Air Transport World

Endless battle of Berlin: after years of bickering, Schonefeld is to become the city's 'new' single airport. (Berlin, Germany)

BERLIN--The site of the German capital's future single international airport--actually an upgraded but shopworn existing facility that will be redeveloped with a new terminal--has finally been determined. Under pressure from Federal Transport Minister Matthias Wissman, monumental political haggling finally was cut off when the buck-passing stopped at Schonefeld.

Schonefeld? Yes, underused, unloved, inconveniently located Schonefeld, with its three airbridges, 40 aircraft parking positions and predominantly leisure-traveler orientation--charter operators Condor and LTU are the major air carriers at the airport.

Today, Schonefeld boasts about 20 carriers in scheduled traffic and 30 devoted to charters. After massive prettying up and broad infrastructure enhancements that could cost up to Dm14 billion ($9.3 billion), it will absorb traffic gradually from the city's other two airports and be renamed Berlin/Brandenburg International Airport (BBI).

As Hans-Henning Romberg, managing director of Berlin Brandenburg Flughafen Holding (BBF), the joint federal and stare-owned holding company that runs the three airports, puts it, BBI is 'the solution to Berlin's capacity and operational problems. …

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