Reflection of Willy Brandt lettering on glass façade
Reflection of Willy Brandt lettering on glass façade

Berlin Brandenburg
Airport

The year 2021

On 23 February, Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH closed Terminal 5 of BER (formerly Schönefeld Airport) for an initial period of one year due to corona. The traffic volume at BER can be handled entirely at Terminal 1 until further notice. The savings from the concentration of air traffic amount to around 25 million euros per year.

The new, fully completed and operational Terminal 2 will also not be put into operation for the time being. As soon as passenger numbers increase again, the handling capacities of Terminals 2 and subsequently also Terminal 5 will be gradually included in line with demand.

100 days of BER: The airport company is satisfied with the start of Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt despite the difficult conditions caused by the worldwide Corona pandemic. The new airport and its infrastructure have proven to be efficient and reliable. The technical facilities and the handling processes are running stably and ensure a high level of security. The new Terminal 1 is well received by travellers and visitors. Due to the Corona pandemic, only about 700,000 passengers could be handled at BER in the first three months. This is just about ten per cent of the pre-crisis level of 2019.

Tegel Airport is no longer a commercial airport. On 4 May 2021, midnight, the operating permit for TXL Airport ended. Since 8 November 2020, flight operations for the capital region have been concentrated at Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt Airport in Schönefeld.

In May, the Supervisory Board of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH appointed Chief Commercial Officer Aletta von Massenbach as Chief Executive Officer of FBB with effect from 1 October 2021. Airport CEO Engelbert Lütke Daldrup had asked the Supervisory Board in March 2021 to prematurely terminate his employment contract as of September 2021.

Jörg Simon will become the new Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH with effect from 1 July 2021. Jörg Simon succeeds Rainer Bretschneider, who has been Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH since March 2017 and is leaving at his own request.

The last meeting of the supervisory board of Berliner Flughafen-Gesellschaft (BFG) took place in June 2021. The supervisory body approved a merger of BFG with the parent company Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH (FBB).

In July, easyJet presents plans for the future of BER: The airline is investing further in the site after 17 years of local involvement and is planning a hangar for the maintenance of its European fleet at BER. Construction work on the new hangar is scheduled to start in autumn 2021, with maintenance operations planned from the beginning of 2023.

On 23 July, more than 51,000 passengers were handled at BER. This was the first time since the beginning of the Corona crisis that the number of passengers exceeded the 50,000 mark in one day. The passenger volume is thus significantly below the figures for summer travel in 2019, with up to 120,000 passengers on peak days. In 2020, however, only around 30,000 passengers were counted on peak travel days.

On 4 August, the Tegel Airport site with its 130 buildings and facilities was returned to its owners. As of 5 August, Tegel Projekt GmbH is responsible for the entire site, on which a research and industrial park for urban technologies is to be built.

Start of construction work on the easyJet hangar in the western area of BER on 23 September 2021. Maintenance operations are planned from the beginning of 2023.

Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt Airport will be one year old on 31 October 2021. A total of eight million passengers have used the new Terminal 1 under the conditions of the Corona pandemic. A total of 74 airlines took off for more than 160 destinations in 53 countries. Around 24,400 tonnes of cargo were handled at BER.

On 10 November, Dietz Airport Hotels Grundbesitz GmbH and FBB celebrate the topping-out ceremony for the IntercityHotel at BER. Construction completion and commissioning of the hotel are planned for early 2023.

2020 - The year BER goes into operation

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. 

The years 1996 - 2019

  • Topping-out ceremony for Terminal 2 on 30 July 2019.
  • Distribution of airlines to terminals T1, T2, T5.
  • Impact principle tests and composite tests at BER.
  • September: The airport company acquires ExpoCenter Airport Berlin Brandenburg GmbH (ECA). ECA owns the so-called ILA site. This means that FBB now has the opportunity to use the area on the edge of the airport under its own management.
  • The opening date has been set for 31 October 2020.

  • The building regulations office (Bauordnungsamt) of the Dahme-Spreewald district grants the airport company a further building permit, "Addendum 6.1", in January 2018. This finally approves the maximum utilisation of the airport railway station.
  • The building regulations office of the Dahme-Spreewald district grants Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH the building permit for BER Terminal T2 on 24 July 2018.
  • In September, Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH commissions Zechbau GmbH from Bremen as general contractor to build the new Terminal 2 at BER.
  • Construction work on the government airport's interim terminal will end on time and on budget in October 2018.
  • Start of the ORAT project 24 months before BER goes into operation. The goal of ORAT (Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer) was to ensure the operational readiness of the new airport and to coordinate the airport move from the old locations to BER. 

  • Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH announces on 21 January 2017 that BER Airport will not be able to start operations in 2017 as planned. A new date is not given.
  • Approval for the 6th addendum to the building permit is granted in January.
  • The release for use for the south pier is granted in February.
  • Presentation of the detailed BER 2040 Master Plan with the strategic model for the further infrastructural development of BER in the area between the runways, the so-called Midfield. By extending the two piers South and North and adding a second terminal, BER can be expanded for up to 55 million passengers in 2040.
  • The management announces on 15 December 2017 that BER is scheduled to open in October 2020. 

  • Approval of the 5th addendum to the building permit.

