Michael Zehden, Chairman of the BFG Supervisory Board, comments on today’s verdict by the Federal Administrative Court on the closure of Tempelhof Airport:04.12.2007
The closure of Tempelhof makes political and economic sense, a view shared by all the major airlines that support our decision to concentrate all air traffic on BBI and close Tempelhof. Tempelhof Airport continues to lose money, and these substantial losses are ultimately a burden on the taxpayer’s shoulders. What is important now is that all parties involved come together swiftly to discuss constructively how the site can be used once flight operations stop. Our aim is to utilise the site in such a way that it adds to the city’s appeal as well as making economic sense.
There is no contesting the fact that Tempelhof has an impressive history and has made an important contribution to the city, but with the new BBI we will have an airport that is close to the city centre, which passengers can reach in just under half an hour. We shall be the envy of cities like London or Paris.
And let’s not forget the very clear legal basis: anyone insisting on continuing flight operations at Tempelhof risks causing considerable harm to Berlin’s image by foolhardily threatening the region’s key future project, the BBI. The Federal Administrative Court and the Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg have made this more than clear in their rulings. Any threat to BBI would also pose a threat to the current negotiations to bring more airlines to Berlin.”
Michael Zehden has been a member of the Supervisory Board of BFG (Berliner Flughafen-Gesellschaft) since 2003 and was appointed Chairman in 2005. The BFG is responsible for managing the airports Tegel and Tempelhof.