Monday, February 12, 2007

Say good-bye to Berlin's historic Tempelhof Airport

The International Herald Tribune reports that Berlin's historic Tempelhof Airport will close to passengers next year. Earlier today, a German court threw out a bid that would have prevented the airport's closure.

Here's an excerpt from that article:
Thirteen companies that use the inner-city airport have sought to block its closure as part of plans to build a new hub on the edge of the capital.

However, the Berlin-Brandenburg administrative court rejected their complaints, arguing that acceptable alternatives were available and the companies' rights were not infringed upon.

During lengthy legal proceedings, the city government already has agreed to give the loss-making Tempelhof a one-year reprieve. It is now scheduled to shut on Oct. 31, 2008.
Too small for many modern jets, Tempelhof is only used at present for short-haul flights with small aircraft. Carriers operating from Tempelhof will now have to move to former East Berlin's Schoenefeld airport, just outside the city, or to the busy Tegel airport in the former west. According to the AP article, Tegel is slated to close as well, and Schoenefeld will be expanded into the capital's new hub, Berlin-Brandenburg International, by 2011.

Tempelhof, which opened in 1923, was famous as the hub for the historic Berlin Airlift of 1948-1949. Visit The Berlin Airlift on the Truman Presidential Museum and Library website, for background, and a lot of wonderful photos.