Munich-Riem Airport: Chronicle of Munich Airport

Munich Airport was built in 1936 and in 1998 Munich Airport in Riem was almost completely dismantled. This chronicle sheds light on the Riemer times of Munich Airport.
The end of Munich Riem Airport. One day after moving to Erding (Luftbildverlag Hans Betram)

The history of Munich Airport

Munich has been flown for a long time. As early as the 10th Oktoberfest in 1820, the history of aviation began very hesitantly in the Bavarian capital of Munich, long before it happened Munich Airport gave. On October 10, 1820, Germany's first female balloonist rose by name Minna (Wilhelmine Reichard) into the air with your hydrogen balloon for your 18th and also last balloon ride on the Theresienwiese. In the previous 10 years, the mother of eight had already reached a height of 7 km with her gas balloon and covered distances of over 30 km.

In the following 80 years, however, Munich was not very enthusiastic about aviation.

1900: First flight attempts in Munich

It was not until 1900 that the first flight attempts by aviation pioneers began in Munich-Puchheim.

From 1909, Oberwiesenfeld was also used by the Royal Bavarian Army for flying airships and balloons. On April 2, 1909, Count Zeppelin's first airship landed there, the "Reich Military Airship SM Zeppelin I".

1912: Munich military aviation begins

At the beginning of 1912, the 1st Royal Bavarian Aviation Battalion from Karl Ignaz Maria Brug founded. However, the location was relocated to Oberschleißheim just 4 months later, on April 1st. On the new Oberschleissheim airfield The first air base in Bavaria was created in May 1913. The special airfield Oberschleißheim with the historical one is still valid today Flugwerft Schleissheim as the oldest preserved airfield in Germany.

1931: The first Munich airport opens in Oberwiesenfeld

The history of Munich Airport as a civil airport begins with the construction of administration and handling buildings:


  • Opening of Oberwiesenfeld Airport

    On May 3rd, 1931, the first fully functional Munich Airport in Oberwiesenfeld was celebrated with a major flight day and almost 100,000 visitors.

  • Planning for a new airport in Munich

    The airfield in Oberwiesenfeld is bursting at the seams despite the expansion in 1931. In 1936, therefore, the planning of a new airport in Munich-Riem began.

  • Start of construction at Munich-Riem Airport

    Construction of the new Munich Airport in Riem has started, the airport should be completed just a year later - but as it turns out later: not initially for civil aviation.

  • Beginning of the Second World War

    On September 1, 1939 at 4.45 am the “Schleswig-Holstein” opened fire on Polish fortifications. Around the same time, German bombers bombed the small town of Wielun in central Poland. “They have been firing back since 5.45 am! And from now on, bombs will be rewarded with bombs! " proclaimed Adolf Hitler - the beginning of the Second World War.  

  • New air airport in the state capital Munich

    From October 25, 1939, civil air traffic can begin in Munich-Riem. This primarily included the famous Berlin-Munich-Venice-Rome Alpine route.

  • Fire at Munich Airport

    On October 26, 1941, there was a fire on the upper floor of the check-in hall, the property damage would be around 2.7 million euros today.

  • 70 percent of Munich Airport destroyed

    In the course of the Second World War, Munich Airport was also bombed several times. On March 24, 1945, around 80 Allied planes approached the airport area. The target of the destruction was the airport itself, the radio transmission station between Gronsdorf and Salmdorf, as well as the railway line between Gronsdorf and Trudering and the surrounding area around the Riem district of Munich. In between […]

  • FW 200 Condor crashes on flight from Tempelhof to Riem

    The Lufthansa management arranges for the management to be relocated to Munich. The last flight of a private airline from the capital Berlin to Munich ended tragically in a fireball over Piesenkofen near Regensburg.

  • End of World War II in Europe

    On May 7, 1945, Karl Dönitz signed the unconditional surrender of all armed forces. The Second World War in Europe was officially declared over on May 8, 1945.

  • Start of weather recording at Munich Airport

    On March 1st, 1948, the climate measurement and weather recording at Munich-Riem Airport began. Up until September 1949, the match observation and weather advice was carried out by American personnel, when the airport was handed over, the transition to weather forecasting was carried out by German meteorologists. Since March 1950 weather observations have been carried out in Riem. Sources:

  • Foundation of "Flughafen München Riem GmbH"

    The operating company of the Riem airport was founded on October 12, 1949 with share capital of DM 20,000. The Free State of Bavaria and the City of Munich hold equal shares in the company. At the time the “Flughafen München Riem GmbH” (FMG) was founded, 134 people (28 salaried and 106 workers) were employed. As managing director, the [...]

