16 October, etc.venues Monument
30 October, JW Marriott Grosvenor House
1st November 2023, etc.venues County Hall
Berlin”s city centre airport Tempelhof will close on 31 October 2008.
Airlines, business aviation operators and politicians ” including Chancellor Angela Merkel - have long campaigned to save Tempelhof, but the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig has ruled it will be shut down.
Michael Zehden, chairman of the Berliner Flughafen-Gesellschaft Supervisory Board ” which manages Berlin”s airports - said: ”The closure of Tempelhof makes political and economic sense, a view shared by all the major airlines that support our decision to concentrate air traffic on Berlin-Brandenburg International (BBI).
”Tempelhof continues to lose money, and these substantial losses are ultimately a burden on the taxpayer”s shoulders."
Airlines will have to reroute to Berlin”s Schonefeld airport, which is being expanded into a major new hub ” the ”2bn ($2.93bn) BBI, 45min east of the capital. Due for completion in 2011, its opening will also spell the end of Tegel, Berlin”s third airport.
Just ten minutes from the city centre, Tempelhof is ideally situated for business travelers, and the European Business Aviation Association, which has been busy petitioning the public to save Tempelhof, said the announcement was a ”tragedy” - but that it would fight on.
”This has come as a bit of a shock,” said president Brian Humphries. ”We”ve been working with the German Business Aviation Association (GBAA) and the petition has been going well, so this is somewhat unexpected.
”We”re still going to fight to keep it open. We”ve got more than 100,000 signatures so far, and we have to get 170,000 by February. Tempelhof is a very important national asset, and we are right behind our colleagues in the GBAA.”
Templehof was the world”s first commercial airport, built in 1923. Its 1,000m (3,280ft)-long terminal was once the biggest building in the world, and British and US aircraft used its airstrips to land supplies during the Berlin airlift following the Second World War.