The history of BER at a glance

  • September 2006: Groundbreaking ceremony at BER
  • January 2008: Aerial view of the construction site
  • September 2008: Construction progress at BER T1
  • February 2009: Completion of a station access
  • May 2010: Construction progress at BER Terminal 1
  • May 2010: Construction progress at BER Terminal 1
Before 2004
  • 1996: Consensus decision by the shareholders Berlin, Brandenburg and the Federal Government: The shareholders rejected the idea of building a new airport for the region. Instead, the intention was to expand the existing Schönefeld Airport and turn it into the new Berlin Brandenburg International Airport BBI. The inner city airports Tegel and Tempelhof were due to be closed. The main reasons for choosing this location: Its proximity to the capital city, the ability to finance transport connections, Berlin and Brandenburg will jointly profit from the expected economic boost. The intention was for the airport to be financed by way of private capital.
  • 1996 – 1999: Airport planning phase and submission of the planning permission application
  • 1997 – 2003: Negotiations regarding privatisation of the construction project and the tender process. The privatisation option was ultimately rejected and the planning documents were transferred to the Airport Company.
  • 1999: Signature of the agreements regarding the resettlement of the municipality of Diepensee and the partial resettlement of the municipality of Selchow.
  • 2000 – 2004: Planning permission process ongoing with interpretation of the various documents and public hearings.
  • Planning permission decision issued by the Brandenburg Aviation Authority
  • Approval of the financing concept
  • Awarding of the initial planning contracts, among others, to the general planners
  • Start of preparatory construction work
  • The Federal Administrative Court upheld most of the urgent applications made by several residents regarding the immediate enforceability of the planning permission decision regarding the expansion of Schönefeld. Further preparatory construction work remained possible.
  • The Higher Administrative Court Berlin-Brandenburg rejected the claims made by five airlines against the closure of Berlin-Tegel. The revocation of its operating license was due to take effect once BER had been commissioned.
  • The Federal Administrative Court approved the development of Schönefeld Airport to become BER. A review of the final judgement was not possible. Stipulations were issued regarding night-time flights and compensation for reduced utilisation of outdoor facilities. Repeal of construction ban.
  • Initial ground-breaking for the new airport. Signature of rail contracts for rail connections (5 September 2006)
  • On 31/10/2008, the Higher Administrative Court Berlin-Brandenburg issued its decision on the closure of Tempelhof Airport and rejected the claims by 13 airport companies.
  • Receipt of planning permission for the BER passenger terminal.
  • Start of construction work on the underground railway station.
  • The Supervisory Board of Flughafen Berlin-Schönefeld GmbH approved the cancellation of the tender process for the construction of the terminal. The construction services were instead placed onto the market in individual lots.
  • Decommissioning of the North runway at Schönefeld Airport to enable the new construction of the A113 motorway (new)
  • The Federal Administrative Court upheld the legitimacy of the planning permission decision.
  • Construction work began on the BER terminal.
  • Decision issued by the Brandenburg Aviation Authority regarding night-time flights at BER.
  • Topping out ceremony for the German Air Traffic Control tower at BER.
  • Topping out ceremony for the BER terminal.
  • Postponement of the scheduled opening date from 30 October 2011 to 3 June 2012. The reasons for this included delays in the technical building systems and the required installation of additional security screening lines in two new extensions to be built, the South Pavilion and the North Pavilion.
  • The new South runway at BER was complete.
  • The Federal Administrative Court issued a final ruling on the supplementary planning permission decision for BER. In the supplementary planning permission decision issued in October 2009, the Brandenburg Ministry of Infrastructure determined the number of flights during off-peak periods between 10.00pm and midnight and again between 5.00am and 6.00am.
  • Trial operations with employees from FBB and the various partners commenced in November 2011. Trial operations with extras commenced in February, and were intended to be completed by May 16, 2012. Trial operations were terminated upon the postponement of the opening date at the start of May 2012.
  • In January, the German Federal Supervisory Authority for Air Navigation Services (BAF) presented the flight routes for Berlin Brandenburg Airport. According to these plans, aircraft would take off from the North runway and break off to the south from the South runway in both take-off directions.
  • The opening date of 3 June 2012 was called off on 8 May 2012. The completion of work and structural handover could no longer be realised. The Airport Company was working on the assumption that BER would be able to open after the summer holidays in 2012.
  • On 17 May 2012, the Supervisory Board decided to postpone the opening date for BER to 17 March 2013. Technical Director, Dr. Manfred Körtgen, left the company. The contractual relationship between the planning company responsible for general planning and property surveillance, Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg International (pg bbi), was terminated.
  • The Higher Administrative Court Berlin-Brandenburg (OVG) upheld an application by residents living near the airport against the noise protection programme for Berlin Brandenburg Airport. According to this, the applicants were "entitled to financial compensation and/or the installation of noise protection measures for the daytime period to ensure that there is no A-rated maximum sound level in excess of 55 dB(A) inside the rooms of the residential buildings when the windows are closed."
  • The new Technical Director for the Airport Company, Horst Amann, presented the results of the inventory for Berlin Brandenburg Airport at the Supervisory Board Meeting held on 7 September 2012. 27 October 2013 was specified as the new opening date.
  • The opening date on 27 October 2013 was cancelled at the start of January due to problems with the fire protection equipment.
  • The Cargo Centre at BER commenced operations in August.
  • The concept for upgrading the smoke extraction system was submitted to the Building Regulatory Authority. There were two core topics involved: dividing the largest smoke extraction system (the so-called “system 14”) into three parts and installing a so-called “superordinate safety-related programmable logic controller“ (or ÜSSPS in German).
  • Commissioning of South access control point in December.
  • Commissioning of East and West fire service centres, winter services building and East waste management centre. A total of 39 of 40 buildings located on the BER premises were accepted by the Building Regulatory Authority. The only outstanding one was the BER terminal.
  • Completion of the newly built North Pier sprinkler system to establish the required redundancy.
  • The release for utilisation for the North Pier was issued on 19 December.
  • At the Supervisory Board meeting held on 12 December 2014, the Management Board stated that the second half of 2017 would be the new target period for BER to be commissioned.
  • 2015: 2015: Renovation of the North runway at Schönefeld Airport. In the meantime, air traffic was handled via the South runway at BER.
  • The commissioning of BER-NET and the renovation of the network engineering for Campus BER was therefore completed.
  • The Supervisory Board gave its approval for Schönefeld Airport to stay in use for a period of five years after BER's commissioning and be expanded further. A resolution was also passed to build a new terminal at BER. The terminal is due to be built in direct proximity to the North Pier. Funding was also provided for the planning of the supply and disposal infrastructure and adaptation of the taxiway systems at SXF and BER.
  • Approval of the 5th supplement to the planning permission.
  • Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH issued a statement on 21/01/2017, confirming that BER Airport would not be able to be commissioned as planned in 2017. A new date was not specified.
  • Approval for the 6th supplement to the planning permission was issued in January.
  • The release for utilisation for the South Pier was issued in February.
  • Construction work was undertaken on the aviation areas, involving the temporary closure of the North runway and flight operations on the South runway for a period of three months during the summer.
  • Presentation of the detailed BER 2040 Master Plan along with the strategic mission statement regarding the further development of the infrastructure at BER in the Midfield area. By extending both the South Pier and North Pier as well as a second terminal, BER will be able to be expanded to cater for up to 55 million passengers in 2040. The expansion programme at BER already decided on along with the retrofitting of Schönefeld North, the expansion of media infrastructure and aviation areas as well as the new construction of Terminal T1-E (now known as Terminal T2) were all integrated into the Master Plan.
  • The Management Board issued a statement on 15/12/2017 confirming that BER was due to open in October 2020. There was consensus with the Supervisory Board that the estimate in place was a responsible and valid one, which provided a realistic basis for further work to be undertaken until the commissioning date.
  • The Building Regulatory Authority for the Dahme-Spreewald district issued further planning permission to the Airport Company in January 2018, entitled “Supplement 6.1”. The maximum capacity utilisation of the airport railway station was therefore finally approved.

