Berlin Airports – The best connections

Posted: 30 September 2008 | Dr. Rainer Schwarz, CEO, Berlin Airports | No comments yet

Berlin Airports, the operator of the airports Schoenefeld, Tempelhof and Tegel, provides essential aviation infrastructure for the entire Berlin-Brandenburg region around Germany’s capital city. From 2011, all air traffic over the region will be focused on the new capital city airport Berlin Brandenburg International (BBI). The first step towards this transition will be the closure of Tempelhof Airport on 30 October 2008.

Berlin Airports, the operator of the airports Schoenefeld, Tempelhof and Tegel, provides essential aviation infrastructure for the entire Berlin-Brandenburg region around Germany’s capital city. From 2011, all air traffic over the region will be focused on the new capital city airport Berlin Brandenburg International (BBI). The first step towards this transition will be the closure of Tempelhof Airport on 30 October 2008.

Berlin Airports continues to achieve record-breaking growth. In 2007, more than 20 million passengers flew to and from the city, putting Berlin in third position of all commercial airports in Germany in terms of passenger numbers. Notching up eight percent growth, Berlin’s airport locations are growing faster than average in comparison to Germany’s other commercial airports and it has never been better connected to the world than at present. In 2007, a total of 84 airlines flew to the three Berlin airports, with the inner-European service network especially well represented.

Starting from Berlin, in 2007 these airlines flew to 160 destinations in 50 countries, of which 121 are in Europe. With non-stop flights from Tegel to New York, Doha and Bangkok, the number of long-haul flights available from Berlin is constantly increasing. September 2008 sees the launch of a new direct service, linking Berlin with Beijing, the capital of China.

Looking to the future – the new capital city airport BBI

The building work on the BBI construction site, which is the same size as 2,000 football fields, started in September 2006. The new capital city airport Berlin-Brandenburg International is scheduled to open in 2011. In 2008, the focus remains fully on the new capital city airport. The first section of the building shell for the BBI railway station has been completed and building work for the BBI terminal started punctually on 11 July 2008. Highly functional, cosmopolitan and ultra-modern, BBI will represent a new generation of airports.

The airport will open in 2011 with an initial capacity of 22-25 million passengers, but it has been designed to keep pace with future growth and can be expanded in stages to handle up to 360,000 flight movements. This is equivalent to around 40 million passengers.

The BBI concept envisages a modern airport with short distances, where the terminal is located between the two parallel runways (Midfield Airport). Passengers at BBI will find everything ranging from domestic and European to intercontinental flights under one roof in the central terminal (One Roof Concept). As many as 6,500 passengers will take off or land during a typical peak business hour at BBI.

The building costs for the airport amount to USD 2 billion, excluding the costs for road and rail connections, plus with outside investments such as car parks, hotels and conference centres. The outlook is clear, BBI is intended to be an airport at the heart of Europe, with a strong focus on European point-to-point traffic and selected long-haul connections. Berlin Airports traditionally has a strong focus towards Eastern Europe. However, with the expansion of the EU to the east, this tendency has been reinforced. In addition, the favourable location in Central Europe is strategically advantageous, flight times to Eastern Europe and Asia are one hour less than the established hubs in the west of the continent.

Besides attractive airport connections, BBI will also have a broad non-aviation offering. In addition to shops and restaurants inside the airport, plus a shopping and office complex, BBI Airport City is planned directly in front of the terminal. Here passengers and airport visitors will find shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, hotels and conference centres. The capital’s biggest business park is to be built to the north-east of the airport, the BBI Business Park Berlin. The wide expanse of landscaped area offers made-to-measure, fully developed plots in various shapes and sizes for all kinds of companies. This ranges from business start-ups to back office trading, from regional distribution centres to internationally operating manufacturers. Phase one of construction is scheduled to begin by the end of 2008.

Safeguard competitiveness and generating jobs

BBI is the decisive infrastructure project for the future of the capital region. 15,500 people work at Berlin Airports alone. The region is home to Deutsche Lufthansa AG, MTU Aero Engines GmbH, Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd. & Co. KG and roughly 60 medium-sized companies in the sector. When it comes to education, there are 15 technical colleges and institutes focusing on areas that are relevant to the aerospace industry. The heart of the Berlin-Brandenburg aerospace region will be the new BBI Airport at Schoenefeld, in south-east Berlin. A large number of firms in the sector are settling in the area around Schoenefeld and new companies and jobs are helping to boost the region’s economy. In the Berlin-Brandenburg region surrounding the German capital, aerospace has become a key industry with outstanding prospects.

The total employment effect of Berlin Airports is already 33,600 jobs. By 2012, a significant improvement of the value of the location will be attained with BBI, primarily through the increasing number of passengers and up to 40,000 new jobs will be created in the region as a result of the additional purchasing power effects.

BBI – the green Airport

Concentrating all Berlin air traffic at a single location offers ecological benefits over the current airport system, which is fragmented due to the historical division of Berlin, in terms of reducing land use and disturbances from noise and traffic. To counter the expansion of Schoenefeld Airport, the inner-city airports Tegel and Tempelhof will be closed. By relocating air traffic to the outskirts, hundreds of thousands of residents in Berlin and Brandenburg will no longer have to live with aircraft noise. The residents of Schoenefeld will be protected to a large extent by the conditions imposed by the planning permission decision.

Various measures to protect the environment and nature have been implemented, ranging from landscape and water protection, to the investigation of prior contamination to the waste concept. Economic operating and maintenance costs are a pivotal element in the planning for BBI. The development engineers place a high value on ensuring that the individual buildings and structures achieve optimum energy consumption levels. In addition to the use of highly innovative heat recycling systems, the planning concept is also exploring the integration of regenerative energy systems, e.g. geothermal systems or the use of rainwater for cooling.
Airport of the future

Cutting-edge – authentication procedures

Airports today are more secured than they were years ago, due to tougher airport security regulations passed by the EU Commission, which came into effect on 1 January 2006. For example, airport employees are now subject to compulsory security checks. In addition, seven different streams of passengers, that is, incoming, outgoing, transfer, EU countries, non-EU countries, Schengen countries and non-Schengen countries, are now strictly separated. However, BBI planners have taken account of these complex requirements all along, so that extra time taken by heightened security arrangements can be minimised.
At BBI, state-of-the-art authentication procedures will play an important role. Berlin’s Schoenefeld and Tegel airports are already testing biometric authentication technology with positive results.

Intermodally networked

Ensuring the rapid, reliable transportation of people and cargo is a key aim of any region in today’s globalised economy. For the Berlin-Brandenburg region, BBI will be a transportation centre combining international and domestic flight connections with excellent road and rail services. Passengers arriving by car will conveniently reach the main roadways to the terminal via the A113 autobahn or the B96a national motorway. Those traveling by rail will reach the subterranean terminal train station in just 20 minutes from Berlin Central Station. They will then access the terminal itself via escalators and lifts in a matter of seconds.

E-tickets and shopping areas

  • Check-in: The days of paper tickets are coming to an end. E-tickets, already in widespread use, will become the air travel standard. Some 200 self-service check-in kiosks provided by the airlines will be located next to BBI’s 80 check-in counters.
  • Non-aviation retail services: The pleasure of modern air travel will begin once passengers have entered the security zone. Shops, restaurants, cafés and bars will all be as much a part of the BBI experience as check-in and take-off. First-class dining and retail will also be available at BBI outside the security zone, as well as in the airport hotels and conference centre.

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