Tegel Airport: Officially Closed, Not Forgotten

While Berlin Tegel Airport ceased commercial flights in November 2020, its official closure as an airfield occurred on May 4, 2021. This marked the end of an era for the once-bustling hub nicknamed “TXL.”

Tegel’s closure wasn’t sudden. The new Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) opened in October 2020, prompting a gradual shift in operations. Airlines transitioned to BER, culminating in Tegel’s final commercial flight on November 8th.

The decommissioning addressed Tegel’s limitations. The airport, despite serving millions, struggled with capacity and infrastructure issues. BER offered a modern solution.

Tegel’s closure isn’t the end of the story. The former airport site is undergoing redevelopment, transforming into a vibrant urban center with businesses, educational institutions, and even potential residential areas.

While no longer handling air traffic, Tegel remains a significant part of Berlin’s aviation history. Its legacy lives on in the memories of travelers and the ongoing transformation of its former grounds.

Tegel airport closed
Berlin Tegel Airport Control Tower

Beyond its closure, here’s what made Tegel unique:

  • Hexagonal Hub: The airport’s most recognizable feature was its hexagonal terminal, designed in the Brutalist style. This central courtyard allowed passengers to walk directly from aircraft to the terminal exit in just 30 meters, minimizing walking distances and offering a convenient experience.
  • Capacity Constraints: Despite handling over 24 million passengers in 2019, Tegel’s single terminal and aging infrastructure limited its potential. This ultimately led to the decision to transition to the larger and more modern BER.
  • Historical Significance: Built in 1948, Tegel played a vital role in Berlin’s post-war development. It served as a crucial link to the West during the Cold War and later became a major hub for low-cost airlines like Ryanair and easyJet.
  • Transformation Awaits: The former airport site is currently undergoing a significant redevelopment project. This ambitious plan aims to create a vibrant urban center featuring businesses, educational institutions, and potentially even residential areas.
Berlin Tegel Airport

References and Further Reading on Berlin Tegel Airport: