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“X-RAY MEGA AIRPORT”: Discovery Networks International sheds new light – literally – on the inner workings of one of the world’s most innovative airports

“X-RAY MEGA AIRPORT”: Discovery Networks International sheds new light – literally – on the inner workings of one of the world’s most innovative airports ( Discovery Networks International and Fraport AG today announced that production is underway on a new commission of X-Ray Mega Airport, an original series that offers viewers an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at one of the world’s largest and most complex aviation hubs – Frankfurt Airport (FRA), Germany.

The series – which will air beginning in spring 2015 across Discovery Networks International’s factual channels in more than 220 countries and territories – will articulate the story of an airport’s routines, events, machines, people and incidents from an entirely new perspective. The series is produced by London-based Voltage TV for Discovery Networks International. The series is executive produced by Liz Brach for Discovery, with Richard Dale and Sanjay Singhal serving as executive producers for Voltage.

This series follows the day-to-day activities of the busy Frankfurt Airport (FRA) – one of the world’s most innovative airports – and shares the fascinating world of an aviation city using revolutionary CGI techniques. From under the surface of a plane’s wings to the fuel tanks within, and through the sides of containers to reveal the cargo inside – and even into the brains and bodies of passengers and crew, X-Ray Mega Airport presents a world unlike no any other.

Using observational documentary stories and innovative Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) – enhanced by techniques more commonly seen in scientific analysis – Discovery Networks International tells the story of an airport’s routines, events, machines, people and innovations from an entirely new perspective. Some of the in-depth stories include:

• We will use computer graphics to show the brain of a pilot as he lands an aircraft in crosswinds – as cells in the temporal lobe start firing 200 times a second, he calculates the best way to bring a 200-ton aircraft to a perfect standstill.

• As a team of engineers work at speed to replace an engine on an Airbus A380 superjumbo, we will show the 20,000 individual components combined in these massive machines. A grounded A380 costs an airline up to one million dollars a day, so engineers work in shifts through the night to complete the precision task.

• We will reveal how a hidden 81 kilometer-long super-system of conveyor belts keeps Frankfurt Airport’s baggage in constant circulation, and how controllers can instantly locate a single bag of the 140,000 in the system should an additional security check be triggered.

From examining air traffic control systems and passenger flow to aircraft maintenance and airport security, X-Ray Mega Airport leaves no stone unturned when it comes to exploring the processes that make daily operations, the upkeep, and the ongoing development of FRA – a vital international hub in the global air transportation system. Frankfurt Airport welcomed more than 58 million passengers and registered about 473,000 takeoffs and landings in 2013. Over half of all passengers switch to another flight at Frankfurt Airport – making it Europe’s leading transfer hub – and the airport is seamlessly connected to high-speed road and rail networks. This mega airport depends on the combined expertise of some 500 companies and organizations that employ about 78,000 people directly at the airport.

“While many may know what it’s like to be an airplane passenger, we’re excited to bring to life all of the fascinating stories they are not necessarily as familiar with – whether they are those of the airport operations and handling teams, air traffic control, security, engineers or one of the many other individuals involved in maintaining and supporting the complexities of a major hub airport,” said Brach, executive producer for Discovery Networks International. “The staff and crew at Frankfurt Airport have presented the perfect location to cultivate these stories and have been an extraordinary partner for us in developing this series.”

Fraport AG’s executive board chairman Dr. Stefan Schulte explained: “Along with our partners at Frankfurt Airport, we are pleased to be cooperating with Discovery Networks International on this truly unique examination of the Frankfurt Airport global hub. This the first time that a major airport is being profiled in such detail – in terms of the scope of topics covered as well as the intensity of visual presentation using the latest advanced computer and sensor technology. In short, Discovery Networks International will take viewers behind-the-scenes and inside the ‘airport organism’, like never before, to gain a better understanding of the people, systems and operations of our pulsating hub.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide, Robert A. Payne, B.A.A. – International Spokesman and Head of International Press/PR & External Activities Team, Press Office (UKM-PS), Corporate Communications, 60547 Frankfurt, Germany; Tel.: +49 69.690.78547; E-mail: ; Internet:

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