Berlin Tempelhof Airport


The apron at Berlin TempelhofInside the terminal at Berlin Templehof

Tempelhof was designated as an airport by the Ministry of Transport on 8 October 1923. The old terminal was originally constructed in 1927. In anticipation of increasing air traffic, the Nazi government began a massive reconstruction in the mid-1930s. While it was occasionally cited as the world’s oldest still operating commercial airport, the title was disputed by several other airports, and has in any case been moot since its closure.

Tempelhof was one of Europe’s three iconic pre-World-War-II airports, the others being London’s now defunct Croydon Airport and the old Paris – Le Bourget Airport. One of the airport’s most distinctive features is its large, canopy-style roof, which was able to accommodate most contemporary airliners during its heyday in the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s, thereby protecting passengers from the elements. Tempelhof Airport’s main building was once among the top 20 largest buildings on earth; in contrast, it formerly had the world’s smallest duty-free shop.

Tempelhof Airport closed all operations on 30 October 2008, despite the efforts of some protesters to prevent the closure.

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