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Berlin-Schönefeld International Airport

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Berlin-Schönefeld International Airport

"Berlin-Schönefeld" redirects here. For the suburban municipality, see Schönefeld.
Berlin Schönefeld Airport
Flughafen Berlin-Schönefeld
Airport type Public
Operator Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH
Serves Berlin, Germany
Location Schönefeld
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL 157 ft / 48 m
Coordinates 52°22′43″N 013°31′14″E / 52.37861°N 13.52056°E / 52.37861; 13.52056Coordinates: 52°22′43″N 013°31′14″E / 52.37861°N 13.52056°E / 52.37861; 13.52056

Location relative to Berlin
Direction Length Surface
m ft
07/25 3,600 11,881 Asphalt
Statistics (2010)
Passengers 7,297,911
Sources: German AIP at EUROCONTROL[1]

Berlin Schönefeld Airport (Berlin airports.

Schönefeld Airport is situated outside the city proper, unlike Berlin Tegel Airport. Noise pollution is, therefore, less of an issue at Schönefeld. The airport will be merged into Berlin Brandenburg Airport when it opens in 2014 or later.[2]

Schönefeld Airport saw a major increase in passenger numbers over the recent years, which was caused by the opening of bases for both EasyJet and Germanwings. In 2008, the airport served 6.6 million passengers. At the start of the winter season in 2012 Germanwings left Schönefeld for Berlin-Tegel.[3]


Schönefeld airport was opened on 15 October 1934 to accommodate the Henschel aircraft plant. By the end of the Second World War, over 14,000 aircraft had been built. On 22 April 1945, the airport was occupied by Soviet troops, and the aircraft construction facilities were either dismantled or blown up. By late 1947, the airport rail link had been repaired and agricultural machinery was built and repaired on the site. In 1946, the Soviet Air Forces moved from Johannisthal Air Field to Schönefeld, including the civil airline Aeroflot. In 1947, the Soviet Military Administration in Germany approved the construction of a civilian airport at the site. Between 1947 and 1990, Schönefeld airport was renamed on several occasions and finally became the main airport of the DDR (Zentralflughafen).

A stipulation of the Four Power Agreement following World War II was a total ban on German carriers' participation in air transport to Berlin, where access was restricted to US, British, French and Soviet airlines. Since Schönefeld airport was located outside of the city boundaries of Berlin, this restriction did not apply. Thus, aircraft of the East German flag carrier Interflug could use Schönefeld airport, while West German Lufthansa was denied access to Tegel or Tempelhof airports.

Following German reunification in 1990, operating three separate airports became increasingly cost prohibitive, leading the Berlin legislature to pursue a single airport that would be more efficient and would decrease the amount of aircraft noise from the airport within the city. Therefore, it was decided to erect Berlin Brandenburg Airport at the current site of Schönefeld Airport, originally scheduled to open in autumn 2012. For various reasons, mainly issues with the fire alarm/safety system, the opening has been postponed to 2014. The new airport will share only one runway with the existing one. Most of the old airport, including the terminal and apron areas, will undergo complete urban redevelopment following its closure.


Schönefeld Airport consists of the four terminals A, B, C and D[4] for check-in. Terminals A, B and D are connected through their jointly used airside concourse. Due to a lack of space there are not as many facilities as at many other airports but there are some shops and restaurants as well as a branch of Burger King and airline lounges.

  • The main building is the original part of the airport. It houses check-in for Terminals A and B. Terminal A features check-in counters A01–A18, with the largest user being Ryanair besides several other airlines like Aeroflot. Terminal B, in a side wing, was originally reserved for transit passengers to and from West Berlin, who took advantage of cheaper air fares and package tours arranged by an East German travel agency. Nowadays, it is used exclusively by EasyJet with the check-in counters B20–B29. The airside consists of three jet bridges as well as several walk-boarding aircraft stands located at Pier 3a, an extension that was opened in 2005.
  • Terminal C was originally built to accommodate flights to Israel. It was reconfigured in 2008 and now handles sightseeing trips and flights in connection with special events.[5] It has no direct connection to Terminals A, B and D and doesn't handle scheduled services.
  • Terminal D was opened in December 2005 due to rapidly growing passenger numbers. Being nearly identical to Terminal C at Berlin Tegel Airport, it features check-in counters D40–D57, which are mainly used by Condor and Norwegian Air Shuttle. It doesn't feature jet bridges but several walk-boarding stands.

Airlines and destinations

Schönefeld Airport is served by the following scheduled airlines. All services will be transferred to Berlin Brandenburg Airport in 2014 (or later) when the new airport opens.



Other facilities

The head office of Private Wings is located in the General Aviation Terminal (Allgemeine Luftfahrt) on the property of Schönefeld Airport.[6][7][8] Before its demise, the East German airline company Interflug had its headquarters on the airport property.[9][10]

Ground transport

Accidents and incidents

German Democratic Republic era
  • On 14 August 1972, an Ilyushin Il-62 aircraft of Interflug (registered DM-SEA) crashed near Königs Wusterhausen shortly into a flight to Burgas, killing all 156 passenger and crew on board.
  • On 22 November 1977, a Tupolev Tu-134 aircraft of Interflug (registration DM-SCM) crashed upon landing at Schönefeld Airport due to a falsely configured autopilot. There were no fatalities among the 74 passenger and crew, but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.[12]
  • On 19 August 1978, LOT Polish Airlines Flight 165, a LOT flight from Gdansk Airport to Schönefeld (carried out on a Tupolev Tu-134, registration SP-LGC),was hijacked and forced to land at Tempelhof Airport in West Berlin, thus having been used as a means for escaping the Eastern Bloc. In these cases, perpetrators were usually not charged by Western authorities.[13]
  • On 12 December 1986, an Aeroflot Tupolev Tu-134 (registration CCCP-65795) coming from Minsk Airport crashed in Berlin Bohnsdorf on its approach towards Schönefeld airport, after having attempted to land on a runway that was temporary blocked for construction work, killing 72 of the 82 passengers and crew on board.[14]
  • On 17 June 1989, an Ilyushin Il-62 aircraft of Interflug (registration DDR-SEW) bound for Moscow crashed shortly after take-off into a field near the airport and caught fire. 21 people on board as well as one person on the ground were killed. The East German authorities feared an act of sabotage due to the anniversary of the East German uprising, which led to a delayed aid for injured people. West German rescuers offering help were denied access to the scene. The cause for the accident was later given as a jammed rudder due to a construction failure.[15]
Federal Republic of Germany era
  • On 28 March 2000, a Boeing 737-300 of Germania (registration D-AGES) operating a charter flight on behalf of LTU from Tenerife South Airport to Schönefeld was the subject of an attempted hijack in mid-flight. A passenger forced his way into the cockpit, where he attacked the pilot, leading to a sudden loss of altitude. The perpetrator was restrained and the flight continued to Berlin.[16]
  • On 19 June 2010, a 1944-built, historic Douglas DC-3 D-CXXX of Berlin Air Services crashed shortly after take off on a local sightseeing flight, causing 7 injuries but no fatalities.[17]

See also


External links

Berlin portal
East Germany portal
Germany portal
Aviation portal

  • Official site
  • NWS
  • Aviation Safety Network

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