Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt
Right now there is only one functional airport in Berlin. This brand new airport’s name is Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt is an international airport in Schönefeld just south of the German capital Berlin in the state of Brandenburg. Before get the details of this new shiny airport, we would like to briefly talk about now defunct airports.
Berlin Schönefeld Airport
Berlin Schönefeld Airport
(Opened 15 October 1934 – Closed 25 October 2020) (IATA: SXF, ICAO: EDDB, ETBS). was the secondary international airport of Berlin. It was located 18 km southeast of Berlin near the town of Schönefeld and served as a base for easyJet and Ryanair. In 2017, the travel portal eDreams ranked Berlin Schönefeld as the worst airport in the world. Schönefeld Airport also was the major civil airport of East Germany (GDR) and the only airport of the former East Berlin.
On 25 October 2020 the Schönefeld name and IATA code ceased to exist, marking its closure as an independent airport, with large parts of its infrastructure being incorporated into the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport (IATA: BER, ICAO: EDDB) as its terminal 5 with its sections renamed to K, L, M and Q.Berlin Tegel “Otto Lilienthal” Airport
Berlin Tegel “Otto Lilienthal” Airport
(Oened 5 November 1948 – 4 May 2021) (IATA: TXL, ICAO: EDDT) was the primary international airport of Berlin. The airport was named after Otto Lilienthal and was the fourth busiest airport in Germany, with over 24 million passengers in 2019. The airport served as a base for Eurowings, Ryanair as well as easyJet. It featured flights to several European metropolitan and leisure destinations as well as some intercontinental routes. It was situated in Tegel, a section of the northern borough of Reinickendorf, eight kilometres northwest of the city centre of Berlin.
TXL saw its last flight on 8 November 2020 after all traffic had been transferred gradually to the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport until that date. It was legally decommissioned on 4 May 2021. Helicopter operations will continue at a separate area on the northern side of Tegel Airport until 2029.
The airport’s grounds are due to be redeveloped into a new city quarter dedicated to scientific and industrial research named Urban Tech Republic which is to retain the airport’s main building and tower as a repurposed landmark.
Berlin Brandenburg International Airport Willy Brandt
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Now, let’s talk about our only functional airport in Berlin, shall we? It is named after the former West Berlin mayor and West German chancellor Willy Brandt, it is located 18 kilometres south-east of the city centre and serves as a base for easyJet, Eurowings and Ryanair. It mostly has flights to European metropolitan and leisure destinations as well as a number of intercontinental services.
The new airport replaced Tempelhof, Schönefeld, and Tegel airports, and became the single commercial airport serving Berlin and the surrounding State of Brandenburg, an area with a combined 6 million inhabitants. With projected annual passenger numbers of around 34 million, Berlin Brandenburg Airport is set to become the third busiest airport in Germany surpassing Düsseldorf Airport and making it one of the fifteen busiest in Europe.
The airport was originally planned to open in October 2011, five years after starting construction in 2006. However, the project encountered a series of successive delays. Berlin Brandenburg Airport finally received its operational licence in May 2020, and opened for commercial traffic on 31 October 2020.
Terminal 1 Terminal 2 Terminal 5 Terminal 1
Terminal – 1
The U-shaped main terminal building of Berlin Brandenburg Airport, named 1. terminal and consisting of sections A, B (01-25), C and D was designed by gmp architects. At BER the terminal sits between the two runways, creating a so-called midfield airport above the underground train station. The terminal has four public levels designated 0, 1, 2 & 3.
The check-in area is located in the public area at Level 1 and houses 118 counters organised in eight clusters, called check-in isles. Planners anticipate that a significant number of passengers will use the more than 100 self check-in machines that will be installed. Additionally, by May 2015 two extensions had been added to both sides of the main check-in area containing 12 more check-in counters and eight security lanes each to avoid overcrowding of the main hall.