  • Renovation of the north runway of Schönefeld Airport. Meanwhile, air traffic is being handled via BER's south runway.
  • Commissioning of BER-NET, the conversion of the network technology for the BER campus is completed.
  • The Supervisory Board agrees that Schönefeld Airport will remain in operation for five years beyond the BER commissioning and will be further expanded. It is also decided to build a new terminal at BER. The terminal is to be built in the immediate vicinity of Pier North.

  • Commissioning of Fire Station East and Fire Station West, Winter Service Hall and Waste Management East. A total of 39 out of 40 buildings on the BER site have been accepted by the Building Regulations Office. Pending is the BER terminal.
  • The approval for use of the North Pier was granted on 19 December.
  • At the Supervisory Board meeting on 12 December 2014, the Executive Board names the second half of 2017 as the new date corridor for the commissioning of the BER.

  • The opening date of 27 October 2013 is cancelled at the beginning of January due to problems with the fire protection system.
  • The Cargo Center at BER starts operations in August.
  • The concept for the conversion of the smoke extraction system is submitted to the Building Regulations Office. It includes two core issues: the division of the largest smoke extraction system (the so-called system 14) into three parts and the installation of a so-called "higher-level safety-oriented programmable logic controller" (ÜSSPS).

  • The Federal Office for Air Traffic Control (BAF) presents the flight paths for Berlin Brandenburg Airport in January. According to this, aircraft will take off straight ahead from the north runway and turn south from the south runway in both take-off directions.
  • On 8 May 2012, the opening date of 3 June 2012 is cancelled. Completion and structural acceptance can no longer be realised.
  • On 17 May 2012, the Supervisory Board decides that the opening date for BER will be postponed to 17 March 2013. Dr Manfred Körtgen, Managing Director of Engineering, leaves the company. The contractual relationship with Planungsgemeinschaft Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg International (pg bbi), responsible for general planning and site supervision, is terminated.
  • The Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg (OVG) upholds an application by airport residents against the noise protection programme for Berlin Brandenburg Airport. According to the ruling, the applicants are "entitled to financial compensation or the installation of noise protection measures for the daytime period which ensure that no higher A-weighted maximum levels than 55 dB(A) occur inside the residential buildings when the windows are closed."
  • The new Technical Director of the airport company, Horst Amann, presents the results of his assessment of the situation at Berlin Brandenburg Airport at the supervisory board meeting on 7 September 2012. A new opening date of 27 October 2013 is mentioned.

  • The new southern runway at BER is ready.
  • The Federal Administrative Court confirms the supplementary planning approval decision for BER in the last instance. In the supplementary zoning decision of October 2009, the Brandenburg Ministry of Infrastructure stipulates the number of flights in the off-peak hours from 10 p.m. to midnight and from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m..
  • The trial operation with employees of FBB and the partners starts in November 2011. The trial operation with extras starts in February and is scheduled to run until 16 May 2012. The trial operation will be discontinued when the opening date is postponed at the beginning of May 2012.

  • Topping-out ceremony of the BER terminal.
  • Postponement of the planned opening date from 30 October 2011 to 3 June 2012 due to delays in the technical building equipment, among other things.

  • Decision of the Brandenburg aviation authority on night flights at BER.
  • Topping-out ceremony for the DFS tower at BER.

  • The Federal Constitutional Court confirms the legality of the planning approval decision.
  • Construction work on the BER terminal begins.

  • The Higher Administrative Court (Oberverwaltungsgericht) of Berlin-Brandenburg decides on the closure of Tempelhof Airport on 31 October 2008 and rejects the complaint of 13 airlines.
  • Receipt of the building permit for the BER passenger terminal.
  • Start of construction work on the underground railway station.
  • The Supervisory Board of Flughafen Berlin-Schönefeld GmbH agrees to cancel the award procedure for the construction of the terminal. Instead, the construction work is placed on the market in individual lots.
  • Decommissioning of the north runway at Schönefeld Airport for the construction of the new A113 (new) motorway.

  • The Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht) approves the expansion of Schönefeld Airport into BER. An appeal against the last-instance ruling is not possible. Conditions are imposed on night flights and compensation in the outdoor living area. Lifting of the construction freeze.
  • Groundbreaking ceremony for the new airport. Signing of the railway contracts for the rail link (5 September 2006).

  • The Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht) approves the expansion of Schönefeld Airport into BER. Pre-construction measures are still possible.
  • The Higher Administrative Court (Oberverwaltungsgericht) of Berlin-Brandenburg rejects the appeals of five airlines against the closure of Berlin-Tegel.

  • Planning approval decision by the Brandenburg aviation authority
  • Approval of the financing concept
  • Award of the first planning contracts to the general planners and others
  • Start of the preparatory construction measures

  • 2000 - 2004: Planning approval procedure with display of the documents and public hearings.
  • 1999: Signing of the contracts for the resettlement of the community of Diepensee and the partial resettlement of the community of Selchow.
  • 1997 - 2003: Negotiations on the privatisation of the construction project and award procedure. The privatisation is ultimately not implemented and the planning documents are transferred to the airport company.
  • 1996 - 1999: Planning of the airport and submission of the zoning application
  • 1996: Consensus decision by the shareholders Berlin, Brandenburg and the federal government: The shareholders refrain from building a new airport for the region. Instead, the existing Schönefeld Airport is to be expanded into Berlin Brandenburg International Airport BBI. The inner-city airports Tegel and Tempelhof are to be closed.
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