Updated: Oct 18, 2021
On Nov. 8, Berlin’s Tegel Airport shut down its doors for the final time. In its place, the long-delayed Brandenburg Airport – located on the outskirts of Berlin – is now tasked with the air traffic that the discontinued airport once had.
The final flight that took off from Tegel on Sunday Afternoon was an Air France jet to Paris, a tribute to the first commercial flight that flew from the grounds 60 years ago.
Built in 1948, the airport has had a rich and complex history. Constructed during the Berlin Blockade, it was built in 90 days – an impressive engineering feat. The airport was constructed to support the Berlin Airlift, a massive operation by the United States to ship in supplies and prevent a Soviet Blockade of Berlin.
The airport has received mixed responses from many who passed through – adored by many and loathed by others. Known for its vintage design, the airport has enamored many travelers and those in Berlin. Winnie Heun, a Berlin Cinematographer, is among those who have built a bond with the airport. “The great thing is the design of the airport. It’s really marvelous, it’s really retro and it really fits Berlin,” he remarked.
Others have not been so impressed.
Since Tegel Airport serves around 20 million passengers a year, a huge increase from the six million it was meant to hold, it led to major overcrowding. Known for its long lines, many customers had been displeased by the airport service. “It’s normally terrible because there are no facilities. You always have to Queue. [Berlin] needs a decent airport, one that caters to passengers, British traveler Trevor Smith said.
As the airport closed last Sunday, many are excited about the possibilities the new one holds, Brandenburg Airport.
The facility faced great troubles during construction, with opening plans being consistently pushed back. In 2006, the construction of the airport began and was set to open in 2011. After inspectors found major structural flaws, the opening was pushed back even further while problems kept piling and the debt accumulated. The mishaps even caused Klaus Worweit, Mayor of Berlin, to resign. He stated that the failures of the airport were “one of his biggest defeats” as Mayor.
After several years, the celebration over the opening of the Airport was expectedly diminished due to COVID-19. Nearly a decade late, the airport is still a welcomed addition by many travelers. Having a capacity of around 40 million, it is a substantial increase from Tegel. Designed with a glossy glass facade as well as modern furniture, both airports paint two stark visualizations from each other with their size and pattern.
Even through the many struggles that Brandenburg Airport has faced, it is expected to bring new life into Berlin – a city now equipped with an adequate airport.
Through Teen Lenses : Do you believe that the transition to the Brandenburg Airport from the Tegel Airport in Berlin satisfies the needs of travelers?
“Yes, although I haven’t heard much about the new airport, I know that it is a significant upgrade from the airport that just shut down. While it’s sad to see an iconic part of Berlin shut down, hopefully, it makes travel for all much easier.” Mikey Fellman, 18, Senior at Thomas Wootton High School, Potomac, Maryland
“I don’t believe that the two airports will make much of a difference, especially in the COVID situation we are in now. With the air industry in a decline, I don’t think that it will rebound enough to a point where there is a substantial and noticeable difference in how the airports can handle travelers.” Ryan Meyer, 17, Senior at Thomas Wootton High School, Potomac, Maryland
“I’ve heard a lot of good things about the new airport being built, especially since Berlin hasn’t ever had an adequate airport. Since I’ve been at Tegel Airport before, I’ve noticed how lackluster it was compared to many others. I believe that the new airport will satisfy the needs of travelers.” Rahul Prakash, 17, Junior at Sidwell Friends High School, Bethesda, Maryland