The only reason for us not being sentimental at the moment of our last flight into and out of Berlin Tegel was that we simply didn’t know that it would be our last.
Let´s go back a few decades: even though it was already used for military aircraft it was only in 1960 when Berlin Tegel was officially opened for cicil aviation airliners. At that moment it was the most modern airport in the world.
The concept was simple and ingenious as well: short distances with almost no chance to get lost. If one chose to arrive by car in front of the terminal the time spent to reach the gate was minimized, since the check-in and the security control were just next to the departure gate. Even if one wouldn’t know whether the departure gate was to the left or to the right didn’t matter, because the terminal building had a hexagonal shape.
For us pilots it was quite impressive as well. Two runways, one of them was at that moment the longest one in Europe at 2428m or short distances from the gates to the runways. But of course, through-out the years travel demand was rising rapidly and so TXL wasn’t state-of-the-art anymore.
While passengers could choose between three different airports it became quite apparent that the smaller ones reached their maximum capacity rather quickly. At first it was Berlin Tempelhof, THF which closed its gates for good at the end of 2008. This airport, situated in the city center, was rarely used and the max. capacity of 1.5 Mio. passengers per year was never reached. It was simply too close and neighbors complaint about the noise. Schönefeld, Berlins second airport was situated south of the city. Already in the 1960´s it was used by major airlines from all around the world.
While TXL, Tegel became the main airport of Berlin it was very clear that the max. capacity would soon be reached. At the end of 2018 22 million passengers were traveling through Berlin Tegel airport.
The future of air-travel in Berlin asked for something bigger: BER, Berlin Brandenburg. While it is not a brand new airport, it is merely the re-modeling of Schönefeld airport, south of the city. It was planned to go on line in 2011, but mishaps in planning delayed the project to Nov. 2020. The max. capacity was communicated with 48 million passengers per year.
Let´s see about that, especially now in this pandemic crisis. This alone is the reason why in this video you can see our last flights at TXL airport. Officially it will close its gates with its last flight on Nov. 8th, 2020, but our rosters are again set back to zero.
So, I do hope you enjoy the last flights into and out of Berlin Tegel airport.
Goodbye Tegel, welcome Brandenburg…