labels: News reports, General - aero
Mother of all airports, Berlin Tempelhof ceases operations news
31 October 2008

An iconic European architectural and historic site, Berlin's Tempelhof Airport, finally closed operations on Thursday after 85 years of service. The airport opened in 1923 and soon became an icon of 20th-century design. It also secured undying fame as the lifeline of a besieged city soon after the end of WWII, when the Allies battled a Soviet blockade through a massive airlift.

The Allies flew in supplies to Berlin's 2.2 million people for 320 days. The Soviets eventually called off the blockade.

Tempelhof is considered to be the world's oldest airport. 

Though operational in1923, the buildings date mostly from 1934 and were designed by Ernst Sagebiel as part of the master plan for Germania, Hitler's dream capitol.

Described as ''the mother of all airports" by famed British architect Sir Norman Foster, the airport's  vast Nazi-era buildings, including the 1,200-metre-long curved terminal, built in 1934, are now seen by many as a classic of 1930s architecture.

Located just 4 kilometres from the city centre, its continued operation as an airport was always in doubt in recent times, as a vastly expanded city looked for extra space. Future use of the historic site has not been decided, though the famed terminal and other buildings are safe as they are listed as historical structures.

City authorities decided that Tempelhof and sister airport Tegel had to close and operations shift outside the city to Schoenefeld Airport. This airport is being rebuilt as the Berlin Brandenburg International (BBI) and will become operational in 2011.

The airport was serving business aviation traffic in recent times.

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Mother of all airports, Berlin Tempelhof ceases operations