2008-11-03 - Tempelhof closedBerlin-Tempelhof closed
Historischer Flughafen ist geschlossen<br /> After 80 years of air traffic, 30 October 2008 saw the closure of the Tempelhof Airport. The last charter machine, a Dornier 328 of Cirrus Airlines, took off at 9.50 pm , flying to Mannheim.
The last aircrafts to leave the airport were the Junkers Ju-52 of the Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung and the "raisin bomber" DC 3 of Air Service Berlin. The last three flights were the highlight of the final event to mark the closure of Tempelhof Airport to which Berlin Airports is inviting representatives of airlines and personalities from politics and economics.
The last flights marked the end of a significant era in German aviation history. At the same time, with the closure of the airport, Berlin Airports is taking a big step towards the realisation of the most important future project of the German metropolitan region: the concentration of the air traffic at the new Capital Airport Berlin Brandenburg International BBI by 2011. Tempelhof is justifiably regarded as the cradle of aviation. The name Tempelhof is closely connected to the beginning of engine-powered aviation. On 4 September 1909, an engine-powered flight took off for a few minutes for the first time in Germany. With his plane, American Orville Wright ushered in the age of engine-powered aviation in Germany on the Tempelhof airfield. Aeronautical engineering continued to develop at a rapid pace: on 8 October 1923, Tempelhof was granted the status of "Berlin Airport". The central airport Tempelhof developed into the biggest hub in Europe. Tempelhof became the home of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, which was founded on 6 January 1926 in Berlin. 1936 saw the start of construction of a completely new airport of epic proportions. The construction of the largest airport building in the world catered for both Hitler's penchant for monumental constructions and the expected 6 million passengers. During World War II, civilian air traffic increasingly dwindled. After a brief occupation by the Soviet army, the Americans took over the airport in July 1945.
On 18 May 1946, civilian air traffic recommenced with an aircraft of American Overseas. On 24 May 1948, the Soviet Union declared a total blockade over West Berlin. During the air lift, which lasted until 12 May 1949, a total of 277,728 flights were used to transport 2,326,205 tons of supplies. Tempelhof and the "raisin bombers" became a symbol of the Berliners desire for freedom. With the German Unification on 3 October 1990, air sovereignty was granted to the German authorities in Berlin. For the first time, aircrafts of Lufthansa and other, non-allied European states landed again in Berlin. At Tempelhof Airport, which was closed for civilian traffic, flights began operating again. From the mid-1990s, Tempelhof's air traffic began increasingly moving to the two other airports Tegel and Schönefeld. This resulted in Tempelhof's air traffic decreasing from year to year, so that Tempelhof began making losses with an annual deficit between 10 and 15 million euros.