Episode 41: Tegel Airport



Flughafen Tegel, 13405 Berlin


  • Currently main airport of Berlin
  • Built to support Berlin Airlift

Travelling is great and offers many different modes of moving from one place to the other. And there are various ways for visitors to arrive to Berlin. Travelling, especially throughout Europe has become both super popular and affordable in the recent years, right? So last year, Berlin counted almost 30 million overnight stays. Many of these visitors came by plane. And where did they land at? Maybe at Berlin’s super new super cool super expensive new airport Berlin-Brandenburg, you wonder? No.

The Airport Berlin-Brandenburg was the city’s prestige project throughout the last decades. Meanwhile, it is the country’s best example for failed planning and corruption. After the reunification of Germany, people wanted to build a huge, new and modern airport. This is how the project Airport Berlin-Brandenburg started. This new super-airport was supposed to replace both Airport Tegel and Airport Schönefeld. Originally it was scheduled to open 2010, then a bit later, next year, later, later… Now, six years later, the end of the construction is nowhere near.

So the good side of this disaster is the fact that the old Airport Tegel, which is loved by many, is still operating flights, especially international and intercontinental ones – after all, it is currently the biggest airport in Berlin. And if you want it to be really precise: it is actually the only airport for commercial flights in the city as the Airport Schönefeld is technically located outside of the city borders, and thus, in Brandenburg.

You find the Airport Tegel in Berlin’s North. To get there, you have to take a bus or a taxi, since it isn’t connected to Berlin’s – otherwise amazing – U-Bahn and S-Bahn system.
Per year, Airport Tegel counts around 21 million passengers – that’s a huge number, if you do the math its almost 60.000 passengers each day. And now listen to this: when the airport was constructed during the 1970’s in West Berlin, it was supposed to host 6 million passengers per year. So you can already guess that the carrying capacity is over-exhausted.

Do you want to know more about the history of Tegel? Make sure to listen to our talk below!

Photo and episode: Ute Linden

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