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Renaming to Helmut Schmidt Airport apparently certain

Hamburg Airport is to honour deceased former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt with renaming. Airport expects brisk business at start of holiday season

The city of Hamburg will revere its recently deceased honorary citizen and former chancellor of Germany, Helmut Schmidt, by renaming the airport to “Helmut Schmidt Airport”, the mayor of Hamburg Olaf Scholz told NDR 90.3. This will happen, Hamburg’s head of state confirmed. The airport’s partners and board of directors as well as Schmidt’s family have already agreed. The renaming may occur in 2016, NDR reported on Thursday, 17 December 2015.

Huge rush expected over holiday season

Meanwhile, the airport is preparing for a sharp rise in passenger numbers in the run-up to the holiday season and the New Year festivities. Around 89,320 passengers are expected to travel between December 18 and 22 alone. A total of 812 airplanes will take off from Hamburg Airport during the first five days of the holidays. Friday, 18 December 2015, is likely to be the busiest day with around 22,550 passengers and 205 airplanes.

Waiting area refurbished

Typical features of Hamburg have been highlighted in the newly-refurbished waiting area at Gate A17 in the north pier of Hamburg Airport under the motto of “Trade and Kontor”. The new interior decorations include quiet zones and business lounges equipped with technology. Music is being played in the lounge area with its elegant furnishings and tasteful colour scheme in a first test phase. “That allows us to create an adventure area where our passengers feel comfortable and can use the time waiting for their flight to depart as they wish”, said Kathrin Beyer, Project Leader of Terminal Planning at Hamburg Airport. By mid 2016, more parts of the north pier and Gates A18/A19 will have been redecorated, always accentuating aspects of Hamburg.

€120 million to go on renovating apron

Plans are already being made to renew the main apron (Apron 1) from 2016, as earlier reported by Hamburg News. The investment of around €120 million has become necessary as the concrete surfaces, now between 40 to 60 years old, will soon be barely useable. Construction is to be completed in ten, staggered phases to keep disruptions to air traffic to the absolute minimum. Construction work on the 330,000 square metre-area is scheduled to take five years. The first part of the project will begin in the southern apron area in March 2016.

New passenger record

Hamburg Airport recently announced personnel changes in 2016. From next May, Alexander Laukenmann will become Manager of Flughafen Hamburg GmbH alongside Michael Eggenschwiler. He will take over from Wolfgang Pollety, who left the company in early 2015. Just a few days ago, Hamburg Airport announced a new passenger record after the 15-millionth passenger checked-in in early December. “We are delighted by this great result. The steady development of traffic numbers means that Hamburg Airport remains a catalyst of growth and an important employer for Hamburg and the metropolitan region,” said Eggenschwiler, CEO Hamburg Airport.

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