In 1996, the states of Berlin and Brandenburg and the federal government agreed in the so-called consensus resolution to concentrate the region's air traffic at the Schönefeld site. With the planning approval decision in 2004 and the confirmation of the decision by the Federal Administrative Court in 2006, the planning basis for the expansion is available. The planning assumption for the 2004 zoning decision and the infrastructure to be developed were forecasts for 360,000 aircraft movements and 30 million passengers per year, without setting an upper limit. If the forecasts change, the infrastructure must be adjusted.
In the years leading up to 2019, it was observed that passenger numbers increased significantly more than the number of flight movements. The reasons for this are significantly higher load factors as well as further developments of aircraft types with higher seating capacity. Whereas the 2004 zoning decision had calculated an average of approx. 83 passengers per flight movement, in 2017 an average of approx. 121 passengers travelled per flight movement. This trend will intensify. While Berlin Airports has been handling more passengers since 2016 than assumed in the zoning decision at the time, the 360,000 aircraft movements will not be reached until well after 2030.
Despite the current uncertainties and the decline in passenger numbers due to the Corona pandemic, it can be assumed that normality and growth will return and consequently the infrastructure will have to be further developed. The orderly development of infrastructure requires considerable lead times in strategic planning and planning law adjustments before project orders can be issued for implementation. In this context, the crisis can be seen as an opportunity to develop the continuation of FBB's strategic infrastructural model in scenarios and to take the necessary development steps on a building basis and with a sufficient time horizon. The Master Plan BER 2040 is also necessary in times of crisis as a strategic guiding principle for infrastructure development.
The first adjustments to the landside terminal infrastructure were made with the construction of Terminal 2. The airside infrastructure has also already been optimised.
In summer 2018, the Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Aviation Authority (Obere Luftfahrbehörde Berlin-Brandenburg), as the planning approval authority, announced that the BER master plan, as an internal strategy paper of FBB, would not trigger a new planning approval procedure in its entirety. On this basis, FBB will independently apply for effective and definable amendments to the planning approval for the respective measures required. The competent planning approval authority will then decide on the admissibility of the project in terms of technical planning.
You can find all documents relating to the planning approval at www.lbv.brandenburg.de (german).