new terminal building with its industrial architecture is regarded as one of the most attractive of its kind in Germany. Dresden Airport S-Bahn station – Saxony’s first underground railway station – a multi-storey car park and the new aircraft handling ramp 3 opened for business at the same time. The multi-storey car park and the terminal were connected with the Skywalk, a glazed pedestrian bridge. The new weather radar tower, the architectural landmark on the access road to the terminal, won the City of Dresden’s Erlwein Prize in 2001.

Construction cranes continued to grace the airport skyline over the next few years. A new fire station was built (2003), followed by a new air traffic control tower (2005), new small aircraft hangars (2005, 2011), a new main entrance (Gate 14) to the security area (2006), a helicopter hangar for the police and the German Air Rescue Service (2007), and a logistics centre with three warehouses for DB Schenker (1999, 2003, 2005). The airport also renovated aircraft handling ramp 2 in 2009 and ramp 1 in 2011. The multi-storey car park extension was opened in 2010, increasing its capacity by 1,300 parking spaces to about 2,900.

The runway reconstruction project was a logistical masterpiece. In 2006/07 Dresden Airport completely overhauled its runway and extended it by 350 metres to 2850 metres, becoming the first airport in Europe to carry out a project of this kind while remaining operational. The first scheduled aircraft to use the new runway was a Lufthansa Boeing 737-500, which took off for Frankfurt on the morning of 30 August 2007. The old runway was torn up and greened over. The airport has also invested heavily in modern technology for the airport fire service, the winter service and passenger handling facilities.

More than 3,000 people work at Dresden Airport. Many of these are employed in the long-established aviation sector here, the foundations of which were laid with the development of the legendary 152 jet aircraft. The aviation companies based here have also been investing in expanding their infrastructure on an ongoing basis, returning Dresden to its standing as one of Germany’s most important aviation locations. For example, new hangars have been built for fatigue testing the world’s biggest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380, and the military Airbus A400M, and for converting Airbus passenger aircraft to freighters. A380s from all over the world come to Dresden for maintenance.

With its numerous direct flights to cities and international airport hubs, Dresden Airport provides the region with excellent links to the world’s aviation network. Since 2008 the airport has operated under the trademark name Dresden International in order to boost the international tourism marketing activities of the Free State of Saxony and its capital city Dresden. 

On 19 and 20 September well over 10,000 people descended on Dresden Airport to help celebrate the 80th anniversary of its foundation. Highlights of the Airport Festival were sightseeing flights across Dresden and surroundings with airberlin, Germania and various small aircraft, as well as tours of the NATO AWACS reconnaissance aircraft and the legendary 152 jet aircraft. 

Around 45 million people took off and landed in the city dubbed “Florence of the Elbe” between 1989 and 2017, including prominent passengers such as Queen Elizabeth II, US President Barack Obama, who flew to Dresden in the presidential aircraft Air Force One, and Russian president Vladimir Putin.