Berlin Brandenburg Airport

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This article is about a future airport for Berlin. For current and previous airports in Berlin, see List of airports in Berlin.
Berlin Brandenburg Airport
Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg
(under construction)
BER Logo en.svg
Luftbild Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg 02.jpg
IATA: BERICAO: EDDB
Summary
Airport type Public
Operator Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH
Serves Berlin, Germany
Location Schönefeld, Brandenburg
Elevation AMSL 157 ft / 48 m
Coordinates 52°22′00″N 013°30′12″E / 52.36667°N 13.50333°E / 52.36667; 13.50333Coordinates: 52°22′00″N 013°30′12″E / 52.36667°N 13.50333°E / 52.36667; 13.50333
Website berlin-airport.de
Map
BER is located in Berlin
BER
BER
Location at the Berlin-Brandenburg border
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
07L/25R 3,600 11,811 Asphalt
07R/25L 4,000 13,123 Concrete

Berlin Brandenburg Airport (IATA: BERICAO: EDDB) (German: Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt) is an international airport under construction, located adjacent to the current Berlin Schönefeld Airport in Schönefeld 18 kilometres (11 mi) south of the city centre of Berlin, the capital of Germany. It is intended to replace both Schönefeld and Berlin Tegel Airport, and to become the single commercial airport serving Berlin and the surrounding state of Brandenburg, an area with a combined 6 million inhabitants. With a projected annual passenger number of around 27 million,[1] Berlin Brandenburg Airport would become the third busiest airport in Germany, superseding Düsseldorf Airport, and one of the fifteen busiest in Europe.

Air Berlin, Germanwings and easyJet are expected to become the leading carriers at Berlin Brandenburg Airport, having announced the intent to relocate and keep their hub / base operations there which they already maintain at Tegel and Schönefeld airports today.

Originally planned to open in 2010, Berlin Brandenburg Airport has encountered a series of delays due to poor construction planning, management, execution and corruption.[2][3][4] As of January 2014, planners have not set a new opening date, but say it will not be before 2015.[5] Since the unfinished construction and corrective work is estimated to take 18 months, an opening prior to late 2016 is unlikely.[6]

History[edit]

Aviation in Schönefeld[edit]

A view of the apron of Berlin Schönefeld Airport (1990).

Berlin Brandenburg Airport is located just south of Berlin Schönefeld Airport, which opened as an airfield to accommodate the local Henschel aircraft plant on 15 October 1934. During the Battle of Berlin, on 22 April 1945, Soviet troops occupied the airfield. In 1946, the headquarters of the Soviet Air Forces moved to Schönefeld from Johannisthal Air Field, and commercial flights (initially by Aeroflot) began.

During the following years, Schönefeld Airport became the most important civilian airport in the newly founded German Democratic Republic (East Germany), with national flag carrier Interflug based there. In 1976, the modern passenger terminal currently known as Terminal A opened.

Plans for a new Berlin Airport[edit]

Map showing the infrastructure of the Schönefeld area and the relationship between the new and old airports

Following the German reunification in 1990, Berlin once again became the German federal capital and leaders made plans to recognise the city's increased importance by constructing a large commercial airport, as Tegel Airport, Schönefeld Airport and Tempelhof Airport were aging and becoming increasingly congested due to rising passenger numbers. To ensure the economical viability of the project, they pursued the single airport concept, which meant that the new airport would become the sole commercial airport for Berlin and Brandenburg. As a consequence, they planned to close Tegel, Schönefeld and Tempelhof upon opening the new airport, and to ban commercial aviation from any other airport in Brandenburg.

On 2 May 1991, the Berlin Brandenburg Flughafen Holding GmbH (BBF) was founded, owned by the states of Berlin and Brandenburg (37 percent each) and the Federal Republic of Germany (the remaining 26 percent). Eberhard Diepgen, Mayor of Berlin, became the first chairman of the supervisory board. The holding company announced on 20 June 1993 that Sperenberg Airfield, Jüterbog Airfield and the area south of Schönefeld Airport — the final choice, were considered possible sites for the new airport, with each site advocated by various factions in the ensuing political discussion.[7] Concerning land-use planning and noise issues, rural Sperenberg and Jüterbog were considered more suitable for construction of a large airport. Economics favored an airport located near the city center with existing road and rail links (as it is the case with Schönefeld).[7][8]

On 28 May 1996, Mayor Diepgen, Minister-President of Brandenburg Manfred Stolpe and Federal Minister for Transport Matthias Wissmann committed to Schönefeld as the site for the new airport. This so-called consensus decision was later affirmed by the respective state legislatures.[9] The new airport will even use certain infrastructure, like a runway, from the current Schönefeld Airport.

