This was decided by the federal government and the states of Berlin and Brandenburg on Wednesday morning.
NewsABC.net already reported at the end of April that the airport would probably never open again. After Tempelhof Airport, Berlin’s second inner-city airport will soon be history.
Update from May 20, 2020:
In the Corona crisis, the most important airport in the German capital is expected to go offline: Berlin Tegel Airport can go out of service temporarily on June 15. This was decided by the federal government and the states of Berlin and Brandenburg in a shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday, as a spokeswoman for the Berlin Senate Department for Finance said. NewsABC.net reported in this article in late April that this was likely to happen.
The relevant application has already been submitted to the aviation authority. If the number of passengers does not recover significantly in the next few weeks, the airport is going to take a two-month break. Paris had closed its Orly airport on 1 April and moved flights to Charles de Gaulle airport in a similar fashion.
The airport company Berlin Brandenburg is struggling with revenue shortfalls in the hundreds of millions due to the crisis. Berlin’s Tegel airport, close to the city center, was the number four German airport after Frankfurt, Munich and Düsseldorf last year, with more than 24 million passengers. Schönefeld on the southeastern city boundary in Brandenburg is smaller, there were a good eleven million passengers.
Recently, only around 2,000 passengers flew per day at Berlin’s Tegel and Schönefeld airports. The main check-in building in Tegel has been closed since mid-March, passengers can only check in at the secondary terminal C. It is similar in Schönefeld.
At the end of the year, Tegel should definitely go online anyway. After several missed appointments, it is planned that the new capital city airport BER will be opened on October 31st and the last plane will take off in Tegel on November 8th. Airport chief Engelbert Lütke Daldrup had recently shown himself skeptical that Tegel could go online again after the temporary closure.
At the end of March, the federal government had still ensured that Tegel would remain open. The infrastructure should remain flexible due to the Corona crisis, it said. The federal government also had concerns because the new government terminal in Schönefeld was not yet operational. A compromise had been hinted at in the past few days.
The decision to close Tegel was not unanimous
According to information from NewsABC.net, the owners of the Berlin Airport Company (FBB) gave the green light to close Airport Tegel at the end of April. However, the decision was not unanimous. While Berlin and Brandenburg did not want to stop the corresponding decision by the supervisory board, the federal government originally raised concerns. As announced by NewsABC.net, these have now been cleared up within around two weeks.
Accordingly, an application is now to be made to temporarily shut down Tegel from June until air traffic remains restricted by the corona pandemic. However, insiders assume that the last remaining inner-city airport will not be reopened.
Bund previously had concerns
In principle, the federal government also welcomes an adjustment of the infrastructure, but a closure of Tegel requires that both civil aviation and government flight operations can be managed as required. A decision can only be made once the conditions at Schönefeld Airport have been mutually agreed.
Passengers have been handled in the hexagonal terminal building in Tegel since 1975. Operations should not be stopped until six months after the opening of the new BER large airport in Schönefeld. But the collapse of air traffic due to the pandemic is forcing FBB to change its plans. With the Tegel closure, the company claims to save seven million euros per month in operating costs.
So far, the decision had mainly failed due to the federal veto, which does not want to give up an important infrastructure unnecessarily in the current crisis. Now, however, the general meeting gave the green light.
Tegel architect von Gerkan: “I’m a little bit concerned.”
Tegel architect Meinhard von Gerkan to NewsABC.net: “I’m a little bit concerned, of course. You just love your own children. But for me the day is also a departure – after all, my office is involved in redesigning the property. ”
According to the current plans, the remaining air traffic will be relocated to Schönefeld. A move back is considered unlikely. Rather, parts of the new BER could be used before the opening in late October. Approval by the building authorities has been available since the end of April. This would also accommodate the airlines, such as Lufthansa or Easyjet, which had spoken out against a back and forth from Tegel to Schönefeld and back. They could move directly to their future areas at BER.
From 1948 to the present: That is the story of Tegel Airport
This is Tegel Airport today: an airplane landed every two minutes before Corona times.
But 72 years ago, this property looked completely different.
It was in the French Berlin zone during the airlift from June 24, 1948. Two million West Berliners had to be supplied with food after the Soviet Union cut off all water and land routes.
It quickly became apparent that Tempelhof and Gatow airports are not enough to supply everyone. A new runway was needed.
The construction of the runway became a source of income after the war
Food was scarce, and so was work. Around 19,000 people were commissioned to build it; received 200 marks a month for this, which was not a little at that time.
Three months later, the US Air Force’s first transport plane landed in Tegel.
This is where a French army music corps celebrates its first landing on November 5, 1948.
Within one year, until May 12, 1949, the Allies were to fly over 2.1 million tons of food and coal to Tegel, Tempelhof and Gatow in 230,000 flights. On average, one airplane landed in Berlin every 62 seconds.
