Berlin opening new state-of-the-art airport in June
On June 3, when Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) opens nearly 20 years after German reunification, Germany’s capital will finally have a single international gateway airport worth of its 21st century status a a world city and forward-looking creative hub. The new €2.5 billion replaces Tegel and Schönefeld, and also Tempelhof, which was closed in 2008. Construction on BER began in 2006 on the at the site of the former East German Schönefeld Airport, 18 miles south of the city center. To accommodate today’s (and hopefully tomorrow’s) aircraft, nearly 2,500 acres were added to the old grounds. The airport now covers 3,675 acres with a host of ultra-modern buildings, super-efficient infrastructure and two parallel state-of-the-art runways more than a mile apart.
Construction is in its final phase with the new terminal, jetways, road connections and operation-specific buildings mostly completed. The meticulous Germans have been conducting basic test operations since November 24, 2011, in order to make a smooth transition from old to new a bit over two months from now. These test runs include security forces, airline employees and ground crews are currently to reveal any possible operational weak spots and to remedy any potential problems.