Failed privatization[edit]

Originally, BBF hoped the new airport would be owned and operated by a private investor. They called for proposals, which led to two bidding consortia emerging as serious contenders. One was led by Hochtief, through its Hochtief Airport subsidiary, and included ABB, Fraport and Bankengesellschaft Berlin as partners. The other was comprised IVG, Flughafen Wien AG, Dorsch-Consult, Commerzbank and Caisse des Dépôts. On 19 September 1998, BBF announced that the Hochtief consortium had been granted the exclusive authority to negotiate the terms and conditions for an acquisition of the Berlin Brandenburg Airport holding and the construction and subsequent operation of the new airport for a 50 years period.[10]

On 31 March 1999, BBF officially commissioned Hochtief and its partners to construct the new airport, causing IVG to file a lawsuit. The Brandenburg Oberlandesgericht indeed acknowledged the concerns voiced by IVG. In its review, it found that in certain points, the assessment of the applications had been biased towards Hochtief, which led to annulment of the contract award on 3 August of that year.[11]

In a new attempt to receive the contract to construct and operate the new airport, Hochtief Airport and IVG teamed up and created a plan for a joint bid on 10 November 2000.[12] At the time, BBF hoped that the planning approval could be completed in 2002, with the tentative opening in 2007.[13]

When Hochtief/IVG submitted its bid in February 2002, the BBF board consisted of Manfred Stolpe, now Federal Minister of Transportation; Klaus Wowereit, who replaced Eberhard Diepgen as Mayor of Berlin and chair of the board; and Matthias Platzeck, who replaced Stolpe as Minister-President of Brandenburg. The board determined that the proposal would not be practical and voted on 22 May 2003 to scrap the privatization plan.[14] Hochtief and IVG received approximately €50 million compensation for their planning effort.

Public ownership and construction permit[edit]

The new Berlin airport would be planned, owned and operated by BBF Holding, which became Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH (FBB) shortly afterwards, and remained under the ownership of Berlin, Brandenburg and the federal govenment. On 13 August 2004, the Brandenburg state ministry for infrastructure and regional policy granted approval for the development of Schönefeld Airport into new Berlin Brandenburg International Airport.[15]

A legal battle ensued, as local residents filed lawsuits against the ministry's decision. It terminated 16 March 2006, when the Federal Administrative Court of Germany rejected the residents' arguments, but imposed stipulations on the flight operations at the new airport.[16] Thus, the construction permit was granted only under the condition that once operational, the number of people living in the approach path would be lower, compared to the situation surrounding the three existing airports — Tegel, Schönefeld, Tempelhof.[17] Therefore, it was mandatory for Tegel and Schönefeld to close (Tempelhof was already decommissioned in 2008) once Berlin's air traffic is concentrated at the new airport.[18]

Financing[edit]

By 2006, the construction cost was budgeted at €2.83 billion, which FBB achieved by a credit raising of €2.4 billion, a bank deposit of €430 million by the FBB partners, and an additional €440 million of equity capital provided by FBB.[19]

During construction, it became clear that the airport would become significantly more expensive due to underestimating the actual costs in a too-optimistic calculation; construction flaws; and increased expenses for soundproofing nearby homes. The series of delays in opening is expected to lead to a number of lawsuits against FBB, which may result in large-scale damage compensation for the affected airlines and airport businesses. Air Berlin already announced its intention of such a move.[20]

As of late 2012, expenditures for Berlin Brandenburg Airport totaled €4.3 billion, nearly twice the originally anticipated figure.[21]

Naming[edit]

The airport is named after Nobel Peace Laureate Willy Brandt, former Mayor of West Berlin and Chancellor of West Germany

During much of the planning and construction phase, the new airport was known as Berlin Brandenburg International Airport, abbreviated BBI. When the planned and missed opening date of 2 June 2012 drew nearer, the FBB launched a marketing campaign introducing the BER branding, reflecting the new airport code.

