Next steps at the BER Airport Location


The Berlin Brandenburg Airport is set to enter operations next year, in October 2020. All air traffic in the Berlin-Brandenburg region will then be bundled into a single location. Following the opening of BER, Tegel Airport is also set to close. This certainly comes with questions as to whether BER is large enough to meet the demands of an entire capital region.

These are the exact questions being addressed by the airport company in their master plan. A so-called air traffic forecast (see below) is being used as the foundation of ideas on how the location can be further developed. According to the forecast, around 55 million passengers will be expected every year at BER in 2040. For comparison, today around 35 million passengers fly every year from Schönefeld and Tegel.

The airport company has developed a general model for these increasing passenger numbers: the 2040 BER Master Plan. This master plan outlines what BER is going to look like in the upcoming decades, the goal being the further development of BER into a location with several terminals. A new take-off and landing runway will not be necessary in reaching this goal, as the two runways and designated apron areas are enough to manage the predicted volume of traffic. This is also due to the fact that today there are clearly more passengers travelling per airplane than were originally estimated.

Staggered over time, the airport company will draw up detailed individual projects out of the rough ideas set out in the master plan, as well as carrying out the necessary approval procedures for the adjustment of infrastructure in accordance with statutory provisions.

BER Terminals

Construction of T2

In addition to the large Terminal 1, the new Terminal 2 is set to come into operation in October 2020, located directly in front of the already existing North Pier. Besides that, Schönefeld Airport will remain in operation for several years, subsequently becoming a BER terminal. Opposite Terminal 1, the new Terminal 3 will be located, with a total capacity of handling around 12 million passengers. The planning of Terminal 3 is currently in the works, and as it will come into operation, so will Schönefeld Airport be closed down. Subsequent steps will depend on further developments in traffic at BER, with the master plan being adapted to any future demands.

Air Traffic Forecast

An air traffic forecast (a prediction of developments in air traffic based on science) from the year 2000 ended with a predicted traffic volume of around 30 million passengers and 360,000 flight movements per year for 2023. Yet, the numbers determined back then in accordance with a 2004 planning approval were not meant to represent a limit to air traffic, but served as a basis for planning infrastructure developments. If the projection changes, the infrastructure has to be adapted. A recent 2018 air traffic forecast from Steer predicts around 55 million passengers and 417,000 flight movements per year for 2040. The master plan was developed using this forecast as a model.

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