  • Commissioning of the new runway

    On November 22, 1949, in addition to the airport restaurant with ballroom, beer parlor and sun terrace, as well as 10 new hotel rooms directly in the airport, the new 1907 meter long and 60 meter wide runway at Munich Airport went into operation. On the new runway, which was built using bituminous construction and hardened in a special process, [...]

  • First direct line connection from Munich to New York

    With a four-engine Lockheed Constellation, KLM opens the first direct line connection between Munich and New York

  • Opening of the coat of arms hall at Riem Airport

    Originally, the Munich-Riem Airport, including the impressive reception hall, also known as the Wappenhalle, was to be officially opened on September 1st, 1939 - but this was prevented by the simultaneous start of the Second World War. After the end of the war, 70%s at the airport were destroyed, and the coat of arms hall was also badly damaged. For example, the roof of the coat of arms hall with the valuable coffered ceiling collapsed. In the absence of a functioning check-in hall [...]

  • FFO eV (today DLR) - new start in Riem

    The association of the aeronautical radio research institute Oberpfaffenhofen (FFO) founded on June 22nd, 1937 dealt with the main topics: Technology and procedures for positioning, communication and navigation with electromagnetic waves. The founding members of FFO eV: Adolf Baeumker - Head of the Research Department of the Reich Ministry of Aviation, Berlin Walter Georgii - German Research Institute for Glider Flight (DFS eV), Darmstadt Erich Hilligardt - Airship Construction Zeppelin, Darmstadt Karl [...]

  • Foundation of "Bayerischer Flugdienst"

    On September 15, 1954, in the presence of the incumbent Mayor of Munich Thomas Wimmer, the “Bavarian Air Service” was launched under the direction of Hans Bertram. The pilot and flight book author Hans Bertram, who was born in Remscheid in 1906, has a fleet of 5 small aircraft (Cessna, Piper and Lockheed) with which he can take aerial photographs, in addition to sightseeing and charter flights, [...]

  • Lufthansa starts regular service in Germany

    After an interruption of 15 years, the German Lufthansa (formerly “Aktiengesellschaft für Luftverkehrsbedarf” LUFTAG) starts regularly for the first time on April 1, 1955 in Munich-Riem and thus takes up regular domestic German scheduled services. The locations for the historic premiere are to be the Hamburg and Munich airports, from which two Lufthansa planes are to take off at the same time on April 1st. The Convair-Liner 340, the [...]

  • First landing of the LH Super Constallation in Riem

    First landing of the Lufthansa Super Constellation on April 21, 1955

  • BEA 609 crashed when attempting to start

    On February 6, 1958 at around 3:03 p.m. after a refueling stop in Munich-Riem, the BEA flight 609, the Airspeed AS 57 Ambassador G-ALZU 'Lord Burghley', crashed on the charter flight from Belgrade to Manchester. The flight accident made sad history as “Munich Air Disaster” or “Munich Air Crash”. After the scheduled refueling stop at Munich-Riem Airport, flight captain James Thain with [...]

  • First jet lands at Riem Airport

    The first jet aircraft at Munich Riem Airport was the Sud Aviation Caravelle of Air France F-WHRA (later under the identification F-BHRA) SE 210 CARAVELLE TYPE III, which landed in Riem on October 29, 1958. The F-BHRA is now restored at “Autobedrijf Piet Smedts” in Baarlo south of Venlo in the Netherlands.

  • Pan Am's Boeing 707 lands in Riem

    On November 7, 1959, Pan American Airlines' first Boeing 707 lands at Munich-Riem Airport

  • Convair C-131D crash on tram in Munich

    A fully fueled Convair C-131D passenger aircraft of the United States Air Force took off at 2:05 p.m. from Munich-Riem in the direction of Norfolk (England) when it hit a tram in the Schwanthalerstrasse / Martin area shortly after take-off - around 2:10 p.m. -Greif-Strasse (north of Theresienwiese) fell. Even before the start, the 5 year old machine had problems with the engine, [...]

  • United Arab Airlines opens new connection

    On May 4th, 1962 United Arab Airlines opened a new connection from Munich via Athens to Cairo and used de Havilland DH-106 Comet 4C aircraft on this route. Eight years after the route connection was opened, on February 9, 1970, one of these aircraft, the SU-ALE (6444), crashed at Munich-Riem Airport.