In 2007, the FBB board decided that Berlin Brandenburg Airport would be given a second name, honoring a person with a distinctive link to the city of Berlin.[22] On 11 December 2009, the decision was made in favor of Willy Brandt.[23] The Nobel Peace laureate of 1971 served as mayor of West Berlin from 1957 to 1966 and as West German chancellor from 1969 to 1974. Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and Minister-President of Brandenburg Matthias Platzeck, both members of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) which Brandt led from 1964 to 1987, led the effort to add Brandt's name to the airport.

Other suggested honorees included Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg; Albert Einstein and Marlene Dietrich, from members of the Christian Democratic Union; Gustav Stresemann, by the Free Democratic Party; and Otto Lilienthal, advocated by the Green Party.[22]

Construction progress[edit]

Construction work as of July 2010

To make way for the new airport, two villages were removed. The 335 inhabitants of Diepensee received compensation and were offered new homes in Königs Wusterhausen, a move that was completed by late 2004. The 35 villagers of Selchow were resettled to Großziethen in mid-2005.[24][25]

After nearly 15 years of planning, actual construction work for Berlin Brandenburg Airport began on 5 September 2006.[26]

In November 2007, the BER-Infotower opened, a 32 metres (105 ft) high public observation tower and information center.[27] The transparent and twisted structure, originally intended to be temporary, will instead remain once work is completed as part of the airports visitor facilites.[28]

Construction of the terminal building began in July 2008.[29] On 8 and 9 May 2010, the airport celebrated topping out with open days at the airport site.[30] On 30 October 2011, the railway line and terminal station were ready for service, however until the opening no scheduled trains will operate.

On 24 November 2011, operating tests and service trials began, based on the anticipated opening date of 3 June 2012. A total of 12,000 volunteers participated in simulated check-in, security screening, boarding and baggage claim. The tests used 15,000 pieces of luggage in the automated baggage processing system and covered nighttime operations and emergency scenarios.[31] This phase also saw the acceptance tests of various airport systems. On 8 May 2012, it became clear that the opening date would not be met due to failures of the fire protection system. All trials were halted and have not resumed.

Delayed opening and construction flaws[edit]

Timeline[edit]

The construction of Berlin Brandenburg Airport has suffered from continued delays. As of January 2013, FBB has announced and canceled four official opening dates.[3][21]

When construction of the terminal building began in 2006, FBB announced 30 October 2011 as opening day for the new airport.[32] On 14 June 2010, a few days after the topping out had been celebrated, it was announced that construction deadlines could not be met, and the opening was postponed to 3 June 2012. This was blamed to the bankruptcy of pg bbi, the construction planning company.[33] As the new date drew nearer, airlines amended their timetables to reflect their plans to operate from BER, and airport shops and restaurants prepared for the opening. As the airports in Tegel and Schönefeld were to be closed once the last flights on 2 June had been serviced, a major logistics operation for moving the airports' infrastructure was launched. Vehicles, equipment and supplies that were needed at Tegel until the final moments would have been transported to BER during the night of 2–3 June. To cater for this, the highways linking the two airports (A113, A100 and parts of A111) were planned to be closed for public use.[34] Rundfunk Berlin Brandenburg, the national broadcaster for Berlin and Brandenburg, scheduled 24 hours of continuous live coverage of the airport move.[35] A special Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt Airport, operated with an Airbus A380, would have been the first one to depart the new airport at 06:00 on June 3.[35]

On 8 May 2012, only 26 days in advance, the opening date was postponed, and the airport move had to be aborted or in certain cases reverted. Technical difficulties primarily concerning the fire safety and smoke exhaust systems, were cited as reasons for the delay.[36] Manfred Körtgen, the director for technical affairs, was consequently dismissed and replaced by Horst Amann, and 17 March 2013 was given as new date for BER to open, which was soon met by doubts due to the large number of construction flaws and problems that were surfacing.[37]

In early September 2012, the opening date was indeed further postponed, this time to 27 October 2013.[38] Again, media and experts were constantly voicing doubts and concerns about this deadline, most notably Peter Ramsauer, Federal Minister for Construction and Infrastructure.[39]

