Business Travel Show Europe Kick Off, 23 February,
Global Travel Risk Summit Europe, May 2023,
3rd Annual Sustainable Business Travel Summit
Supporters of the historic Berlin Tempelhof city centre airport are making a last ditch attempt for it to remain open after its official closing date in October 2008.
A gathering of interested airlines, business aviation operators, local and national politicians, and community members met earlier this week in Berlin in order to focus attention on the proposed closure.
German Business Aviation Association (GBAA) president, Dr Bernd Gans, opened the meeting by explaining that Tempelhof constitutes the only reserve capacity available in Berlin. Local courts have granted permission for Berlin-Brandenburg International (BBI), as it will be renamed, to be created on the condition that there is ”considerable need” for such an extensive development.
Tegel, Berlin”s current major scheduled airport would close.
Official policy has been to let Tempelhof run down and to discourage regional airlines and business aircraft operators from any expansion or investment.
As Berliner and architect Theresa Keilhacker, stated while leading the panel discussion: ”One sees this world heritage building in the context of it being an aviation facility ” meaning with an operating airfield attached to it.
”The actual buildings of Tempelhof cannot be demolished because they are protected. But these buildings make no sense contextually if we cut off the reason for their being here in the first place.”
European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) president, Brian Humphries, pointed to thriving business aviation activity at airports such as London City and Le Bourget, both in excellent locations.
”Business people use business aircraft primarily as a productivity tool to save time as they travel from point-to-point on high value business trips,” explained Humphries. ”Most executives cite close proximity to a city centre as the number one reason for flying business aviation.”
”Thus with Tempelhof a short ten-minute drive to downtown Berlin, it is ideally situated to attract both business aviation and high value point-to-point airline traffic. And in Europe, it has been proven again and again that where business aviation is given sufficient access, local economies benefit immensely.”
The fate of Tempelhof rests on the outcome of three public votes. For the first round last year, 20,000 votes in favour of Tempelhof were needed ” 30,000 pro-Templehof votes were counted. Round 2 begins 15 October 2007 when voters will be invited for four months to cast pro-Tempelhof ballots, and this time 170,000 qualified votes will be needed.
”This is the toughest step,” explained Dr Gans: ”Voters will need to go to their regional town hall and present their IDs. It”s a high hurdle because for many people this extra step might dissuade them from coming out. But I strongly encourage Berliners to make every effort they possibly can because it will prove to be well worth it for us all.”