Future Cloudy for Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport
A Berlin court on December 21 recommended to keep Tempelhof downtown airport open until Oct. 31, 2008, one year longer than now planned. The final court decision is expected on January 15. A decision to keep the airport open–limited to certain kinds of operations, such as business aviation–is still possible. However, according to German press reports, it is unlikely. Both the city of Berlin and the federal government fear this would weaken the case for building the new Berlin Brandenburg International Airport. Therefore, plans for a new use of the airport appear undermined by the court’s recommendation. The Central European Development company–led by Fred Langhammer, the former CEO of cosmetic company Estée Lauder, and Ronald Lauder, founder Estée’s son–is negotiating with the city of Berlin to turn Tempelhof airport into a health center, part of it being a luxurious clinic and accompanying private jet gateway. Business aircraft other than those carrying clinic customers could use the airport too. Berlin Brandenburg International Airport is being built on the site of the existing Schonefeld airport.