Sumptiously designed Airport serving one of Germany's most populous areas
Dortmund is one of these places in Germany that nobody outside the country ever heard of, except maybe when you happen to hold one of the numerous Pilseners brewed there in your hand. A city of 600.000, it is geographically situated on the eastern border of the megalopolis that is the Ruhr region of North Rhine Westphalia, with a total population of ca 6 million inhabitants busily trying to convert this former industrial moloch into a haven of research, design and clean industries.
The first planes took of a then small airstrip before WWI, but the first daily scheduled flights were offered by Aero Lloyd in 1925. By 1928 there are already 4300 flights per year leaving the now growing airport, which quickly establishes itsself as an important hub, on par with Cologne and Duesseldorf. In 1930 120.000 amazed spectators witnessed germany's long range dirigible, the "Graf Zeppelin" landing in Dortmund, before it took off to another flight to Buenos Aires.
Between 1939 and 1945 the german airforce took over the airport, which by now featured a landingstrip 1100 meters long. After the war, the Royal Airforce takes over the installation which is completely destroyed and starts to rebuild it and modify it into a military installation (rumoured to host A-Bombs). Obviously a new site for an airport was needed, and in 1960 a new airfield opens at its current location in the far east of Dortmund.
43 years and a host of modifications and rebuilds on, this is now Germany's most loved airport (based on a recent poll by frequent fliers), serving a million passengers a year with 42000 airfield movements, with connections to all German hubs, European capitals and to most holiday destinations.
Airlines currently flying to and from Dortmund are:
The Terminal buildings are beautiful, compact and very well maintained, especially compared to ugly and dirty monstrosities like Gatwick, Heathrow or Stansted. Check in is quick, the shops and bars are well-equipped with polite personnel and the walks to the gates are short.
For frequent fliers, this airport is an oasis of serenity in a sea of poorly-designed, infrastructural sins.