Schönefeld To Become Part Of New Berlin Airport

Berlin’s Schönefeld Airport is set to join up with the new Berlin Airport due to open later this year. Berlin Brandenburg Airport is finally set to open in October following almost a decade of delays.

Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Opening, Security Check
Preparations are fully underway for the opening of Berlin Brandenburg Airport. Photo: Getty Images

Over the past decade, many airports have opened across the world. However, the new airport in Berlin was not one of them. This airport has been plagued with problems such as escalators that were built too short. Despite these issues, it seems as though Berlin’s new airport will finally open in October. The site’s existing airport, Schönefeld, will join the new airport when it opens later this year.

Why merge Brandenburg and Schönefeld?

Schönefeld has been hard at work serving Berlin alongside Tegel Airport. However, Schönefeld is adjacent to where Brandenburg is being built. Given that Brandenburg and Schönefeld will share a runway when the former opens, it is not possible to keep two names and sets of airport codes.

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Should both sets be used, mass confusion could be caused due to the overlap. However, when Brandenburg opens, Tegel is set to close. As such, rather than using the Schönefeld identity for the new site, Berlin is rebranding itself. Schönefeld currently has the IATA code SXF. When Brandenburg opens, the airport will adopt BER, which is much more suited to the city.

Berlin Schönefeld, Berlin Brandenburg, Berlin Airport
Brandenburg was built adjacent to Schönefeld. Map: ©OpenStreetMap contributors | Annotations: Simple Flying

As such, when the IATA winter schedule begins on October 25th, Schönefeld will become one airport with Brandenburg by adopting the airport code BER. The airport will also become Terminal 5, with the new terminal becoming Terminal 1. The Berlin Airport Authority is already in the process of rebranding the terminal in Schönefeld.

Fire evacuation exercises complete

As is the case when certifying an aircraft, evacuation tests must take place at airports before their opening. They are part of a robust series of steps that must be taken, such as securing the site.

Yesterday the airport carried out two fire evacuation and response tests. One scenario saw the fire brigade responding to an imaginary train fire at the airport. As the train line runs right under the main terminal, the fire brigade had to go into the tunnel to fight the fire. The fire crew had to start tackling the fire within 15 minutes.

Berlin, Tegel, Schönefeld
Once Brandenburg opens, Tegel will close and Schönefeld will be rebranded. Photo: Getty Images

Meanwhile, a second scenario saw a ‘fire’ in the terminal. Over 800 volunteers and 40 members of the emergency services took part in the trials. Commenting on the practices, Alexander Kaczmarek, Group Representative of Deutsche Bahn for the State of Berlin said,

“Rail and air traffic are optimally linked at BER and that has now also been successfully proven by this exercise. We are pleased that the new train station under the terminal will soon be in operation. This will allow travellers to reach the airport in comfort and in an environmentally friendly way with both the S-Bahn as well as with regional and long distance trains.”

Are you looking forward to traveling through Berlin Airport when it finally opens? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!