The airport in Dortmund has huge financial problems and may be closed. A huge problem is an lawsuit by the European Commission concerning illegal subventions by local government through the subsidy programme "Neres" and the fact, that the huge losses are absorbed by the municipal utilities. If the European Commission would pronounce the airport for guilty, it had to pay several millions of euro back. This could be death sentence for the German airport.
Furthermore, the airport has a very short runway. At present it is allowed to fly here with standard jet aircraft, but faced with some accidents in the past, there will be a new judgement about the size of planes, which is allowed to fly here. If the new judgement would ban planes like Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 from the airport, this would be another death sentence for an airport, which lives from charter and low-cost airlines.
Besides this troubles an other big airport have hit the small airport: Air Berlin and easyJet have announced to disconnect their services to the airport by the beginning of the winter schedule. While Air Berlin will not serve Dortmund longer, easyJet just will keep the route to London Luton. A big passenger loss will be consequence.
In the 2011 the airport handled about 1.8 million passengers and lost 19.5 million euro. That´s more than ten euro per passenger. Beside easyJet and Air Berlin the low-cost airlines Germanwings, Wizz Air and some Turkish charter airlines are operative at the airport.