The musical genius behind Munich Airport's melodious success

Published: Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dr. Michael Kerkloh – President & CEO, Munich Airport

With 42 million passengers welcomed at Munich Airport in 2016, it is no undeniably one of the busiest in Europe and all indications point to greater foot traffic in the coming years.

It has embraced modern technology to run smoothly its systems and day-to-day operations with the help of about 9,000 skilled men and women who work day and night at the airport.

Behind this workforce is the bespectacled Dr. Michael Kerkloh who has been at the helm of modern and other inspiring innovations at Germany’s enviable airport, which Skytrax has consistently awarded with the coveted Five-Star Airport accolade, the only one in Europe.

Dr. Kerkloh happily interacts with everyone at Munich Airport unmindful of his status and even sacrifices his own feelings to promote harmony where necessary.

Case in point: He personally welcomed and congratulated the FB Bayern Munich team when it won the Champion Leagues Finals in 2013 despite being a die-hard Borossia Dortmund fan.

In an interview with Air Cargo Update, Dr. Kerkloh shared he began his career in the aviation industry in 1995 at Hamburg Airport after earning his economics degree and doctorate in political science.

With now more than 22 years of solid industry experience, there is no doubt Dr. Kerkloh is a force to be reckoned with, with strong commitment to push for reforms when necessary.

Apart from putting Munich Airport in an enviable position, Dr. Kerkloh’s most recent legacy is successfully hurdling legal obstacles to the proposed third runway at the airport.“Believe in what you do and never give up – these are my principles especially when it comes to our next crucial project for the airport’s and the region’s future: the construction of a third runway,” said Dr. Kerkloh when asked about his view on failures and business principles.

“The construction of the third runway, which has been officially approved and has overcome all court challenges, is now waiting for approval by our shareholders,” added Dr. Kerkloh who was also named in July as president of Airports Council International (ACI)-Europe.

Whenever he finds time, the personable aviation executive uses it to meet up with friends, go for sports or create music.

Yes, behind Dr. Kerkloh’s serious demeanor is a musical lover who plays with a band, write songs and regularly going to concerts.

“When I have some free time, I am happy to meet friends, go for sports or make music. Music plays an important role in my life – I play together with a band, compose songs, and go out to various live concerts,” he said.
Dr. Kerkloh even found an inspiration to compose a song for Munich Airport’s 25th anniversary which is found on YouTube.

“Music also plays an important role at my work place – Munich Airport. I even composed a song at the occasion of the airport’s 25th anniversary: Further, we produced a lipdub music video with our employees: And last but not least Stefan Aaron composed a Munich Airport song as part of his Orange Piano Tour:,” he shared.

Dr. Kerkloh’s love for music seems to be jelling well with Munich Airport’s melodious success.
“At Munich Airport, music is always in the air,” he said with a smile.