After nearly a decade of delays and postponements, Berlin Brandenburg Airport has finally welcomed its first commercial flights and passengers, with the airport’s Terminal 1 commissioned over the weekend. The first arrival at the terminals was an easyJet flight, closely followed by one from national carrier Lufthansa, both of which were greeted by a water cannon salute.
Many issues, for example with the airport’s fire safety systems, have plagued the opening schedule, with the some of the terminal equipment even becoming obsolete and needing to be replaced during the construction process. However, the operator now hopes that the bulk of these issues are in the past, with the obvious exception of the pressure placed on airports globally by ever-evolving Covid-19 measures.
It is hoped that the airport will create some 20,000 jobs in the surrounding economy in the coming years, and will ultimately use three terminals – 1, 2 and 5 (which incorporates the old facilities of Berlin Schönefeld Airport). However, due to the Covid-19 situation, not all facilities will be opened immediately. For example duty free operator Gebr. Heinemann will have nine outlets at the airport, but will initially run only six stores, with others kept ready to operate as passenger numbers increase.