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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Tempelhof to close in 2007

Bad news for small airlines operating mainly turboprop aircraft, good news for residents of Neuk├Âlln and Kreuzberg: it's apparently finally officially irrevocably decided: Tempelhof Airport will close its doors to all air traffic on October 31, 2007. The authorities have been trying to shut it down for years, arguing that two airports are enough, but all sorts of legalities have been getting in the way.

I wouldn't be surprised if something gets in the way of that date though - Tempelhof has been declared "dead" so often it's taken on an almost zombie-like existence. My money's on the sudden discovery of a unique species of kerosine-eating beetles which can only exist on the drops of fuel emitting from taxiing aircraft, forcing operations to continue until an expensive project to resettle them to another airport can be carried through.

In other airport news, the contract for the construction of a rail link from the Berlin-Hauptbahnhof to the new airport ("Berlin-Brandenburg International") to be constructed at Sch├Ânefeld has been signed. The link should be finished by the new airport's scheduled opening date in 2011, although the way things work round here I wouldn't expect the opening ceremony much before 2018.

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