  • Wulf-Diether Castell for airport lighting

    Among the many important facilities that are essential for the operation of a modern airport, airport lighting is of particular importance. It is intended for the pilot who - despite excellent radio equipment - in the first phase of a flight after take-off and in the last phase before landing - both at night and [...]

  • Open-door day

    On October 19, 1963, Munich Airport held an open day and over 12,000 visitors followed the call. 1,800 people took part in sightseeing flights and over 7,000 guests took part in the coveted bus tours. From 1970 the popular event could no longer be carried out due to traffic density and the necessary safety measures.

  • First non-stop flight by Lufthansa: Munich - New York

    For the first time in the history of Munich Airport, on Sunday, May 23, 1965, a Boing 720 of Lufthansa flew non-stop Munich - New York. The runway at Munich Airport, with the length of 2.6 km valid in 1965, was only sufficient for aircraft with an absolute take-off weight of 130 tons. However, a fully occupied and fully fueled Boing 720 weighed [...]

  • Football airlift between Riem and London

    Munich Airport was a bridgehead for 24 hours on May 19, 1965. Forty-one mostly four-engine airplanes and a few thousand passengers built a football airlift between Riem and London for the European Cup match. Never before have so many passengers and machines had to be handled in the “airport” of the state capital in one day. With sleepy faces occupied around 4 am [...]

  • Opening of the Lufthansa maintenance hall

    After a year and a half of construction, the new Lufthansa hangar, which was built primarily for the “Euro-Jet” (Boeing 727), is ceremoniously opened. The decision to build the Lufthansa maintenance hangar for jet aircraft, which cost around DM 10 million, was made in July 1963 by the Supervisory Board of Flughafen München GmbH; the architect was Rolf Zuleger. The 4 each 15m x 15m [...]

  • ADAC rescue helicopter stationed in Riem

    From June 13th to October 6th, 1968 the first ADAC rescue helicopter in Germany was in a test series at Munich Airport. The helicopter of the type Bell 206 A Jet Ranger was rented at the time from the company Süd Helicopter (today MHS Aviation Grünwald). In the machine, two patients could sit on normal stretchers, one above the other, across [...]

  • Munich Airport moves to Nuremberg

    These aircraft stairs are ready for departure at Munich-Riem Airport! Because from August 11th to August 31st 1969, i.e. for three weeks, Munich will be a cosmopolitan city with a heart, but without an airport!

  • General overhaul of the runway

    From August 11 to 31, 1969, Munich Riem Airport was completely closed to air traffic in order to rehabilitate the only concrete runway.

  • Interview with Bavaria Airline

    Air München interview from September 1969 with Mattias Gleim, commercial director of Bavaria Fluggesellschaft: AIR MÜNCHEN: Mr. Gleim, 6 domestic German routes are currently being flown according to plan by airline companies in cooperation with Deutsche Lufthansa. Your company, the Bavaria airline, operates daily routes from Munich to Hanover and back. What are the regulations with Deutsche Lufthansa? MATTHIAS GLEIM [...]

  • First landing after renovation of the runway

    On September 1, 1969, at 0:05 a.m., the first aircraft after the 21-day general overhaul of the runway landed at Munich-Riem Airport. In the past 3 weeks, Munich Airport was closed for the entire airspace due to the renovation work, flights were diverted to Nuremberg. The first machine was the “Schwabing” a BAC-111-414EG (D-ANDY) of the Bavaria airline. [...]

  • Beechcraft 65 crashed at Munich Airport

    Source: Federal Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau Title: Flugzeug D - IDIM (Beechcraft 65) .- January 17, 1970 File number: 802.1-1 / 70 Retention period: 2004 Place of use: Bundesarchiv Koblenz Final archive Archive signature: B 425/225 Currently no further information is available the misfortune.

  • Unsuccessful start of a Comet 4c at Munich-Riem Airport


    Due to suspected icy wings, the de Havilland DH-106 Comet 4C of the UAA - United Arab Airlines (now Egyptair) had to abort the take-off process from a height of about 30 feet (10 meters), left the runway and hit a fence . During the emergency landing, the landing gear was torn off and a small fire developed, which, however, could be extinguished quickly. Of […]

  • Bavaria Jetstream crashes on flight from Riem to St. Moritz

    On Friday, March 6, 1970, the founder of the Bavaria airline, Max Schwabe, had an accident with his Handley Page HP-137 Jetstream 1 (D-INAH) near the tourist resort of St. Moritz. Jetstream, which took off from Munich Airport, suffered turbine damage on engine 1 on its approach about 3 km from St. Moritz-Samedan Airport in Switzerland and was therefore unable to maneuver. The […]

  • First Lufthansa Jumbo lands at Munich Airport

    In July 1970, Lufthansa's first jumbo landed at Munich Airport with a Boing 747. Munich Airport wasn't really geared towards such large visitors. The Münchner Merkur writes: When Lufthansa first appeared in Riem on July 8, 1970 with a Boeing 747, the Munich-based company had to improvise because the airport [...]

