Ahead of launch, Berlin’s new airport opens government terminal

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BERLIN’S new airport launched its government terminal on Wednesday with the arrival of Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner from Luxembourg.

The terminal will serve flights taken by the president, the chancellor and government ministers, and will be German capital’s new entry point for visiting state leaders.

Kloeckner’s arrival comes ahead of BER airport’s main launch on Oct. 31, ushering in a long-delayed overhaul of the city’s ageing air transport infrastructure.

For the past 26 years, the white VIP planes of the German Luftwaffe have taken off and landed at Tegel Airport, north-west of the city centre. That airport is set to close on Nov. 8.

The base for the government fleet remains for now at Cologne Bonn Airport, which serves the former West German capital of Bonn.

It is due to move to Berlin, but not until the end of the decade.

The German Foreign Office paid tribute to Tegel in a tweet on Wednesday after Foreign Minister Heiko Maas’ last visit in his official capacity.

“Berlin Tegel Airport saw them all, the Queen in 1992, Obama in 2016 and countless other VIPs and guests of the state,’’ it read.

“The last landing by Maas was therefore something special.’’

Situated on the south-eastern outskirts of Berlin, BER is due to open at the end of the month to much fanfare, despite being nine years behind scheduled and billions of euros over budget.

It is located adjacent to Schoenefeld Airport, which is being incorporated into the new site as Terminal 5.

NAN

– Oct. 21, 2020 @ 13:35 GMT |

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