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
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
BER is located in Berlin
Location at the Berlin-Brandenburg border
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 be opened 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, it is known the airport will not open in 2014, but no date has been fixed for when the airport will be inaugurated.[5] Since the still necessary (re-)construction work is estimated to take 18 months, and has not started yet, any dates prior to late 2016 are considered unlikely.[6]


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

Over 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 being based there. In 1976, a modern passenger terminal (today known as Terminal A) was 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 and Berlin once again becoming the German federal capital, plans were made to recognise the increased importance of the city with the construction of a large commercial airport, as Tegel Airport, Schönefeld Airport and Tempelhof Airport were aging and becoming increasingly congested due to rising passenger numbers. In order to ensure the economical viability of the project, the single airport concept was pursued, which meant that the new airport would become the sole commercial airport for Berlin and Brandenburg. As a consequence, it was decided to have Tegel, Schönefeld and Tempelhof closed upon opening of 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, then Mayor of Berlin, became the first chairman of the supervisory board, and on 20 June 1993 it was announced that the area south of Schönefeld Airport (where the BER was eventually realized), Sperenberg Airfield and Jüterbog Airfield were considered possible sites for the new airport,[7] each of which found its advocates in the ensuing political discussion. Concerning land-use planning and noise issues, rural Sperenberg and Jüterbog were considered to be more suitable for the construction of a large airport. From an economical point of view, an airport located near the city center with existing road and rail links (as it is the case with Schönefeld) was favored.[7][8]

On 28 May 1996, Eberhard Diepgen, Manfred Stolpe (then Minister-President of Brandenburg) and Matthias Wissmann (then Federal Minister for Transport) committed themselves 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, it was planned to have the new airport being owned and operated by a private investor. A call for proposals was initiated, from which two bidding consortia emerged as serious contenders: One was led by Hochtief (through its Hochtief Airport subsidiary) and included ABB, Fraport and Bankengesellschaft Berlin as partners, the other one comprised IVG, Flughafen Wien AG, Dorsch-Consult, Commerzbank and Caisse des Dépôts.[10] On 19 September 1998, it was 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, Hochtief and its partners were officially assigned with the construction of the new airport, a decision against which IVG subsequently filed 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 the contract award being annulated on 3 August of that year.[11]

In a new attempt to be contracted for the construction and operation allowance of the new airport, Hochtief Airport and IVG teamed up and brought forth a plan for a joint bid on 10 November 2000.[12] At that time, it was hoped that the planning approval could be granted in 2002, with 2007 being named for the tentative opening.[13]

When the Hochtief/IVG bid was officially submitted in February 2002, the BBF associates (by then, Eberhard Diepgen had been replaced by Klaus Wowereit as Mayor of Berlin and chair of the supervisory board, and Matthias Platzeck had been elected Minister-President of Brandenburg; Manfred Stolpe was still concerned with the airport, as he had become Federal Minister of Transportation) determined that it would not meet the demands, and on 22 May 2003, it was decided to scrap the privatization plan altogether.[14] Hochtief and IVG were paid ca €50 million compensation for the planning effort.

Public ownership and construction permit[edit]

Henceforth, the new Berlin airport would be planned, owned and operated by the BBF Holding (which was renamed Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH (FBB) shortly afterwards), which in turn is owned by Berlin, Brandenburg (37 percent each) and Germany (26 percent). On 13 August 2004, the planning approval for the development of Schönefeld Airport into new Berlin Brandenburg International Airport was granted by the Brandenburg state ministry for infrastructure and regional policy.[15]

A legal battle ensued, as lawsuits against this decision were filed by local residents. It was terminated on 16 March 2006, when the Federal Administrative Court of Germany (the highest court on that matter) rejected the objections,[16] though stipulation were imposed on the flight operations at the new airport. 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 with three airports (Tegel, Schönefeld, Tempelhof).[17] Therefore, it is a mandatory prerequisite for Tegel and Schönefeld to be closed down (Tempelhof was already decommissioned in 2008) once Berlin's air traffic is concentrated at the new airport.[18]


By 2006, the construction cost was budgeted at €2.83 billion, which was supplied 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 the construction phase, it became clear that the airport would become significantly more expensive. This is mostly due to an underestimating of the actual costs in a too-optimistic calculation; construction flaws; and increased expenses for soundproof insulations of private homes located near the airport. The series of delays to the opening date is expected to lead to a number of lawsuits against FBB, which might result in large-scale damage compensations for the affected airlines (Air Berlin already announced its intention of such a move) and airport businesses.[20]

As of late 2012, the expenditures for Berlin Brandenburg Airport had accumulated to a total of €4.3 billion, nearly twice the originally anticipated figure.[21]


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

During most of its planning and construction phase, the new airport was known as Berlin Brandenburg International Airport, abbreviated BBI. When the planned opening date of 2 June 2012 (which did not materialize) drew nearer, a marketing campaign was launched, introducing the BER branding, reflecting the new airport code.

