Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Tempelhof International Airport
The airport's IATA airport code is THF, and its ICAO airport code is EDDI. To US Forces, Tempelhof is known as TCA (Tempelhof Central Airport). Tempelhof is often called the "City Airport". Tempelhof mostly has commuter flights to other parts of Germany and neighboring countries, since its runway is too small to receive jumbojets.
The site of the airport was used as a parade field from 1720 to the start of WWI. Frenchman Armand Zipfel made the first flight demonstration in Tempelhof in 1909, followed by Orville Wright later that same year. Tempelhof was first officially designated as an airport on 8 October 1923. Lufthansa was founded in Tempelhof on 6 January 1926.
The old terminal, originally constructed in 1927, received politicians and celebrities from around the world during the 1930s. As part of Albert Speer's master plan for the reconstruction of Berlin during the Nazi era, Prof. Ernst Sagebiel was ordered to replace the old terminal with a new terminal building in 1934, the granite construction of which started in 1936 and was completed in 1941. The airport halls and the neighbouring buildings, intended to become the gateway to Europe, are still known as the largest built entities worldwide, and has been described by British architect Sir Norman Foster as "the mother of all airports". Weserwerke started war production in the new buiding for assembling Junkers Ju 87 "Stuka" dive bombers and later Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighter planes. Soviet forces took Tempelhof in the Battle of Berlin on 24 April 1945, and was handed over to US Forces on 4 July 1945.
American Overseas Airlines started the first commercial air service after the war with a flight from New York on 18 May 1946. The Berlin Blockade/Airlift, which lasted from 26 June 1948 to 12 May, 1949 made the airport world famous. On 20 May 1950, US Forces held first the Armed Forces Day, open to the public. Boeing demonstrated its prototype 727 as the first jet transport plane in Tempelhof on 2 December 1964. U.S. Air Force C-5A Galaxy landed as the first wide-body aircraft on 17 September 1971. Pan Am and British Airways moved operations to the newly built terminal at Berlin-Tegel Airport on 1 September 1975. German Reunification opened Tempelhof for non-allied air traffic on 3 October 1990. US Air Forces left Tempelhof in June 1993. US Army closes its Berlin Army Aviation Detachment at TCA in August 1994. US President Bill Clinton christened a new transport plane type Boeing C17A Globemaster III 96-0006 as the "Spirit of Berlin" in Tempelhof on 14 May 1998. On 6 November 2002, Luxair Flight 9642 crashed on final approach to Luxembourg on a flight from Tempelhof. 20 out of 22 passengers and crew perished.
As of July 2004, the airport receives very limited passenger service. In June 2004, it was announced that the German air traffic authorities have given the permission to the operating company of the Berlin airports to discontinue their services at Tempelhof. Consequently, closing of the airport has been scheduled for 30 October 2004, in accordance with the decade old plan to merge the three existing airports in Berlin into one, transforming Schönefeld International Airport into Berlin Brandenburg International Airport. Thus, when the building permit for the new airport is presented, Tempelhof will close, as will eventually Tegel. Carriers operating from Tempelhof have protested against that decision, some of them have offered to assume operating the airport, but no decisions have been made yet. Even if the airport is closed, the terminal is likely to be preserved.
The following regular airlines fly to Tempelhof International Airport:
- Cirrus Airlines
- Hahn Airlines
- LGW Luftfahrtges. Walter
- SN Brussels
- Swiss International Airlines
The following Taxiflights fly to THF:
- AAF Aviona Air
- Air Service Berlin
- AIRSHIP Air Service
- Bizair Fluggesellschaft
- Business Air Charter
- Heli Unionair
- Jet Club Deutschland Chartermanagement
- Private Wings
- TAG Aviation
- Windrose Air
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