About Berlin Airport
The security reaction in Berlin is substantial. The security fence between the German capital and Berlin Airport, near the northern railway station, runs alongside the city’s river embankment. Once the passengers are inside the fence, cameras monitor every corner of the airport and can instantly call for help to handle an emergency. Once inside the airport building, travelers have to go through scanners and can only access areas with ticket counters, where they are only required to carry identification cards. All airlines are subject to extra checks and security audits by the Federal Police, while all baggage and freight moving to and from Berlin Airport is checked by German officials.
The German federal police alone has a long list of regulations and rules. Individuals that enter Germany or come in contact with German citizens are required to keep up with a daily report of their whereabouts, carry a passport, and carry their identity card with them at all times. The police checks on individuals are further increased when they are traveling to or through Germany, for example by forcing travelers to show their passport, residence permit, identity card and stay within a city limit. If a foreigner fails to provide such documentation within a designated time, the police may demand them to prove their identity. During that time, they are only allowed to leave their hotel in the presence of the police officer.
Visitors will notice strict rules at the airport and the clear identification standards at the checkpoints. Passengers arriving at Berlin’s airports will be required to maintain their identification cards on them and with them at all times. They will also have to show them to airport officials at the entrance to each terminal. Passengers on the new flights to Berlin will be subjected to baggage searches and maybe further security checks once they arrive at Berlin’s international airport. The German capital has already implemented extreme security measures at its airports, but the heightened security measures implemented by Germany in the past few years also come with an increase in civil liberties. In September 2021, a decree went into effect that requires people to cooperate with police in cases of terrorist attacks, otherwise they will be subject to penalties of up to €10,000.
Even with the adjustment in security procedures, flights to and from Berlin will operate on a regular schedule, and authorities are convinced that the changes will have no impact on the airport’s functioning. On September 4, following the last flights of the day, the airport will be closed so that German authorities can implement new security measures.
History of Berlin’s Airport
Berlin-Brandenburg Airport was founded as an airport for commercial and passenger flights in the summer of 1948. Its first flight to the German capital was made by the German Luftwaffe, during the World War II, on September 25, 1944. One year later, a regular passenger flight operated from Berlin to Prague via Frankfurt, while another flight flew directly from the German capital to Hamburg. The construction of Berlin’s new airport required an extensive process and several shifts, since all equipment used was previously used at the German capital’s existing airports. The construction of Berlin’s airport was completed by the summer of 1948. The facility was almost finished by the beginning of the next year, but the airport remained unused for several years due to the cold war and tensions between Berlin and the Soviet Union. The Berlin air force lost several planes to Soviet fighters before the Berlin air force could deploy to the airport. By 1963, the airport began operating for commercial flights and it served approximately 500,000 people in the first year of operation. The construction of Berlin’s airport, which included the construction of Berlin’s twin airports Schönefeld and Stuttgart, cost 623 million Deutsche Marks, making it the most expensive airport construction in history. When the Berlin air force was stationed at Berlin’s central air base at Brandenburg, the existing airfields were renamed Berlin-Brandenburg Airbase. The air force began to move to the airbase in 1962. The first commercial flight from Berlin’s central airbase to Athens took place at the end of September 1963. The air force’s flights to Athens were temporarily suspended after the Soviet Union decided to close the airfield for military flights. On September 26, 1965, German parliament gave the authorities permission to rename the airfield Berlin-Brandenburg Airport, which also became the permanent name of the facility.
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the airport has been a major hub for the German airlines Lufthansa, Germanwings, and Eurowings. The airports in Berlin and Hamburg have regularly had over 50 percent of their entire passenger traffic passing through Berlin’s airport. During the first quarter of 2021, more than 26.7 million passengers passed through Berlin’s airport, which is an increase of more than 8 percent compared to the same period last year.
Subsequent Growth and Development
Today, Berlin’s airport is one of the major European airports and it is responsible for facilitating over 15 percent of all international passenger traffic in Germany and for 25 percent of all air traffic within Europe. The airport currently has regular flights to over 100 destinations worldwide, including all major international hubs and major cities in Germany. The airport’s central location means it is the only major international airport within a 50-kilometer radius.
During the first half of 2021, Berlin’s airport served a total of 63.5 million passengers, including 23.3 million from domestic flights and 40.3 million from international flights. The airport has the largest duty-free shopping area in Europe, including the three biggest airports in Germany, along with the largest shopping centre in the region. The new central location of the airport will allow more international flights and a lower load factor.