  • On 24 July 2018, the Building Regulatory Authority for the Dahme-Spreewald district issued further planning permission to Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH for BER Terminal T2 (known previously as T1-E).

  • In September, Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH commissioned Zechbau GmbH from Bremen as the general contractor responsible for building the new Terminal 2 at BER.

  • Construction work at the interim terminal of the government airport ended in October 2018 on time and within budget.

  • Start of the ORAT project 24 months before the commissioning of BER (ORAT stands for Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer and refers to the final rehearsal for the newly built airport).

  • Topping out ceremony for Terminal 2 on 30 July 2019
  • Distribution of airlines to Terminals T1, T2, T5
  • Principle tests and compound tests at BER
  • September: The airport company acquired ExpoCenter Airport Berlin Brandenburg GmbH (ECA) in September from its previous owners Messe Berlin and Wirtschaftsförderung Land Brandenburg GmbH (WFBB). The ECA has what are known as the ILA premises. This means the FBB now has the option of using the area on the edge of the airport for themselves.
  • October: The airport company presented its property projects in BER’s immediate surroundings. Urban quarters are scheduled to be created on the area along the access road from the A113 autobahn up to the terminals over an area of around 380,000 square metres.
  • Setting the opening date of 31 October 2020
    • Start of registration for the trial run in January 2020.
    • The Building Regulatory Authority for the Dahme-Spreewald district confirms the completion of BER Terminal 1 on 28 April 2020 after completion of the construction work. With this, the building is approved for use.
    • Trial run with airport staff begins at the end of April 2020. Trial run with approx. 9,000 volunteers begins at the start of July 2020:
    • In mid-July, Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH decides to build the new E2 apron on level with the DFS air traffic control tower.
    • Completion Federal Police building on 31 July 2020.
    • In August 2020, the security boundary is activated at Berlin Brandenburg Airport in accordance with Section 8 Aviation Security Act and a security search is carried out. The so-called “cleaning” ensures that no dangerous/prohibited objects are located in the previous operating areas of the former construction site.
    • At the end of August 2020, the fire protection and evacuation exercise at the airport railway station and in the terminal is successfully completed.
    • Completion of Terminal 2 at the end of September 2020. Due to the collapse in passenger numbers, the terminal building is expected to be commissioned with the 2021 summer flight schedule.
    • Opening of the “Flughafen BER Terminal 1-2” railway station on 25 October 2020.
    • Commissioning of Terminal 1 on 31 October 2020.
    • Commissioning of the south runway on 4 November 2020.

    Here you can find archived news and press releases of the BER from the end of 2014 to the end of 2019. The archiv can be downloaded here as a PDF file: