Berlin’s historic Tempelhof Airport finally lost its long battle against closure on October 30 when all operations at the downtown facility ceased. Quite apart from the nostalgic blow of seeing the venue for the epic Berlin Air Lift of 1948-49 reduced to a commercial property development, the German capital has lost its most convenient gateway for business aircraft.
ExecuJet Europe last week opened its redesigned and enlarged FBO at Berlin-Schönefeld Airport ,which will serve the influx of business aviation traffic that will flock to Schönefeld following the closure today of the German capital’s downtown Tempelhof Airport.
Berlin Tempelhof airport will almost certainly close on October 31. In a public referendum held on April 27, a majority of voters– some 60 percent–favored keeping the downtown airport open, but they represented only 21.3 percent of the city’s 2.425 million electors. A quorum of 25 percent was required for the vote to qualify as a recommendation to the Berlin Senate, which was to make the final decision.
The citizens of Berlin showed little interest on Sunday in keeping historic Tempelhof Airport open. Supporters of the German downtown airport took advantage of rarely used local legislation to force a public referendum and obtained the organization of a popular vote by city authorities. While the result is valid only as a recommendation, a strong show of support could have influenced authorities to spare the airport.
Defenders of Berlin Tempelhof Airport in downtown Berlin have reported significant progress in their fight to keep the downtown airport open. At least 170,000 favorable votes are required for a full public referendum, and by the middle of last month the vote count had reached 190,000. Bernd Gans, president of the German business aviation association, told AIN he anticipates more than 200,000 in total.
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.
Defenders of Berlin Tempelhof airport, which is scheduled to close in October, report some progress in their bid to keep it open. As of early last month, more than half of the required votes had been gathered, and two sponsors are facilitating logistics to ensure that there are enough votes to force a public referendum.
A German federal court has granted Berlin Tempelhof Airport a reprieve from closure. The historic, downtown facility had been facing closure on October 30, but it will now be allowed to remain open at least until the future of the proposed new Brandenburg International Airport has been settled.
The fate of Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport is in the hands of local voters, who on October 17 can cast ballots in favor of keeping the historic downtown gateway open. No fewer than 170,000 pro-Tempelhof votes will be needed to force a full public referendum on the issue next year, with the outcome to be determined by majority (provided at least 25 percent of registered voters cast a ballot).
Berlin Tempelhof airport operators are challenging recent decisions by both a Berlin lower court and the city authorities to close the downtown airport on October 31 next year. Windrose Air and six other executive air charter operators–AFI, AAF, AeroKing, Heli Union, Rotorflug and TAG–have filed a complaint against the latest judgment with the objective of bringing the dispute to a federal court.
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