  • Bridging measures at Riem Airport

    The bridging work at Munich-Riem Airport will be completed by spring 1972. After it went into operation, according to planning, five to six million passengers could be handled at Munich-Riem Airport, which corresponded to a doubling of the previous handling capacity in preparation for the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. In detail, the following measures had been carried out by then: New arrival hall Construction of a [...]

  • 1971: New arrival hall at Munich-Riem Airport

    The new arrival hall is part of the so-called bridging measures at Munich Airport, which were built in spring 1972 in preparation for the Summer Olympics.

  • Expert advice on planning reports for the new Munich Airport

    For five days (April 26th to April 30th, 1971) an international examination committee consulted at the invitation of Flughafen München GmbH on the planning reports for planning phase 1, which had been drawn up by six working groups of domestic and foreign engineering offices over the course of nine months . Planning phase 1 includes the creation of a land use and function plan for the site [...]

  • Landing with operating level II at Munich-Riem Airport is possible

    Since May 1971, Munich-Riem Airport has had improved radio-electrical and optical landing aids that allow bad weather landings after operating level II. That means: Landings are still possible if the cloud base is at least 30 meters and visibility is 400 meters. These values are exactly half below those of operating level I, after landing at a cloud base of at least 60 meters [...]

  • Departure hall abroad expanded

    As a further component of the so-called bridging measures at Munich-Riem Airport, the expansion of the departure hall abroad (waiting room A) was completed at the beginning of June 1971. The ground-level extension for international departure traffic covered an area of 1575 square meters. 6 gates were available, which enable the so-called "gate check-in handling system". This system provides that passengers without baggage who are already in possession of a [...]

  • Large fire engines for the Munich Airport Fire Brigade

    The fleet of the Munich airport fire brigade was enlarged by two Magirus-Faun airfield fire engines, type: LF 1412 / 52V 8 × 8. The constantly increasing air traffic and the use of wide-bodied aircraft made it necessary to purchase these vehicles. The extent to which new dimensions had to be thought when purchasing fire engines is evident from the fact that, for example, the tanks of a Boeing [...]

  • Olympia terror warning - plane is supposed to drop bombs

    "A plane was stolen by Arabs in Stuttgart. It is intended to drop a bomb at the final rally" ...

  • First DC-10 at Munich Airport

    On December 23, 1972, the first DC-10 landed at Munich Airport. The three-engine McDonnell Douglas “Ankara” DC-10 (TC-JAV) - construction number 46704/29 of Turkish Airlines landed punctually at Munich Airport. Almost 14 months after this happy event, the same DC-10 “Ankara” wrote a sad chapter: On March 3, 1974, the three-engine McDonnell Douglas “Ankara” (TC-JAV) […]

  • Wulf-Diether Graf zu Castell is retiring

    Airport manager Wulf-Diether Graf zu Castell is retiring after 23 years of service. From 1949 he was Managing Director of Flughafen München GmbH and retired on December 31, 1972. Wulf-Diether Graf zu Castell, born on November 20, 1905 in Berlin, was appointed by the Americans in 1946 as a civil liaison to the German authorities and on [...]

  • Crash of the DC-10 “Ankara” (TC-JAV) - Flight 981

    The following report has no direct connection with Munich Airport. However, the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 “Ankara” was the first DC-10 at Munich Airport. Since this machine also made history for Munich Airport, we mention the incident that occurred around 14 months after the successful landing at Riem Airport. At the […]

  • Foundation of MucAir Services Gesellschaft für Luftverkehrsabfertigungen mbH

    On April 1, 1974, MucAir commences operations, the task of which is to handle aircraft, passengers, luggage, airmail and air freight for airlines that do not have their own handling staff at Munich Airport.

  • AIR FORCE ONE at Munich-Riem Airport

    On March 14th, 1976 Air Force One landed at Munich Riem Airport. But only half of it ... Because the Boeing 707-430 was not the original Air Force One, but a Lufthansa machine with a special paint for filming by the Bavaria film studios.

