Final Call for Berlin Tempelhof

Every now and then I write about airports that are currently in the news for one or another reason. For your convenience, I have now also created a new category exactly for these kind of posts.

Today, Berlin’s city airport, Berlin Tempelhof (IATA: THF) sadly made it into the news. I write sadly, because the airport will close down for good today after having been in the service for 85 years. The last scheduled plane will take off for Mannheim (IATA: MHG) today at 21.50h local time .

Berlin Tempelhof was probably one of Europe’s most famous airports, mainly because of it’s importance in history. Originally opened in 1923, the later built airport halls and neighbouring buildings, intended to become the gateway to Europe and a symbol of Hitler’s “world capital” Germania. They are still known as the largest built entities worldwide, and have been described by British architect Sir Norman Foster as “the mother of all airports”. After the end of World War II, the airport became the main hub for the airlift operations into Berlin.

After Berlin decided to focus on the extension of Berlin Schoenefeld (IATA: SXF) as the main hub into Germany’s capital, it soon became evident that the days of Berlin’s “City Airport” will be numbered. Finally, on 27th April 2008 the failed referendum for keeping the airport open sealed its fate.

Unfortunately, I only landed at Berlin Tempelhof once and that was years ago, so therefore I cannot provide you with the usual ratings (not that it would matter much now anyway). Wikipedia, however, mentions that it had the “world’s smallest duty-free shop”.

[Picture from Flickr]