On 6 January 2013, it was declared that BER would be even further delayed, at least until 2014 (though no definite date has been announced).[21] As a consequence, Klaus Wowereit resigned as chairman of the supervisory board, and was replaced by Matthias Platzeck, who previously had served as his deputy. Rainer Schwarz, the CEO of FBB, was dismissed on 16 January.[40] On 8 March 2013, it was announced he would be succeeded by Hartmut Mehdorn, who previously had served as CEO of Deutsche Bahn (1999–2011) and Air Berlin (2011–2013).[41] On 8 January 2014, it was announced the airport would not open in 2014;[5] on 24 February, Hartmut Mehdorn announced it would be unlikely the airport would open before 2016.[42]

Construction failures[edit]

The major issue responsible for the delayed opening is the fact that the fire protection and alarm system in the terminal building has not been built according to the construction permit. Therefore, it failed the mandatory acceptance test (a prerequisite for the airport to be opened), and a proposed solution with human fire watches (up to 700 people would have been employed for this job) was rejected by the building supervision department of the local Dahme-Spreewald district. There are flaws concerning the wiring, programming and implementing of the highly complex system designed by Siemens and Bosch, by which sprinklers, smoke extractors and fire doors will be controlled fully automatically.[3] Because of aesthetic reasons, it was decided that the BER terminal building would not have any smoke extraction pipes on its rooftop. Therefore, in case of fire, smoke would be pumped into exhaust pipes that run below the building (thus, the natural behavior of hot air to rise up needs to be reversed), a set-up that at this scale is considered to be unique. So far, this elaborate smoke extraction system does not work as anticipated.[21] To meet the requirements for the fire system to pass the acceptance test, large scale reconstruction work might be needed.[43]

The insolvency of the pg bbi general planning office and the dismissal of the Gerkan, Marg and Partners architecture bureau (which were partially blamed for the problems) had a widespread impact on the management of construction. There are examples of failed construction work due to a lack of proper supervision and documentation, most notably concerning the wiring. Reports have surfaced about cable channels in which either too many cables have been installed or in inapplicable combinations (for example phone lines laid next to high voltage cables). A total of 60 kilometres (37 mi) of cooling pipes were allegedly installed without any thermal insulation. To correct this, the demolition of numerous walls might become necessary. Furthermore, ventilation vents seem to have been placed in inappropriate positions, so that rain water from the western façade runs into them.[43] The 18km long smoke exhaustion used in case of fire is leaky.[44]

The main hall, called "monster" by local workers, was initially supposed to be served by one exhaust system. It is now planned to have several exhausts. The wiring to control them will be 90 km long. Siemens has no plans yet how to design the wire harnesses as of 19 May 2014.[45] Due to these problems, the initially stated construction budget will be greatly exceeded.[21]

Airport overview[edit]

Planned layout of the airport 2012

Runways[edit]

Berlin Brandenburg Airport will have two parallel runways. With a spacing of 1,900 metres (6,200 ft), these will allow independent flight operations without mutual interference from wake turbulence.

The northern runway of BER is the southern runway of the old Schönefeld Airport, and has been in use since the 1960s. To cater for the new airport, it has been renovated and lengthened from 3,000 to 3,600 metres (9,843 to 11,811 ft).[46]

The newly built southern runway has a length of 4,000 metres (13,123 ft) and was officially commissioned on 31 May 2012. Until the opening of Berlin Brandenburg Airport, it is closed per NOTAM.

Air traffic control[edit]

The air traffic control tower of Berlin Brandenburg Airport (2012).

The Deutsche Flugsicherung is responsible for air traffic control and apron control at Berlin Brandenburg Airport. At 72 metres (236 ft), the control tower is the third highest in Germany (only surpassed by Munich Airport and Düsseldorf Airport). On 25 March 2012, the new tower was opened, having replaced the old Schönefeld tower.[47]

Passenger terminal[edit]

The main pier
Terminal layout (from left to right: level 2, level 1, intermediate level Z and level 0)

The U-shaped terminal building of Berlin Brandenburg Airport has been designed by the gmp architectural company, which had already been responsible for the hexagonal Terminal A at Tegel Airport, which was opened in 1974. At BER, the terminal is situated between the two runways, creating a so-called midfield airport on top of the underground train station. There are four publicly accessible storeys (Levels 0, 1, 2 and 3).

The check-in area is located in the public area of the terminal, at Level 1. There are 118 counters, which are organised in eight clusters (so called check-in isles). It is anticipated that a significant amount of the passengers will use self check-in machines, of which more than 100 are planned to be installed.