In 2007, it was 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. The leading politicians responsible for this choice, Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and Minister-President of Brandenburg Matthias Platzeck, are both members of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), which was led by Brandt from 1964 to 1987.

Other people proposed to be honored by naming the airport accordingly included Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, Albert Einstein and Marlene Dietrich (by 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 had to be 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 was 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 topping out was celebrated with open days of the airport site.[30] Since 30 October 2011, the railway line and terminal station have been ready for service, though until the opening no scheduled trains will operate to the airport.

On 24 November 2011, operating tests and service trials commenced (at that time, it was assumed that BER would be opened on 3 June 2012). A total of 12,000 volunteers participated in the simulation of check-in, security screening, boarding and baggage claim. 15,000 pieces of luggage were used for tests of the automated baggage processing system. Also, nighttime operations and emergency scenarios were covered.[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 been resumed since.

Delayed opening and construction flaws[edit]


The construction of Berlin Brandenburg Airport has suffered from continued delays. As of January 2013, four official opening dates have not been met.[3][21]

When construction of the terminal building began in 2006, 30 October 2011 was announced as inauguration 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


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.



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.


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.


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
 Germany, Frankfurt Frankfurt
 Germany, Cologne/Bonn Cologne Bonn
 United Kingdom, London Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Southend, Stansted
 Germany, Stuttgart Stuttgart
 Germany, Düsseldorf Düsseldorf
 France, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Orly
  Switzerland, Zurich Zurich
 Spain, Palma de Mallorca Palma de Mallorca
 Austria, Vienna Vienna
 Turkey, Antalya Antalya
 Netherlands, Amsterdam Amsterdam
 Russia, Moscow Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo, Vnukovo
 Turkey, Istanbul Atatürk, Sabiha Gökçen
 Spain, Madrid Madrid

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.


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]


  1. ^ a b "Berlin Airport Fiasco Shows Chinks in German Engineering Armor". Bloomberg L.P. 14 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Holger Hansen; Sarah Marsh (6 January 2013), Tim Dobbyn, ed., New Berlin airport further delayed to 2014, Reuters,, retrieved 7 January 2013 
  3. ^ a b c d Melissa Eddy (7 January 2013), "Mayor to Leave Panel Overseeing Delayed Berlin Airport", The New York Times,, retrieved 2 February 2013 
  4. ^ was/mik/dpa (28 May 2014), Korruptionsverdacht auf BER-Baustelle: Mehdorns Desaster ist perfekt, Spiegel,, retrieved 29 May 2014 
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ von Bullion, Constanze (23 October 2013). "Verloren in der Entrauchungsmatrix". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Der Tagesspiegel: Die Akte Schönefeld – 1989 bis 1996. Published online on 2 December 2011 (in German).
  8. ^ Heike C. Alberts et. al.: Missed Opportunities: The Restructuring of Berlin's Airport System and the City's Position in International Airline Networks. University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 2008
  9. ^ Der Tagesspiegel: Konsensbeschluss zur Tempelhof-Schließung. The consensus decision in full quote (in German). Published on 18 June 2007.
  10. ^ a b Die Welt: Hochtief baut in Schönefeld. Published online on 19 September 1998 (in German).
  11. ^ Pleiten, Pech und Pannen in Schönefeld. Published on 20 May 2003 (in German).
  12. ^ Hochtief press release: HOCHTIEF AirPort und IVG wollen Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg International gemeinsam realisieren. Issued on 10 November 2000 (in German).
  13. ^ handelsblatt: Großflughafen Berlin nimmt offenbar Kartell-Hürde. Published online on 2 February 2001 (in German).
  14. ^ Frankfurter Allgemeine ZeitungPrivatisierung von Hauptstadt-Flughafen gescheitert. Published online on 22 May 2003 (in German).
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  • 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