BER opens this week

While some may find it hard to believe, Berlin’s brand new Brandenburg Airport is finally set to open some ten years after the initial plan. In just ten days, Lufthansa and easyJet will come together to mark the airport’s opening.
Berlin’s new Brandenburg Airport will finally open in ten days. Photo: Getty Images
It’s not uncommon for a brand new airport to experience a hiccup or two while opening. Indeed, Istanbul’s new airport faced its full opening being pushed back a couple of times. Meanwhile, Heathrow’s Terminal 5, home to British Airways, was plagued with IT problems affecting its baggage system when it first opened. However, the delays to Berlin’s new Brandenburg Airport seemed to be on a whole different level, with some questioning if the airport would ever open.
It’s been a long ten years since Berlin’s new Brandenburg Airport was supposed to open. However, the wait is finally coming to an end with just ten days to go until the new terminals become operational.
Technically, Brandenburg Airport will be operational from Sunday, October 25th. This is the date that the IATA timetable swaps over from summer to winter. On this date, the city’s existing Schönefeld Airport, which is due to remain a part of the new airport, will begin using the BER IATA airport code. Additionally, the name of Schönefeld will be changed to Brandenburg Terminal 5.
Brandenburg was built adjacent to Schönefeld. It will soon all be Brandenburg Airport. Map: ©OpenStreetMap contributors | Annotations: Simple Flying
On the same day, the new train station for Terminal 1 and 2 will open to passengers. It has had ghost train services for the past ten years to keep dust from accumulating in the train tunnels.
New terminal opening
The majority of events marking the new airport’s opening will take place on Halloween weekend. The airport’s new Terminal 1 will open to the world on October 31st. easyJet and Lufthansa will mark the opening with a simultaneous landing on the airport’s parallel runways. Recently, British Airways wanted to celebrate the Boeing 747’s retirement with a parallel departure. However, poor weather threw a spanner in the works. The southern runway will then officially open on November 4th.
According to the airport authority, the airport will be fully open from November 1st. From then, airlines such as Turkish and Qatar will use the new facility. However, it won’t be full of airlines from day one. Indeed, the German flag carrier won’t move its operations to the new airport until the following weekend.
Of course, the opening of Berlin’s new airport will mean that a chapter closes in the city’s aviation history. On November 8th, Air France will depart from the old Tegel Airport for the final time. This will mark the closure of the city’s other airport. Air France was given the honor of being the airport’s last departure, as the airline was also the airport’s first arrival all those years ago when it first opened.