The airside area can only be accessed by passengers with a valid ticket who have passed a security screening. Securitas Germany will be responsible for the 35 screening stations. BER is equipped with 25 jet bridges, plus another 85 aircraft stands on the apron. The boarding and arrival areas are divided into three piers. The main pier is 715 metres (2,346 ft) long, while the two piers to the north and south are 350 metres (1,150 ft) each. The main pier is equipped with 16 jet-bridges; all but one are two-storeyed, therefore allowing for the separation of arriving and departing passengers. Level 1 is intended for Schengen passengers (gates A01–A20, B01–B20), while Level 2 (gates C01–C19, D01–D17) is for non-Schengen passengers.[48] Eight of the gates can accommodate wide-body aircraft. One gate has been designed to accommodate the Airbus A380, the largest commercial airliner. There is sufficient apron space, and a dual jetway could be installed, necessary for a quick boarding and disembarking process. A mezzanine (Level Z) at gates A21–22 and B21 allows for additional pre-boarding security checks for high-risk flights (that is, departures to the United States and Israel). Air Berlin, Lufthansa and Air France/KLM will operate airport lounges at the main pier, which will also be open for passengers of the respective alliance partners.[48]

The main hall of the terminal

The southern pier is reserved for near-exclusive use for Air Berlin and its oneworld partners. There are nine single-storey jet bridges (gates A30–A38). The northern pier features a more minimalistic design compared to the other two piers, meeting the demands of low-cost carriers. There are no jet-bridges, but walk-boarding-gates (B30–45) with direct apron access.[48]

Cargo and general aviation[edit]

The initial module of the midfield cargo facilities has a capacity of 60,000 tonnes (59,000 long tons; 66,000 short tons) of cargo per year. With the completion of all planned expansions, this could handle up to 600,000 tonnes (590,000 long tons; 660,000 short tons) per year. The general aviation terminal is located in the northern part of BER.

Airport tourism facilities[edit]

The Infotower is a 32 metres (105 ft) observation tower located adjacent to the northern cargo terminal, including a museum and gift shop.[49][50] This facility is the only portion of the airport open to the public. Guided tours of the airport are also offered, and have grown in popularity since the delay in opening.[50]

Aircraft maintenance[edit]

There are two large hangars at BER, which will be used by Lufthansa and Air Berlin respectively. Both provide enough space for maintenance work on four to five narrow-body aircraft.[51][52]

Government use[edit]

The air transport wing of the German Defence Ministry (Flugbereitschaft), which is responsible for government flights, will move to Berlin Brandenburg Airport. Currently, it is based at Cologne Bonn Airport and operates a fleet of Bombardier Global Express, Airbus A319, Airbus A310 and Airbus A340-300 VIP configured aircraft.[53] Plans have been made for the construction of a representative governmental terminal, also intended for the welcoming of foreign politicians during state visits. The glass-and-wood building is expected to be completed by 2016.[54][55] The old Terminal A at Schönefeld Airport is intended to be used as a temporary solution.

Access[edit]

Rail[edit]

Map of future bus and rail connections into and around Berlin. An express line will serve the Berlin Hauptbahnhof in 30 minutes.

The terminal is connected to a 3.1 kilometres (1.9 mi) long railway tunnel running from east to west underneath the apron and the terminal complex. As the nine tunnel sections were the first structures to be built, they could be constructed in the form of conventional excavations.

A railway station with six tracks forms the lowest level of the terminal.[56] Two tracks serve as a terminus for the S-Bahn – with the S9 serving the northern and the S45 serving the southern public transit ring, while the other four tracks handle EuroCity, InterCity, Intercity-Express and Regional-Express trains. It was confirmed in August 2011 that multiple daily Intercity-Express and InterCity trains will connect the airport to Bielefeld, Hannover, Hamburg, Dresden, Leipzig, Halle, Wolfsburg, as well as EuroCity trains connecting to Wroclaw and Krakow in Poland, Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Prague in the Czech Republic.[57]

About half of the passengers are expected to access BER by rail. An express line (Regionalbahn) will connect the airport with the Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Berlin central station) in 30 minutes.[58] Two more stops, Potsdamer Platz and Berlin Südkreuz, will be part of the Airport Express, which is planned to make the distance in just under 20 minutes by 2015, when a new train track will be inaugurated.[57] Over 10% of passengers are expected to come from Poland, also thanks to upgraded highways on the Polish side of the border,[59] making the airport a possible choice for air travellers from the west of that country.