The French Allies had set up their own settlement in Berlin-Tegel.
After the war, the “Quartier Napoléon” was set up on the site of the former Hermann Göring barracks. It was available to the French soldiers and their families. They had their own supermarkets, churches, swimming pools, banks, bakeries – and a cinema.
John F. Kennedy landed in Tegel on June 26, 1963 – the third stop on a journey that was to become a legend
West Berlin was the third stop that John F. Kennedy visited on his ten-day tour of Germany; He first landed in Cologne-Bonn, then moved on to Frankfurt am Main. It was the journey in which the legendary sentence “I am a Berliner” was spoken.
In 1960 Air France started the first scheduled flight to Tegel.
The American airline Pan Am also began civil aviation in 1964.
Pan Am, short for Pan American Airways, has connected West Berlin to numerous destinations in Western Europe and, for several years, also directly to New York JFK.
At that time the airport was provisional, like this reception barrack.
Nevertheless: In 1966, all charter airlines relocated their flights to Tegel because Tempelhof was overloaded.
These include the airlines Channel Airways, Laker Airways and Modern Air.
At that time, international stars were already flying into Tegel – such as “The Rolling Stones” on November 15, 1965.
Tegel gradually became the most important airport in Berlin.
While individual buildings such as this waiting hall initially remained a provisional solution, the architectural firm GMP developed the airport facilities in Tegel-Süd.
Meinhard von Gerkan, Volkwin Marg and Klaus Nickels belonged to the Hamburg architecture firm GMP.
This model shows how they imagined the airport.
With its geometric shapes, it corresponds to the zeitgeist of the 1960s to 1970s.
On June 12, 1969, Senator for Economic Affairs Karl König (SPD) broke ground for Tegel-Süd.
Tegel-Süd should be completed on October 23, 1974.
A good ten months later, on April 27, 1970, Berlin Mayor Klaus Schütz (SPD) laid the foundation stone for the new terminal building.
The terminal worked for two and a half years …
… Until the topping-out ceremony on September 21, 1972.
A historic moment: client and director of Berliner Flughafen-Gesellschaft mbH Robert Grosch symbolically hands over the key.
Also present: Architect Meinhard von Gerkan and Mayor Klaus Schütz, October 1974.
The new Tegel Airport was inaugurated on October 23, 1974.
After the inauguration of British Airways and Pan Am, their aircraft moved from Tempelhof back to Tegel. Only the Western Allies were allowed to fly to and from Berlin.
“Crime scene: death in the subway shaft” is filmed in Tegel
Erdal Meran and Radu Cristea drive across Berlin Tegel on a luggage cart. “Death in the subway shaft” was first broadcast on November 9, 1975.
At this point, Tegel was very similar to today’s airport. Be it the scoreboard …
… the check-in hall …
… or check-in.
The short way from the taxi to the gate is particularly popular – until today.
In general, little has changed except for the quality of the photos. Here is the outside area, 1986 …
… and here the outdoor area in August 2012.
Or the characteristic hexagon from Tegel in August 1996…
… compared to a picture from August 2013.
In fact, two hexagons were supposed to be built. In the middle is the parking deck with the parking garage underneath.
The similarity of the boulevard is particularly striking: This is a photo from 1979 …
… and this is the boulevard in 2011.
Over the years, several celebrities entered Tegeler Boden – like Mother Teresa here 1983, who is welcomed by nuns …
September 30, 2008 – a special day for Tegel: Police officers from the GSG9 special unit accompany five Germans home.
Five German tourists and 14 other people were held hostage in Egypt for ten days. Together with 100 special forces from the GSG9, the Bundeswehr, the Federal Criminal Police Office, the Federal Police and the THW, they arrived in Tegel physically intact.
These returnees were also celebrated: On June 15, 2014, the German national team landed at Tegel Airport as world champion.
Trellises represent the Queen: she landed in Tegel on June 23, 2015.
Former US President Barack Obama travels to Berlin to meet with European leaders.
After a stop in Athens, he reached Berlin on November 16, 2016 – on his last trip to Europe as President of the United States.
The panda lady Meng Meng, who now lives in the Berlin Zoo and recently became a mother of twins, will arrive in Berlin on June 24, 2017.
Like her partner Jiao Qing, she is on loan for 15 years.
Farewell to Air Berlin: The airline’s last flight between Munich and Berlin ended in Tegel on October 27, 2017.
Tegel today: How swept clean.
The flights are canceled due to the corona virus, and there are currently no passengers. The decision to permanently close Tegel appears to be a definitive one. Berlin-Brandenburg Airport is to take its place.
Tegel should have been closed in May 2012 – instead, a terminal was expanded and a noise barrier was built.