The airside area will be accessible only to ticketed and screened passengers. Securitas Germany will staff the 35 screening stations. BER is equipped with 25 jet bridges with another 85 aircraft stands on the apron. The boarding and arrival areas are divided into three piers with the main pier 715 metres long and the north and south piers at 350 metres each. The main pier contains 16 jet-bridges, all but one have two levels, thus separating arriving and departing passengers. Level 1 is intended for Schengen passengers (gates A01–A20, B01–B20), while Level 2 (gates C01–C19, D01–D17) is for non-Schengen passengers. Eight of the gates can accommodate wide-body aircraft and one gate has been designed to accommodate the Airbus A380.
The apron has sufficient space to allow installation of a dual jetway allowing a quick boarding and disembarking process. A mezzanine (Level Z) at gates A21–22 and B21 allows for additional pre-boarding security checks for high-risk flights to the United States and Israel. Lufthansa operates an airport lounge at the north end of the main pier (gate B20) which will also be open for passengers of the respective alliance partners. An airport-operated lounge is located at the south end of the main pier (gate A20) which is contracted by most of the non-Star Alliance carriers operating from T1.
The south pier was reserved for near-exclusive use of defunct Air Berlin and its Oneworld partners. The south terminal contains nine single-storey jet bridges (gates A30–A38). The north pier features a more minimalist design compared to the other two piers. This is to meet the demands of low-cost carriers and has no jetbridges, but boarding gates (B30–45) with direct apron access.
Major operators at terminal 1 are easyJet, the Lufthansa Group, Air France, British Airways, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines and Qatar Airways amongst others.
Terminal – 2
2. terminal provide further capacity especially for low-cost carriers. terminal 2 is constructed as a more basic departures and arrivals facility next to the terminal 1 main building, directly connected with its northern pier to gain more check-in capacity while sharing the same airside areas.
Eurowings is supposed to operate their Berlin base out of terminal 2. Besides Eurowings, terminal 2 will be mainly used by Wizz Air alongside others after its opening. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the facility remained closed for the time being as the capacity was not needed for the foreseeable future. Until then, all flights are handled in Terminals 1. As of November 2021, it has been announced that terminal 2 will be opened by April 2022 to relieve terminal 1 as demand for aviation has picked up and thus terminal 1 is having capacity issues
Terminal – 5
5. terminal was made up of the former terminal facilities of old Berlin Schönefeld Airport which were refurbished and renamed from sections A, B, C, and D to K, L, Q, and M, respectively. In 2019, it was decided to leave the old facilities operational to provide more capacity for the expected passenger crowds. The old tarmac at Schönefeld, which was refurbished and upgraded, was also used. 5. terminal, which was located to the north side of the airport, was connected with the central areas of the airport (Terminals 1 and 2) solely landside by the S-Bahn and public transit buses between the new airport station and the old station which formerly served Schönefeld Airport.
In November 2020, it was announced that terminal 5 would be shut down for the time being due to low passenger numbers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with all flights relocating to the main terminal 1. The terminal was closed until further notice on 22 February 2021 and was at the time of closure considered to no longer reopen again. In January 2021 a vaccination center opened at terminal 5 to administer COVID-19 vaccines.
Noise abatement regulations in the airport’s operating licence mean no takeoffs or landings are allowed between midnight and 05:00.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, easyJet was due to become the overall largest airline at the airport in terms of routes served, ahead of Ryanair. In May 2019, Ryanair announced that they would not move to the new facilities, and would keep using the old building at the side of Berlin Schönefeld Airport, which has now become part of Berlin Brandenburg Airport as its terminal 5. However as of 2021, Ryanair remains in the new main building due to terminal 5 being closed for the foreseeable future.
