Mannheim City Airport (formerly Mannheim-Neuostheim) serves Mannheim, Germany. It is operated and administrated by Rhein-Neckar Flugplatz GmbH.
Aviation in Mannheim started with the airship
in 1909. Their first airship, called SL 1, lifted off from Mannheim-Rheinau in 1911. With the growing importance of airships for military purposes, a new airfield with hangars and barracks was opened in the north of Mannheim, where the Schönau district is located today. By the end of World War I
, 22 airships had been built in Mannheim. In 1922 all hangars had to be demolished, complying with the conditions imposed by the treaty of Versailles
The first commercial airport in Mannheim was founded on May 16, 1925 as Flughafen Mannheim-Heidelberg-Ludwigshafen in the northern district of Sandhofen. With its opening Mannheim became part of an important air track, running from north to south and viceversa. In the late 1920s and early 1930s Deutsche Aero Lloyd operated cargo and passenger flights from Hamburg to Zurich stopping in Mannheim. Balair from Switzerland flew between Geneva and Amsterdam via Basel, Mannheim, Frankfurt and Essen. Badisch-Pfälzische Luftverkehrs A.G operated the black forest route to Konstanz, via Karlsruhe, Baden Baden and Villingen.
In 1926 the airfield was transferred to Mannheim-Neuostheim, its present site. The same year Deutsche Luft Hansa was founded in Berlin. A Lufthansa route map of the 1930s shows scheduled flights from Mannheim to Frankfurt via Darmstadt and other destinations, like Stuttgart, Saarbrücken and Konstanz. In 1939 Deutsche Luft Hansa flew nonstop to the capital Berlin using variousJunkers aircraft.
During World War II the airport was severely damaged. After the war the airport was occupied by US troops and temporarily used as a transmitter site. The terminal building and hangars were partly demolished and partly refurbished. The airfield was reopened to the public in 1958, but with the growing size of postwar aircraft, Mannheim-Neuostheim was no longer served by any major airline and mainly used for private flying.
In 1986, DRF (Deutsche Rettungsflugwacht, e. V.) installed an air rescue centre at MHG Scheduled passenger flights did not start again until the 1980s when Arcus-Air Logistic operated flights between Mannheim and Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich, using Dornier Do 228 aircraft. These flights were offered up to three times daily, depending on demand Besides cargo flights the airline added three weekly passenger flights to Leipzig and Dresden in 1991 In 1997 Cosmos Air (Arcus-Air Logistic) was founded in Mannheim and started nonstop flights to Tempelhof International Airport and London City Airport using the larger Dornier Do 328 turboprop. Due to lack of demand, the London route was suspended one year later.
Up until that time, a provisional container building had been used as the terminal, but new facilities opened in 1998. In 1999 Cosmos Air was taken over by Cirrus Airlines, continuing the flights to Berlin and opening other new routes. With the entry of Cirrus Airlines into Team Lufthansa in 2000, the crane came back to Mannheim after 60 years of absence. Cirrus Airlines left Team Lufthansa in 2004 and is now flying as an official Lufthansa Partner, with Mannheim appearing in the official Lufthansa itinerary. In 2002 Mannheim-Neuostheim was officially renamed Mannheim City Airport. In 2006, the airport celebrated its 80th birthday. On July 17, 2007 the two millionth passenger of Cirrus Airlines was welcomed at MHG. Starting September 15, 2008, Cirrus Airlines starts to fly from MHG to Munich, connecting the city to one of the Lufthansa main hubs. Mannheim is now the most frequented city by Cirrus Airlines.
The airport is located 3.5 km (2.2 mi) east of the city center in the district of Neuostheim
It is surrounded by highways to the east (B38) and the west (A659), there is a power transmission line to the east and several high rise buildings to the west making Mannheim City a challenging airport. Because of its proximity to the city centre, there have been frequent discussions about relocating the airport to Coleman Airfield, allowing a possible growth. But these plans have been rejected after a new terminal building was erected at the present site.
The airport has its own control zone, neighboring control zones are Heidelberg and Coleman.
The airport possesses two runways: one paved main runway (09/27) and a parallel grass runway (for gliding
only). The airport is in operation at day and night. The paved runway 09/27 offers PAPI
and illumination in both directions, RWY 27 offers LLZ/DME
approach, but no ILS
, RWY 09 is usable under VFR
only. A separate, illuminated and signposted taxiway is available.
Aircraft up to 10,000 kg (22,046 lb) are allowed to land at the airport.
Due to numerous obstacles around the airport and the short runways, Mannheim does not comply with IFALPA
standards, thus it gets a very unsatisfactory "red star" every year from the German Airline Pilot’s Association (Vereinigung Cockpit), along with few other regional airports.
