Metropolregion Hamburg

Airport2030 – solutions for the efficient airport

Air Transportation SystemLeading-Edge Cluster Competition

This flagship Leading-Edge Cluster project uses Hamburg Airport as a model for testing efficient technologies and measures to advance airport operations, from the journey to the airport to take-off.

Airports are the interconnecting point between surface transport and air transport and therefore have a multifaceted influence on the flight experience. For short-haul routes, some 70 percent of the journey time is taken up by the trip to the airport, the handling processes in the terminal and the onward journey to the final destination. 

For the passenger, the time at the airport is characterised by the check-in, security and boarding processes, by shopping, eating and working, and also by waiting times. For airlines, what counts most is the fast turn-around of their aircraft and the punctual arrival of passengers at the gate. This depends on the airport ensuring that there is always sufficient capacity, both airside and landside. 

Alongside those players directly involved in aviation itself, the social impact of air transport is attracting more and more public attention. Airports need to win the acceptance of residents from the surrounding areas with proactive measures to reduce noise and air pollution. As a vision for the future, air transport is described in “Flightpath 2050” as part of a single integrated, energy-efficient, intermodal system in which passengers and their baggage travel door-to-door safely, affordably, quickly, as planned and without interruption. Airports have an important contribution to make for this to become reality.

The “Airport2030” flagship Leading-Edge Cluster project joins “Cabin technology and multifunctional fuel cells” and “New MRO” as the third flagship project in Hamburg Aviation’s Leading-Edge Cluster strategy. Considering the timeframes of 2015 and 2030, the project is investigating selected technologies and measures in the areas of airport interconnectedness with other transport systems, airport terminals, airport process control, handling of new aircraft configurations, and new airport infrastructures. The disciplinary research is supplemented by an integrated technology evaluation process. 

The flagship project is characterised by close cooperation and an intensive exchange of ideas and information between airport operators, airport equipment suppliers, aircraft manufacturers, universities, major research institutions and an SME. This networking allows for an effective strengthening of competency and marketing potential for technology and process solutions.

The flagship project has the following global goals:

  • reduction of emissions and noise at the airport
  • reduction of costs for airlines and airport operator
  • acceleration of processes on the ground
  • increasing passenger comfort in the terminal
  • increasing landside airport capacity
  • improving the punctuality of air transport 

For this purpose, specific technologies and measures are being pursued:

  • overall transport model for the Hamburg Metropolitan Region and measures to improve interconnectedness with the airport
  • digital boarding assistance for improved passenger comfort
  • new integrated workplaces for ground-handling personnel and apron marshalls along with a draft concept for an airport control centre
  • optimisation of future aircraft configurations to take into account both the flight itself and surface processes
  • development of a ground-based landing gear system (GroLaS)


Klaus Lütjens, DLR Lufttransportsysteme,


Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.
-    Air transport systems

-    Institute of Flight Guidance

-    Institute of Air Transport and Airport Research


Flughafen Hamburg GmbH
Airbus Operations GmbH
Siemens AG
mb + Partner
Hamburg University of Technology
-    Institute of Telematics
-    Institute for Transport Planning and Logistics
University of Hamburg
-    Computer Engineering
Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW Hamburg)
-    Aircraft Design and Systems Group (AERO)

Sponsored by

Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the framework of the Leading-Edge Cluster strategy