Lufthansa does not use Berlin Brandenburg Airport as a hub. By 2011, they planned to greatly expand its presence in Berlin. At its former facilities at Tegel Airport the airline added several European destinations which however have all since ceased or were handed over to Eurowings.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the airport’s already sparse long-haul operations is still ongoing. However In 2021, the airport authority stated to establish 25 long-haul routes from Berlin by 2025 including negotiations for a revised bilateral agreement to allow Emirates to serve a fifth German city. United Airlines announced their return to Berlin with a service to Newark, which already had been served from Tegel as well as a new route to Washington, D. C. in 2022Image gallery imageImage gallery image Image gallery imageImage gallery image
Cafes and Shops
There are many shops, restaurants and service facilities for you at the T1 Terminal. In the public area there is a florist, as well as a pharmacy and a small supermarket for daily needs. There are several souvenir shops where you can buy souvenirs for your family and friends before leaving the airport. In addition, newsstands and bookstores offer a wide selection of daily newspapers, magazines and books. At T1 you will also find a tourist information office, rental car providers counters and several restaurants.Disabled parking space on Passenger terminal Berlin Brandenburg airport, Willy Brandt.
Services for People with Disability
If you need assistance with your journey because of any mobility restrictions, Airport’s free Mobility Service is available. To use free Mobility Service, please inform your airline, tour operator or travel agent of the extent of the assistance you require at least 48 hours before departure, but preferably directly when booking your flight. Simply indicate the degree of your mobility restriction. When you register with Mobility Service, you will be asked to indicate the degree of your mobility impairment.
BER Airport – terminal 1-2 station has six tracks and forms the lowest level of terminal 1–2. Two tracks serve as a terminus for the S-Bahn – with the S9 serving the Stadtbahn and the S45 serving the southern Ringbahn. The other four tracks handle EuroCity, InterCity, Intercity-Express and Regional-Express trains. The terminal 5 complex is served by BER Airport – terminal 5 station which previously served the former Schönefeld Airport.
Deutsche Bahn confirmed in August 2011 that multiple daily Intercity-Express and InterCity trains will connect the airport to Bielefeld, Hannover, Hamburg, Dresden, Leipzig, Halle and Wolfsburg. EuroCity trains will also connect to Wrocław and Kraków in Poland, Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Prague in the Czech Republic.
About half of the passengers are expected to access BER by rail. An express line (Regionalbahn) will connect the airport with the Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Berlin main station) in 30 minutes. Two more stops at Potsdamer Platz and Berlin Südkreuz will be part of the Airport Express, which is planned to make the trip in 20 minutes. As of 2019, rebuilding the Berlin–Dresden railway that would allow the 20-minute trip to Hauptbahnhof is expected to finish in 2025. Until then, the express train will run via Berlin-Gesundbrunnen and Ostkreuz.
Berlin Brandenburg Airport is connected by its own exit to the A113. The road carries traffic into Berlin to the A100 and out to the A10 where it continues south as the A13 in the direction of Dresden. The highway 96a along the north side of the airport is being expanded to four lanes towards Potsdam.
Four car parks and a car rental centre will be completed by the opening of BER. Around 10,000 parking spaces will be available in four multi-storey car parks.
Over 10% of passengers are expected to come from Poland, also thanks to upgraded highways on the Polish side of the border. It is hoped that these upgrades will make the airport accessible for air travellers from the western regions of that country.
Public transport connections at the new airport include numerous bus services. BER is served by the express buses X7, X71 and X11. The X7 connects to the U7 subway at Rudow station. X71 connects the airport to Alt Mariendorf along the U6 via Rudow. The X11 bus continues to Lichterfelde-West and to Dahlem. There are also special express buses costing a surcharge dubbed “BER1” and “BER2” which connect the airport with Rathaus Steglitz and Potsdam main station respectively. Other bus lines also stop at a number of stations, providing connections with Berlin’s public transport network and destinations in Brandenburg.
The access to the airport by bicycle is considered lacking by the local ADFC who demand a bicycle highway to the new airport. A reason cited for the lacking bicycle access is that the plans dating to 2006 made no such provision. The private website “Bike 2 BER” explains the routes that do exist.
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