The last planes from Tempelhof: The end of an era07.10.2008
The last three flights are the highlight of the final event to mark the closure of Tempelhof Airport to which Berlin Airports is inviting representatives of airlines and personalities from politics and economics. On the last day, the main hall of Tempelhof Airport will be closed for visitors and people collecting air passengers. Passengers who have a valid air ticket for this day will have access to the main hall as usual.
The last flights mark the end of a significant era in German aviation history. At the same time, with the closure of the airport, Berlin Airports is taking a big step towards the realisation of the most important future project of the German metropolitan region: the concentration of the air traffic at the new Capital Airport Berlin Brandenburg International BBI by 2011.
A look back in time
On 18 May 1946, civilian air traffic recommenced with an aircraft of American Overseas. On 24 May 1948, the Soviet Union declared a total blockade over West Berlin. During the air lift, which lasted until 12 May 1949, a total of 277,728 flights were used to transport 2,326,205 tons of supplies. Tempelhof and the “raisin bombers” became a symbol of the Berliners desire for freedom.
With the German Unification on 3 October 1990, air sovereignty was granted to the German authorities in Berlin. For the first time, aircrafts of Lufthansa and other, non-allied European states landed again in Berlin. At Tempelhof Airport, which was closed for civilian traffic, flights began operating again. From the mid-1990s, Tempelhof’s air traffic began increasingly moving to the two other airports Tegel and Schönefeld. This resulted in Tempelhof’s air traffic decreasing from year to year, so that Tempelhof began making losses with an annual deficit between 10 and 15 million euros.
From three to one
The construction permit for the BBI is based on two final appeal verdicts and the decision of the Berlin airport authorities to close Tempelhof Airport:
- November 2005: Berlin-Brandenburg Supreme Administrative Court legally approves the closure of Berlin-Tegel Airport.
- The Supreme Administrative Court approves the expansion of Schönefeld Airport to the Capital Airport BBI. Essential prerequisite: the closure of the city airports Tegel and Tempelhof.
- February 2007: Berlin-Brandenburg Supreme Administrative Court legally approves the closure of Tempelhof Airport.
- June 2007: The Senate Government for Town Planning makes the decision to close Tempelhof Airport. The closure is an inevitable result of the planning approval notice, which expressly requires air traffic to be concentrated in one single location.
Closure of Tempelhof – the next steps
The airline Intersky will fly from Tempelhof to Friedrichshafen for the last time on 25 October 2008 at 8.25 am. On the same day, Brussels Airlines will take off at 6.55 pm and fly to Brussels. With the start of the winter 2008/09 flight schedule on 26 October, both airlines will begin offering flights from Tegel.