Berlin once had three major airports, which were Tempelhof, Schönefeld and Tegel Airport. It was decided to consolidate these into a single airport for the city, with Tempelhof closing first back in 2008. I had the pleasure of flying there, and landing was some experience as you used to fly right over residential buildings immediately before the runway.

The southern runway of Schönefeld Airport became the new northern runway for Berlin Brandenburg Airport, with the rest of that facility closing in 2020. Tegel Airport, which was beloved by many for its passenger centric convenient design, saw its last flight on 8 November 2020.

Tegel Airport Repurposed

Tempelhof Airport became Tempelhofer Feld, a large park for the people of Berlin. You can do guided tours of the terminal building, which was built during the years the Nazi party was in power in Germany. Meanwhile, here’s a video of what is happening at Tegel.

Happily they will be keeping a lot of the striking architecture, which is very nice. Using the space for a lot of modern and sustainable housing is smart, as is using all the space for the various startups. It’s all quite interesting to see what happens to an old airport, especially when so much space is available.

Overall Thoughts

While the story of the horrendous construction issues with Berlin Brandenburg Airport will be studied into the future as an example of what not to do, at one time German designers got it right. Tegel Airport minimised walking for passengers, and a person could go from the curb to the gate with very few steps indeed. I passed through here once and found it rather convenient.

Making good use of the space in a decommissioned airport makes a lot of sense. The decision to reduce three airports to one was a sound one, but I have a feeling the new airport won’t be remembered as well as the old ones.

Did you ever fly through Tegel Airport? What was it like? Do you have any thoughts on what they will be doing with the space now? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Hans Knips via Wikimedia Commons.