Development of Munich Airport in Riem

The development of Munich airport from 1900 to 2000. Technical development, setbacks and political decisions of the airport in a 100 year review.

From the grass runway to the modern airport

Aviation has been an issue in Munich since 1920. The first aircraft took off and landed on grass runways in Oberwiesenfeld. However, it quickly became clear that this airfield would not meet the requirements of modern aviation in the long term. A modern airport was built in Riem, which was badly damaged by the war years and was hastily renovated after the end of the war. By the end of the 1960s, the modernized Munich Airport had grown to meet the requirements of Munich air traffic. The 1972 Summer Olympics and the increasing demand for package tours gave an indication that the airport in Riem was becoming too small. Initially, plans were developed to further expand the airport in Riem. However, the Öchsle Commission came to the conclusion that it was planning a new major airport outside of Munich. For Riem, this meant that the time until the completion of Munich's new major airport was compensated for in the coming years with hastily implemented "bridging measures", while at the same time the demand for flight capacities increased dramatically. So until the very end, the Riemer Airport had to be held together with patchwork, until it could finally be “redeemed” in 1992.

Although the new Munich Airport in Erdinger Moos has already been planned on a large scale, but had to be neutered due to public petitions (e.g. only 2 runways instead of 4), development has not stood still there for years. An airport never stands still - at least in Bavaria.


Milestones of Munich Riem Airport

  • May 3, 1931
  • June 1, 1936
  • January 11, 1937
  • October 25, 1939
  • March 1, 1948
  • November 22, 1949
  • June 16, 1951
  • October 25, 1965
  • June 13, 1968
  • 4th August 1969
  • 5th August 1969
  • 11th August 1969
  • December 1, 1970
  • April 21, 1971
  • April 26, 1971
  • June 3, 1971
  • 3rd November 1980
  • April 16, 1981
  • December 9, 1987
  • November 15, 1988
  • Opening of Oberwiesenfeld Airport

    Munich's Oberwiesenfeld has provided a landing area for balloons and airships since the end of the 19th century. With the increased number of aircraft, the Oberwiesenfeld airfield was used as a military airfield from 1909, and from 1920 it also functioned for civil air traffic. However, the Oberwiesenfeld airfield was unable to meet the steadily growing demands of air traffic: [...]
  • Planning for a new airport in Munich

    The airfield in Oberwiesenfeld no longer meets the requirements for air traffic despite extensions in 1931. In 1936 the planning of a new airport in Munich-Riem started. The architect is Ernst Sagebiel, who was also responsible for the airports in Berlin, Stuttgart and Dresden.
  • Start of construction at Munich-Riem Airport

    In 1937 the construction of the Munich Riem Airport began. In 1938 the construction was largely completed. The control tower with the administration building behind it, as well as the reception hall (coat of arms hall) and the aircraft hangars were built over a length of about 400 meters. The construction costs amounted to around 32,000 million Reichsmarks.
  • New air airport in the state capital Munich

    The relocation of civil air traffic from Oberwiesenfeld Airport to the new Munich-Riem Airport has been completed. In 1936, a place south of Riem was chosen as the new location for Munich Airport. Construction began in 1937, the planning for the airport was carried out by the architect Ernst Sagebiel, who was also responsible for the Berlin Tempelhof and Dresden airports [...]
  • 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:
  • 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, [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • 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! Just like most of the rest of the moving inventory, they are brought to Franconia in a convoy of around 20 vehicles under police protection. Because from August 11th to August 31st 1969, that is for three weeks, Munich will be a cosmopolitan city with a heart, but without [...]
  • Location decision for the new Munich airport

    On August 5, 1969, the Bavarian Council of Ministers published the following resolution: The State Government acknowledges and approves the results of the site investigations presented by the Council of Ministers for Economics and Transport, in which the construction of the Munich II airport at the Erding-Nord site is proposed. The responsible ministries of state are instructed to immediately send all necessary for the construction of the Munich II airport to [...]
  • General overhaul of the runway

    After the Second World War, the runway 07R / 25L was put into operation at Munich Airport in 1949 with a length of 1,900 long and 60 meters wide, and in 1958 it was extended by 700 meters using the same construction method. The first section from 1948, however, showed considerable surface damage almost 15 years after construction: [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • New arrival hall at Munich-Riem Airport

    The new arrival hall at Munich-Riem Airport, which was put into operation on April 21, 1971, was a flat, single-storey building made of reinforced concrete / precast construction; the construction costs for the hall were around 5.6 million DM. The new arrival hall was part of the so-called bridging measures at Munich Airport, which were implemented in their entirety in spring 1972 [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • 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 in early 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 [...]
  • 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
  • MUCII - construction freeze for 4 years and hard times in Riem

    On November 3, 1980 the time had come: construction work for the new Munich Airport began in Erdinger Moos. But they were stopped again after just five months. 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 [...]
  • 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 - a further expansion of the Munich Exhibition Center was no longer conceivable for reasons of space. In 1985, the head of the trade fair at the time, 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.

Objects of the Munich-Riem airport