  • Construction work begins on the new Munich Airport

    On November 3, 1980, construction work for the new Munich airport in Erdinger Moos began. But just 5 months later, work on the construction of the new Munich airport was stopped for over 4 years. On April 16, 1981, the Bavarian Administrative Court ordered construction to be halted because the planned space requirement for the new airport was too

  • Pope John Paul II in Munich

    On November 19, 1980, Pope John Paul II also visited the state capital Munich as part of his trip to Germany. Pope John Paul II celebrated the Eucharist on Munich's Theresienwiese with more than half a million people. Pope John Paul II visited Munich 7 years later, on May 3rd, 1987 again.

  • MUCII - construction freeze for 4 years and hard times in Riem

    On November 3rd, 1980 the time had come: construction work for the new Munich Airport began in Erdinger Moos. But after just five months they were stopped again. The Bavarian Administrative Court (VGH) ordered a construction freeze on April 16, 1981, by revoking the "immediate enforceability" of the planning approval decision. Main reasoning of the court: There will be too much land for the new airport [...]

  • Plane crash: FC Bayern manager Uli Hoeneß survived

    On the flight to the international match between Germany and Portugal, the twin-engine Piper PA-34 Seneca (D-GIFL) coming from Munich crashes not far from the destination Hanover airport for an unexplained cause.

  • Grand Prix winner Nicole lands with Lufthansa “Landshut” in Riem

    On April 24, 1982 Nicole won the Grand Prix in Harrogate (England) with “a little peace”. On April 26th, 1982 the freshly crowned Grand Prix winner landed with Lufthansa “Landshut” during the ZDF live broadcast “Na sowas” (host Thomas Gottschalk) at Munich Riem Airport.

  • Concorde at Munich Riem Airport

    On August 10, 1983, the Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde 101/102 of British Airways landed as the first and only of its kind at Munich Airport. The one-time stopover by the Concorde G-BOAD drew many onlookers to Munich Airport. For example, the grandstand in the west of the airport facility was at least partially released (due to dilapidation).

  • Piper rushes into Mc Donald's restaurant in Trudering

    Airplane crash in Munich 1987: Sports plane crashes on FastFood Restaurant in Wasserbuger Landstrasse in Munich-Trudering. Prugger-Weg, narrowly missed the ARAL petrol station located there, brushed against a bus on line 192 of the former [...]

  • Decision on the construction of a new exhibition center on the Flughafen-Riem site

    In 1983, the last extensions to the Munich exhibition center on the Schwanthalerhöhe were carried out - further enlargement of the Munich Exhibition Center was no longer conceivable for reasons of space. In 1985, the then head of the trade fair, Werner Marzin, wrote a memorandum “On the situation and future prospects of the Munich trade fair center”. In the document, the former head of the trade fair describes "a healthy further development of the [...]

  • Terminal 2 opened at Riem Airport

    Since November 1988 Munich Airport has had a second terminal that was used exclusively for charter traffic.

  • German Wings takes off in Riem

    The Munich company German Wings started on April 10, 1989 with daily 27 non-stop connections in the regular service to and from Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Cologne / Bonn, Frankfurt, Munich-Riem and Paris-Charles de Gaulle. 12 days earlier, on March 29th, the D-AGWA was the first German Wings aircraft to land on German soil punctually at 12:31 p.m. The McDonnell Douglas MD-83 [...]

  • Cessna 421C Golden Eagle III

    Crash of a Cessna 421C Golden Eagle III (D-IBHH) on approach to Munich-Riem Airport

    Crash of an Air Boniats Cessna 421C Golden Eagle III - D-IBHH (MSN: 421C0162) at Munich-Riem Airport

  • Last flight from Munich Riem Airport

    With a clear sky and a full moon, a Boeing 737-530 (D-ABJD) will take off on Saturday, May 16, 1992 at around 10:55 p.m. - which was christened “Freising” just a week ago, as the last aircraft from Munich Airport -Riem. The Lufthansa pilot Michael Sikora said goodbye beforehand with the words "Bye, bye, it was nice with you in Riem", [...]

  • Lufthansa maintenance hangar blown up

    27 years after the grand opening of the Lufthansa maintenance hall at Munich-Riem Airport, the Lufthansa hangar is blown up.

  • Airport tower becomes an integral part of Brainlab

    On July 11, 2017, the Brainlab site in Riem was inaugurated with the event “Future opened”. More than 200 guests were invited to the new headquarters in Munich-Riem. In addition to Chancellor Angela Merkel, Ilse Aigner, Bavaria's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Affairs, both of whom were personally attended by CEO and founder of Brainlab AG, Stefan Vilsmeier, were present