During the next decades, Berlin’s airport will expand and the modernization process will continue until it reaches the necessary capacity in the near future. The Berlin airport’s central location will help it attract a greater number of passengers from other regions. The airport is developing its own transit network and other new passenger transportation services. The airport expects its transit traffic to increase to around 90,000 passengers by 2021.
The airport in Cannes, which is expected to welcome an additional three million annual tourists when its new terminal opens in September 2021, has been ranked the one most likely to be affected by air traffic infrastructure constraints in this region of the world.
Cannes Airport is currently undergoing a revamp which will see three new terminals built and expanded over the next five years.
Spanning the existing boundaries of Cannes and the newly built La Grande Maranche District, this airport complex will ultimately see five new passenger terminals built to coincide with the planned growth in demand for air travel into this region.
At a projected cost of almost EUR 2 billion, the new terminals will expand capacity to nearly 15 million people per year, more than tripling the current airport’s capacity during the high summer season.
However, while the construction will be well underway by the time the airport’s new terminal opens in September 2021, the potential scale of disruption at other airports in the region – such as Toulouse – means this may not be enough.
New flights for Cannes
The expansion of the runway at Toulouse is already nearing completion with the first test flights taking off in mid-2021, with the official opening in the summer of 2021. This airport currently serves more than 2.8 million passengers each year.
According to the CAA, other new flights to be introduced in the region include Geneva-Marseille, Geneva-Valencia, Geneva-Cordoba and Geneva-Nizza in 2021.
The report highlights further opportunities to increase air capacity.
With the development of the new Toulouse airport predicted to effect more than 600,000 flights in the next years, Cannes Airport is also expected to be the most affected by construction activity in this region of the world, posing additional issues for the global aviation sector.
Airport worst affected by congestion
Regional authorities are aware that this will impact directly on passengers of the existing airport in Cannes.
It is estimated that these passengers, who are faced with more delays and longer journeys, could represent a total of 50,000 of the 170,000 potential new passengers arriving at the airport each year, according to the CAA.
According to the CAA, the current airport in Cannes is already the worst affected of all major airports in the region.
Cannes Airport currently suffers delays of up to 45 minutes on its three most important domestic and international routes – Paris-Calais-Paris, Milan-Bergamo-Paris and Milan-Düsseldorf-Paris – with estimated delays of up to 30 minutes on others, the CAA says.
However, the analysis shows that these delays will grow with the development of other airports in the region, as new routes, terminals and destinations are added to the airport system.
Conversely, while the airport could be further congested during this development phase, the current congestion is a consequence of growing demand in this part of the world.
This growth is the result of recent record levels of aviation activity in Europe – which has seen a total of more than 118 million passengers and more than 36 million tonnes of cargo air transported to and from the region, according to the CAA report.
While the construction of new airports is a vital part of the overall economic development of the regions in which they are being built, the new report suggests that even this will not be enough to ease congestion at existing airports.
In fact, at the current rate of air traffic growth, the air capacity at the existing airport in Cannes could fall below its limit in just 15 years.
For the aviation industry, it is now considered the more realistic option for airport authorities to try to attract more airlines into the region with the promise of wider flight slots to expand airport capacity.
However, for passengers, this is unlikely to happen soon enough.
Advice from Paris
To make matters worse, the report also includes detailed recommendations for the management of the existing airport in Cannes.
In particular, the report recommends reducing congestion on the existing airport by separating the arrival hall from the transfer desks, as well as helping travellers by displaying departure schedules from all departing flights.
It appears that those traveling from the southeast would be best served by taking other modes of transportation to the airport and staying as far away from the airport as possible during peak hours.
Passengers should also be encouraged to travel at least two hours before their flight departs to arrive at the airport.
Finally, more passenger facilitation staff would be needed to provide customer service to passengers, including guiding and advising them in airport facilities as well as informing them of the airport layout, according to the CAA.
The report adds that additional security measures should also be implemented to help increase security measures and improve safety.
Aside from highlighting the shortage of airport capacity in Cannes, the CAA report highlights the difficulty of transporting passengers through the existing airport, despite the complex journey itself.
For those arriving by plane, the current airport, located in the heart of the city, is accessed from three different railway stations.
As well as using public transport, it is also recommended that passengers could walk to the train station, to make sure they arrive at the correct terminal in the city centre.
For those travelling from the south-east, the report recommends using the Airport Express Line, from the city centre, to get to the airport in less than an hour.
Once there, passengers should be encouraged to take the EasyBus, to and from the airport.
Even though it only operates for a limited number of flights, the CAA says that those who use the Express Line are likely to spend significantly less on flights, and could help ease the airport’s current congestion.
For those on the airfield, it is recommended that emergency airfield access be extended to facilitate the immediate evacuation of passengers in the event of an emergency.