Bus[edit]

Public transport connections at the new airport will include numerous bus services. The express buses X7 and X11 will connect BER and U-Bahn Rudow, the underground line U7, every five minutes. The X11 bus continues to Lichterfelde-West and on to Dahlem. Other bus lines also stop off at a number of stations, providing connections with Berlin’s public transport network and destinations in Brandenburg.

Road[edit]

Map of motorways in Berlin

The Berlin Brandenburg Airport is connected by its own exit to the freeway A113, which carries traffic into Berlin to the city freeway A100 and out to the outer city freeway ring A10 where it continues south as the freeway A13 in the direction of Dresden. The highway 96a along the north side of the airport is being expanded to four lanes towards Potsdam.

Four car parks and a car rental centre will be installed by the time BER opens. Around 10,000 parking spaces will be available in four multi-storey car parks.

Projected passenger volume and expansion plans[edit]

Since the German reunification, air traffic in Berlin is characterized by large growth rates. In 1991, the combined passenger volume of the city's airports was at 7.9 million per year. By 2012, this number had risen to 25.3 million.[60] Once Berlin Brandenburg opens, it will have a capacity of 27 million passengers per year.[1] It may be extended by up to two satellite concourses, thus bringing the capacity to 45 million (concerning the terminal space) or 50 million (operational limit of the two runways) passengers per year. The two satellites (which would be located on the apron parallel to the main pier and linked by a tunnel) are included in the construction permit of Berlin Brandenburg Airport, which means that they could be built at any time without further regulatory hurdles, and that there is no possibility of third-party objections against them. A possible third runway could be located in the south, though so far no further plans have been made.[61]

Operating hours[edit]

Due to noise protection regulations enshrined in the operating licence of Berlin Brandenburg Airport, no take-offs or landings are allowed between midnight and 0500. A lawsuit of residents aiming at stretching this night flight ban to range from 2300 to 0600 was rejected by the Federal Administrative Court of Germany on 13 October 2011. It was also ruled that affected residents should be provided with additional installed noise insulation.

Expected airlines and destinations[edit]

Map of scheduled intercontinental destinations offered at Berlin Tegel Airport in 2012

Air Berlin will move its most important hub from Tegel to Berlin Brandenburg. As a member of the oneworld global airline alliance, Air Berlin is in need of an airport serving the demands of connecting passengers, which at Tegel is only possible to a limited extent.

With the expected initial opening of BER on 3 June 2012, Lufthansa greatly expanded its presence in Berlin (for the time being located at Tegel Airport), opening a multitude of additional intra-European destinations.[62] Over the coming years, Lufthansa plans to have all European flights that do not originate or terminate at either Frankfurt Airport or Munich Airport operated by its Germanwings subsidiary, which therefore will likely become one of the largest tenants at Berlin Brandenburg Airport.[63]

EasyJet will become the leading low-cost carrier at BER in terms of routes served, relocating its current Schönefeld base. Provided that their respective plans concerning Berlin services do not change, Germania and Condor would each have an aircraft base at the new airport.

Projected traffic data[edit]

Combined total passengers at Berlin Tegel and Berlin Schönefeld Airports in 2010[64]

Air Berlin (left) and Germanwings (right) are expected to become the dominant carriers at BER
EasyJet (left) and Germania (right) plan to base aircraft at the new airport
Destination Airport(s) Passengers
 Germany, Munich Munich
1,816,693
 Germany, Frankfurt Frankfurt
1,610,372
 Germany, Cologne/Bonn Cologne Bonn
1,379,294
 United Kingdom, London Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Southend, Stansted
1,281,842
 Germany, Stuttgart Stuttgart
985,857
 Germany, Düsseldorf Düsseldorf
930,865
 France, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Orly
884,195
  Switzerland, Zurich Zurich
802,464
 Spain, Palma de Mallorca Palma de Mallorca
584,709
 Austria, Vienna Vienna
554,663
 Turkey, Antalya Antalya
435,545
 Netherlands, Amsterdam Amsterdam
432,187
 Russia, Moscow Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo, Vnukovo
431,007
 Turkey, Istanbul Atatürk, Sabiha Gökçen
406,063
 Spain, Madrid Madrid
397,646

Commercial and exposition area[edit]

