The end of a long farewell: after years of waiting for BER, the old airport in the city center has been taken out of service. For many Berliners it is the end of a special relationship.
Berlin (dpa): 60 years after the first scheduled flight, Berlin Tegel Airport is closed. For the last scheduled flight, a special Air France plane to Paris took off on Sunday. Air traffic in the capital region now passes exclusively through the new BER airport in Schönefeld.
On Saturday, the last airlines flew their planes from Tegel to the new location. One week after the opening of the Willy Brandt airport in Berlin-Brandenburg, the move is now complete. To be sure, Tegel will remain operational for another six months.
Private visits were not allowed on Sundays. Several thousand came to Tegel on Saturday to experience the last normal day of operation. For many West Berliners in particular, the location was the gateway to the world, next to Tempelhof Airport, which was closed in 2008.
During the Berlin blockade in 1948, the French occupation forces had an airfield built in their West Berlin sector at Tegel. In January 1960, Air France began scheduled flight operations.
That is why the French company was selected for the last flight on Sunday. Flight AF1235 left the runway with guests on board under the fire brigade fountains and took off. An industrial and research park will be built on the site in the next few years.
Until the outbreak of the corona epidemic, Tegel was overloaded, with 24 million passengers last year. The airport near the city center supported most of Berlin’s air traffic. There was also the old airport on the site of Schönefeld; it is now part of BER.
In reality, Tegel should go offline in 2011. But planning errors, construction defects and technical problems at the BER construction site delayed the move. Hundreds of thousands of Berliners had to endure aircraft noise longer.
From now on this will mainly affect many Brandenburgers in the densely populated BER area. Due to the Corona crisis, relatively little is flown. In October there were a total of around 9,000 flights at Tegel and Schönefeld. In the same month last year there were 8,300 in Schönefeld alone and 17,300 in Tegel.