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Berlin Brandenburg Airport a Go for October

The new Berlin airport readies for its close-up after some 14 years of delay

August 3, 2020

Berlin is a tourist magnet, a political center and a trade fair city in northern Germany’s federal state of Brandenburg.

The opening of the Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), which is set for Oct. 31, will provide an updated hub for linking the strong economic and tourism region to more than 150 destinations worldwide. The new airport, located in the southeast corner of Berlin, will replace several smaller airports that serve the city, such as the aging Berlin Tegel which, although it is found much closer to Berlin’s city center, is not an ideal facility for today’s aviation demands.

The planning for the Berlin Brandenburg Airport got underway in 1996; at that time projected an opening date in 2006. With construction delays, public outcries and budgeting woes, plans continued to get pushed back.

A train station below the terminal was completed to connect passengers with central Berlin, but passenger rail service was suspended in the mayhem. Regular ghost train runs have been keeping the tracks in working order, so those rails are still in operation and ready to fulfill their purpose finally.

The new international airport, which will serve mostly regional and European carriers in the near term, covers a total area of more than 3,632 acres. Its three terminals are in two different locations – information on which airline uses which terminal is available online. T1 and T2 are adjacent. Both the S9 and S45 S-bahn train lines can be used for the transfer to T-5, as well as buses and taxis.

The airport is taking standard COVID-19 precautions: Social distancing enforcement, mask requirements, contactless online check-in, a recommendation to arrive two hours before a flight and leave the terminal immediately after landing, and only one piece of hand luggage allowed per passenger.

Since July, some 9,000 volunteers have been conducting “trial operations” at the new airport, running “passenger scripts” twice a week to test check-in, security measures, and boarding. The testers then give feedback on how they found their way around, and offer ideas for improving the procedures.

Already booked on a flight that leaves from BER? In-depth information on flights to and from the new airport will be provided on the website’s Departures and Arrivals page three days before the airport is commissioned.