Berlin Air Show (ILA)[edit]

Visitors to the Berlin Air Show watching a flight display of an Airbus A320 (2012)

On 3 July 2012, the Berlin ExpoCenter Airport was inaugurated on the southeastern portion of the airport grounds.[65] The 250,000-square-metre (2,700,000 sq ft) exposition area belongs to Messe Berlin and is primarily intended as the site of the biennial Berlin Air Show.[66]

Airport Information Center[edit]

Coinciding with groundbreaking for construction of the new airport, an information and public relations center called airportworld was opened near the old Schönefeld Airport.[67] On 14 November 2007, the Infotower, a 32 metres tall public viewing tower containing an exhibition about the new airport, was opened on the BER construction site.[68]

Business park[edit]

The area surrounding BER is zoned as a commercial district. Plans call for the construction of shopping centers and parking structures as well as industrial, commercial and office spaces. Situated directly at the terminal complex will be the BER Airport City with an area of 16 hectares (40 acres). Marketing of the real estate began in autumn 2006 and beginning in 2009 offices, hotels, car rentals, four parking decks with a capacity of 10,000, restaurants and retailers were built here.

To the north is the BER Business Park Berlin with a planned area of 109 hectares (270 acres) for industrial and commercial use as well as congress centers. A further Business Park North was proposed as a future use of the area of the old Schönefeld terminal. However, so far there are no definite plans for the future use of this area.

Controversies[edit]

In September 2010, the Deutsche Flugsicherung published aircraft arrival and departure paths for Berlin Brandenburg Airport, which significantly differ from earlier ones used in the court decision for the construction permit. In the original maps, aircraft were considered to take off and land with a heading in line with the runway. The new plans saw flight paths that deviate from the runway direction by 15 degrees. Therefore, aircraft would now fly over areas in southern Berlin (Lichtenrade, Steglitz and Zehlendorf) and adjacent Brandenburg (Teltow, Stahnsdorf, Kleinmachnow and Potsdam) to the surprise of local residents, which prompted a wave of protests.[69] A lawsuit was rejected by the Federal Administrative Court of Germany on 31 July 2012.

Both the expansion of Schönefeld Airport into BER and the quality of the connection to the railway network are the subject of public debate. The Bürgerverein Brandenburg-Berlin e.V. represents local residents who protest against an expansion of air traffic to and from the south of Berlin. Also, experts for traffic and environmental issues criticise the late completion dates for the fast connection to the central station. Still, Berlin Hauptbahnhof will be connected within 30 minutes with trains departing every 15 minutes upon inauguration. By 2020 at the earliest, this will be reduced to 20 minutes thanks to the reconstruction of the Dresdner bahn.[70]

Due to the rising passenger numbers of the Berlin airports and the delays of BER, concerns were voiced that the new airport might be too small, especially concerning the check-in space. Also, there are doubts about its economic viability once opened.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  3. ^ a b c d Eddy, Melissa (7 January 2013). "Mayor to Leave Panel Overseeing Delayed Berlin Airport". The New York Times. Retrieved 02-02-2013. 
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  5. ^ a b "Berlin airport's 2014 opening cancelled again". The Local. 08 January 2014. Retrieved 28-07-2014. 
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  9. ^ "Konsensbeschluss zur Tempelhof-Schließung". Der Tagesspiegel (in German). 18 June 2007. Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
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Bibliography
  • Kuhlmann, Bernd (1996). Schönefeld bei Berlin: 1 Amt, 1 Flughafen und 11 Bahnhöfe [Schönefeld near Berlin: 1 Office, 1 Airport, and 11 railway stations]. Berlin: Gesellschaft für Verkehrspolitik und Eisenbahnwesen [Society for Transport Policy and Railways]. ISBN 978-3-89218-038-8. OCLC 75906791. 
  • von Przychowski, Hans (2001). Fehlstart oder Bruchlandung? Berlin-Brandenburger Flughafen-Politik. Verlorene Jahre – verlorene Millionen. Das Ringen um den BBI, 1990–2000, eine Zeittafel mit Kommentaren [Aborted start or crash landing? Lost years – lost millions. The struggle over the BBI, 1990–2000, a chronology with commentary]. Berlin: NoRa. ISBN 978-3-935445-26-9. OCLC 76312197. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Berlin Brandenburg Airport at Wikimedia Commons