The sand-lime brick
building, built by architect
Prof. Peter Serini
, opened in 1998. In its arched central section it offers two check-in
counters, a security passenger checkpoint, a waiting area, a baggage claim
area a ticketing office and an electronic flight schedule. In addition it accommodates a snack-bar, airline offices, a police station
and a flying school
. The terminal is topped by a new control tower
. On the airside, lucent blue capital letters form the word "Mannheim". A secured, partly free carpark is available. The tram lines 5 and 6 connect the airport with the city centre within 10 minutes. An electronic Lufthansa
check-in counter was removed again, after the liquidation of Team Lufthansa
. Since January, 2007 Cirrus Airlines
passengers can check-in only 20 minutes prior scheduled departure
Around the Terminal
Close to the current terminal, there are parts of the former terminal building, including the old tower, now used as a popular restaurant
(Lindbergh). Beside the old terminal a huge fitness club (Pfitzenmeier) opened its doors in 2000. A pilot shop (Friebe Luftfahrtbedarf) can be found next to the parking deck
. A secured gate leads to the apron.
Airlines and destinations
- Cirrus Airlines (Berlin-Tempelhof [ends October 30, 2008], Berlin-Tegel [starts October 31, 2008], Munich [starts October 27, 2008] , Saarbrücken, Hamburg, Geneva (for company purposes only))
- The airport is mainly used for general aviation. Several companies, such as SAP AG, BASF, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen or Bilfinger Berger have their business jets based at MHG.
- The aerodrome also serves as an important heliport for medical or VIP transports. 50% of all night movements are ambulance flights. DRF (Deutsche Rettungsflugwacht, e. V.) is present with ambulance helicopters.
- Two flying schools (FTC Euroflight and LGM) and two Aero Clubs (Badisch Pfälzischer Flugsportverein and Segelflugverein Mannheim) are established at Mannheim City.
- There is glider activity during good weather.
- Business airlines serving Mannheim regularly are: Cirrus Aviation, EAS Executive AirService and ATB Flugdienst GmbH.
- The largest aircraft that ever landed at Mannheim City was a Transall of the German Air Force on a special flight in 1998.
Previous carriers and destinations
- Air-Supply (Frankfurt)
- Air Pegasus GmbH (Munich)
- Arcus-Air Logistic (Munich-Oberpfaffenhofen, Leipzig, Dresden, Bern, Prague, Hamburg) Do-228
- Cosmos Air (Berlin-Tempelhof, London-City) Do-328
- Cirrus Airlines (Dresden, Olbia, Kiel) Do-328, Beech King Air
- Team Lufthansa (Hamburg, Berlin, Saarbrücken) Do-328, Dash-8
The passenger volume ranged between 10.000 and 20.000 passengers per year from 1990 till 1997. With the opening of the new terminal, numbers increased rapidly, but after 9/11
and the introduction of new regulations the passenger volume decreased to 86.000 in 2004 and dropped further down to 68.500 passengers in 2005. 46.936 movements were counted in 2005.
Compared to 2006, passenger volume has increased in 2007 by 20 % on the flights between Mannheim and Hamburg and by 11,9 % on the flights between Mannheim and Berlin.
Cirrus Technik operates a maintenance facility for Dornier Do 328 turboprop aircraft
- Coleman Approach: 130.5
- Mannheim Tower: 118.400
- Weather ATIS: 136.550
Due to its problematic geographical location
, an extension of the airport is nearly impossible, avoiding up-to-date regional jets
, like the Canadair Regional Jet
or the Embraer 145
, to operate from MHG. With the introduction of the new JAR
-OPS 2 regulation, strict weight restrictions have been imposed, allowing only smaller and lighter airplanes to land at MHG. After a first accident involving a scheduled passenger flight on March 19, 2008, discussions about a possible relocation to Coleman Airfield
have regained importance.
Mannheim already is connected to world air traffic above-average:
Frankfurt International Airport, Frankfurt Hahn Airport, Stuttgart Airport, Strasbourg Airport, Baden Airpark, Zweibrücken Airport and Saarbrücken Airport can be reached within maximum an hour and a half by car or train.
However, concerning business aviation, Mannheim is an attractive location, hence two new hangars for up to three jets have been built in 2006. Analyses by the Rhine-Neckar chamber of commerce say that new scheduled international connections to London City Airport or Vienna International Airport could be thinkable in the next years
With the closure of the centrally located Tempelhof International Airport on October 31, 2008 all flights to Berlin operated by Cirrus Airlines will be relocated to Tegel International Airport.
- November 12, 1937: ten people are killed on a Deutsche Lufthansa Heinkel He-111 (D-AXAV) crash in Mannheim. Cause of the accident is unknown ,
- September 11, 1982: a Chinook CH-47C helicopter of the U.S. Army crashes onto a highway during an airshow, killing 46 people
- August 4, 1993: after an engine failure, a Do-27 crashes into a garden plot right after take-off, four occupants die.
- December 5, 1994: a Bell UH-1 helicopter of the German Army crashes into the nearby TV-tower at night, killing four occupants.
- November 29, 1996: approaching MHG, a two-engined Piper crashes into a mountain near Dossenheim after a flight from Prague.
- February 21, 2002: A Beech B35 plane crashes into a garden plot after go-around, killing the pilot.
- March 19, 2008: Cirrus flight 1569 from Berlin-Tempelhof overshoots runway 27 and comes to rest on a well close to a highway. Nobody of the 27 on board is hurt, but the aircraft, a Dornier Do 328 (D-CTOB), is severely damaged