Future of Berlin Tempelhof Still Highly Uncertain

 - February 2, 2007, 4:10 AM

Operators at Berlin Tempelhof airport last month challenged a local court recommendation that offered only to postpone closure of the downtown airport by a year, to October 31 next year. A final court decision is now delayed indefinitely. A decision to keep the airport open–limited to certain types of operational use such as business aviation–is still possible. However, both the city of Berlin and the federal government fear this would weaken the case for building the new Berlin Brandenburg International Airport. Therefore, the court’s recommendation appears to undermine plans for a new use of the airport. Nevertheless, a company led by Fred Langhammer, former CEO of cosmetics company Estée Lauder, and Ronald Lauder, founder Estée’s son, is still negotiating with the city of Berlin to turn Tempelhof Airport into a health center, part of it being a luxurious clinic and a business aviation gateway.