Friday 23 February 2018

Introducing the airport built over a motorway...

Travel truths

A lufthansa Airbus A380 rolls over a bridge at Leipzig Airport. Photo: JAN WOITAS/AFP/Getty Images
A lufthansa Airbus A380 rolls over a bridge at Leipzig Airport. Photo: JAN WOITAS/AFP/Getty Images
A DHL aircraft crosses the Autobahn. Photo: Bodo Schulz\ullstein bild via Getty Images

Hugh Morris

It’s not often that the world’s largest passenger jet trundles directly across your path while you're driving along a motorway.

But the spectacle - that is, the A380, above - is far from irregular for any motorists that frequent the A14 autobahn in Germany, linking the port city of Wismar with the town of Nossen.

That’s because, as the road navigates its way around Leipzig Airport, it does not so much as skirt the airport as it does run right through the middle of it.

Subsequently, planes large and small scheduled to depart or land on the airport’s Runway North must traverse a taxiway bridge that crosses a busy motorway.

Its unusual positioning is the product of a shortage of space around Leipzig/Halle Airport and its proximity to the A14.

Allowing planes to taxi over the motorway - as well as a railway - provides more space for planes to use the full 3.6km (2.2 miles) of the runway.

A DHL aircraft crosses the Autobahn. Photo: Bodo Schulz\ullstein bild via Getty Images
A DHL aircraft crosses the Autobahn. Photo: Bodo Schulz\ullstein bild via Getty Images

Who flies into Leipzig?

Ryanair flies direct from London Stansted. And that’s in terms of airlines linking the Saxony airport with the UK.

But the airport is the main hub for DHL cargo, as well as Aerologic.

In addition to Lufthansa (which operates flights to Frankfurt and Munich) and SunExpress, Austrian Airlines and RusLine, a number of carriers run seasonal and charter services to Leipzig/Halle.

In 2017, the airport welcomed 2.3 million passengers and just under 70,000 plane movements. It handled 1.1 million tonnes of freight.

Why visit Leipzig?

The largest urban dot on the Saxony map (leipzig.travel) was a cultured jewel long before it was an Eastern Bloc workhorse.

The Museum in der Runden Ecke (runde-ecke-leipzig.de) remembers the state watchfulness of the GDR in an ex-Stasi bunker.

The Bach Museum (bachmuseumleipzig.de) celebrates the 18th-century genius in the city which framed his compositions for the final 27 years of his life.

Do any other airports straddle motorways?

The construction of a new, sixth runway some distance west of the main airport hub at Amsterdam Schiphol meant that the connecting taxiways would need to cross the A5 road. It can take aircraft up to 20 minutes to taxi to and from the runway and terminal building.

Read more:

9 iconic aircraft disappearing from the skies – including the 747 'jumbo jet'

Telegraph.co.uk

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