Berlin Brandenburg Airport

GBAA fears congestion after BER opens

The message is clear: "Thenew Berlinairport won't have enough capacity right from the very day it is put in operation". Those were the words of Dr. Bernd Gans, president of the German Business Aviation Association (GBAA), in an interview with a leading German broadcasting company and newspaper. The trade association for airborne business travelers also assumes that the German capital city's new airport will not be open for flight services before 2014.

"The number of passengers flying toBerlinis officially stated at 27 million per year with upward trends, per se actually something to be excited about. However, BER will not be able to manage this passenger turnout by itself right from the very beginning. In particular, the required handling facilities needed for processing business flight traffic and governmental aircraft will not be available in the foreseeable future", said Dr. Bernd Gans. The GBAA sees no option but to use available capacities at least to some extent.

They suggest keeping the terminal at Schönefeld-Nord in operation temporarily to accommodate low-cost airlines such as Easyjet or Ryanair to ease the strain on undersized check-in counters at the new BER.

Tegel airport could also remain in operation, even if at a lesser rate. Governmental aircraft and business jets could be stationed at Tegel-Nord to use take-off and landing facilities there. Tegel would also be an alternative airport closer by thanLeipzigorHanoverin the event of any problems at BER.

In order for Tegel airport to be used by the German Ministry of Defense VIP squadron and for business aviation as well, that airport would have to be officially termed a military airport.

Dr. Gans emphasized that the time-out currently taken by BER to revise plans should also be used to consider more efficient and cost-saving additions as well as feasible alternatives.