On your marks, get set, test! Registration for the trial operation for extras starts in January at ber-testen.de. Employees of the airport company and process partners such as airlines, the Federal Police, customs, and ground handling service providers will be prepared for the start of operations at BER in trial operations from the end of April. The trial operation with around 400 extras per day started at the beginning of July 2020. In total, over 24,000 employees and 9,897 extras were able to get to know BER on 47 trial operation days. Around 179,000 pieces of baggage and 54,000 bookings for 2,350 flights contributed to a realistic impression of the airport.
In the wake of the Corona crisis and the global slump in air traffic in spring 2020, Berlin's airports also recorded a drastic decline in passenger numbers: While in 2019 an average of around 100,000 passengers travelled through Tegel and Schoenefeld every day, in spring and autumn 2020 there were sometimes fewer than 1,000 a day. In 2020, a total of 9.1 million passengers were handled.
The lower building supervisory (untere Bauaufsichtsbehörde) authority of the Dahme-Spreewald district confirms the completion of Terminal 1 at BER on 28 April 2020 following the completion of construction work. The building is thus released for use.
Completion of the service building of the Federal Police on 31 July 2020.
In August 2020, the security perimeter is activated at Berlin Brandenburg Airport in accordance with Section 8 of the Aviation Security Act and a security search is carried out (Cleaning).
At the end of August 2020, the fire protection and evacuation exercise in the airport station and terminal will be successfully carried out.
Completion of Terminal 2 at the end of September 2020. The terminal building will not be put into operation for the time being due to the slump in passenger numbers.
The move from Tegel Airport to BER T1 and T5 respectively from T5 to T1 took place in three major relocation steps. To ensure a smooth opening, the move was started well before the start of operations. The aim was to spread out the volume of the move so that as little furniture, equipment and apparatus as possible had to be moved during the actual nights of the move.
Opening of the station "Airport BER Terminal 1-2" on 25 October 2020.
In the night from 24 to 25 October, the previous three-letter code "SXF" of Schoenefeld Airport was replaced by the code "BER" in the flight booking systems. The existing facilities at Schönefeld Airport will continue to operate as BER's Terminal 5.
The capital region's new airport bears the name of Willy Brandt, one of the outstanding statesmen of the 20th century. On 30 October 2020, the namesake was honoured with the ceremonial unveiling of the memorial wall in Terminal 1 in the run-up to the opening.
Just open: On 31 October 2020, Terminal 1 of Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt (BER) opened with the arrival of the first two aircraft from easyJet and Lufthansa. After landing on BER's northern runway, passengers including easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren and Deutsche Lufthansa AG CEO Carsten Spohr were welcomed to Terminal 1 by Airport CEO Engelbert Lütke Daldrup. The symbolic opening ceremony, which took place in a very small circle due to the ongoing Corona pandemic, was also attended by the Minister President of the State of Brandenburg, Dietmar Woidke, the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, as well as the Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Andreas Scheuer MdB, and the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Rainer Bretschneider. On the evening of 31 October, the first arriving commercial flights were welcomed at Terminal 1. On the morning of 1 November, the first easyJet flight to London Gatwick took off from Terminal 1.
With the landing of Qatar Airways flight QR81 from Doha, BER's southern runway opened on 4 November 2020. With the commissioning of the southern runway, BER is thus fully operational, the night flight regulation comes into force and the six-month period for the final closure of Tegels Airport begins.
On 8 November 2020, Air France flight AF1235 was the last aircraft to take off from Berlin-Tegel Airport "Otto Lilienthal", or TXL for short. At 3 p.m., an Air France Airbus A320-200 took off in the direction of Paris Charles de Gaulle. This marked the end of flight operations at Tegel and all air traffic in the capital region is now concentrated at BER. The airport site was symbolically handed over to the city of Berlin. According to the valid zoning decision for Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Berlin-Tegel Airport must be kept operational for another six months after BER is fully operational. During this time, however, no more flights will take place at Tegel.
In November 2020, passenger numbers will decline again due to the second lockdown and the massive travel restrictions due to the Covid 19 pandemic. In the first month after the opening of BER, a total of 213,000 passengers took off or landed at BER. In October 2020, both Schönefeld and Tegel airports recorded a total of 581,322 passengers. One year earlier, in November 2019, 2,544,833 passengers were handled at the two airports Schoenefeld and Tegel. In comparison, the number of passengers in November 2020 fell by 91.6 per cent.