This airport is made on the extension of Berlin Schönefeld Airport (SXF), used during the Cold War as the Berlin airport in the German Democratic Republic, while West Germany’s Berlin airports were Tegel (TXL) and Tempelhof (THF) which is now closed. The need for a bigger airport in Berlin increased since the German reunification in 1990.
Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt, an airport project whose construction began in 2006, was to be opened on 30 October 2011. However, it has been delayed many times due to company bankruptcies, technical difficulties (fire safety, smoke exhaust systems, …).
Engelbert Lütke-Daldrup, CEO of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH announced on 29 November 2019 that the airport would open on 31 October 2020, after 14 years of work and nearly 10 years of delay.
Planning as follow :
- 31 October 2020: Opening of T1, T2, and the first wave of transfers from TXL and SXF (except Ryanair) to BER; SXF terminal becomes BER T5 ; Opening of BER railway station (with S9, S45, RB14, RB22, RE7, RE9, IC services, including to Amsterdam).
- 4 November 2020: Opening of the Southern runway, and the second wave of transfers from TXL to BER.
- 7 November 2020: Third wave of transfers from TXL to BER and final closure of TXL.
Eurowings, easyJet and Ryanair should all have a large base at BER, as the British and the Irish LCCs should unify their operations from Tegel and Schönefeld.