Berlin’s Downtown Airport Gathers Support

 - February 14, 2008, 10:59 AM

Defenders of Berlin Tempelhof Airport in downtown Berlin have reported significant progress in their fight to keep the German airfield open, as they have gathered the 170,000 favorable votes required for a full public referendum. Earlier this week, the vote count had reached 190,000, and Bernd Gans, president of the German business aviation association, told AIN he anticipates more than 200,000 by tomorrow’s deadline. The Berlin Senate will then have to decide on these new grounds, probably sticking to the October closure. But this would force the Senate to hold a one-day referendum in the coming months–on April 27 at the earliest. For the referendum to be valid, a quorum of 25 percent of the city’s 2.425 million electors must be met, according to Gans. The result, either for or against the closure, will not be binding, however. A German federal higher court had earlier confirmed that the Berlin Senate is authorized to take the closing decision.