When we say “new” that is a little bit of a lüge – the new EDDB is actually sort of consuming the old EDDB (Schönefeld) into its airport infrastructure, like the creature from The Blob. On October 25, Schönefeld Airport will become “Terminal 5” at Brandenburg Airport; and on November 8, neighboring EDDT/Tegel Airport will close and all traffic will switch to Brandenburg. At this point it will be the third busiest airport in Germany, and the fifteenth busiest in Europe.

The new airport does have some new buildings as well though. Terminal 1 will be the main terminal for the airport, with a train station situated in it for direct connections to the city of Berlin. Eventually a Terminal 2 will also be built.

The airport operator is expecting around 5000 passengers to pass through Terminal 1 on Day 1, and a further 8000 through Terminal 5.

Here’s the chart for Schönefeld Airport (i.e. how it looked before):

Click for hi-res PDF

And here’s the chart for Brandenburg Airport (i.e. what it looks like now)

Click for hi-res PDF

You can get your hands on the new airport charts via the European AIS Database. It’s free to register an account, and lists AIP info (including airport charts) for most countries in Europe (plus Kazakhstan and the Philippines too, for some reason).

So, when?

October 31 will see EasyJet and Lufthansa both racing to be the “first” aircraft to operate into the airport. Rather un-excitingly they will land on the “old” runway though.

November 1 will see the first ever departure from Brandenburg International airport, with the Southerly runway expected to open up to traffic from November 4th.

You might have heard about it earlier…

Work on the airport actually started in 2006, and it was supposed to open in 2011, but nearly a decade later (and close to triple the original budget), it has only just been completed.

The airport suffered a range of construction, corruption and calamity riddled development which resulted in the near decade long delay. Everything from lift sizes to fire suppression systems to approach light power outages occurred. 

In 2016 the airport was less than 57% usable…

But jump forward to May 2020 the airport finally received its operational licence, and on October 19th it completed its operational tests. These tests have been running since April (it takes a lot of tests to put a new airport through its paces) and with the rubbish bins made bigger, better signage and more clocks it is now ready to go – for passengers at least.

What about the airplanes?

Well, the important bits for airplanes have actually been up and running for a while now.

The airport will have two parallel runways, spaced 1,900 m (6,200ft) apart allowing for independent flight operations (and high traffic capacity when required).

The old runway, built in the 1960s, has already been renovated – lengthened to a nice 3,600m (12,000ft) and the new runway, commissioned in 2012, is a juicy 4000m (13,000ft).

The airport will be controlled by Deustche Flugsicherung from their impressive 240ft (72m) tower, which has been operational since March 2018.

The general aviation terminal is located to the north of EDDB, and the main FBO for Schönefeld is still there.

What else can we tell you?

  • Noise Abatement regulations mean you can probably expect the standard German airport restrictions of no operations between midnight and 05:00LT.
  • It has an ATIS on 123.78mHz and a Tower frequency 118.8mHz.
  • The elevation is 157ft.
  • It’s official coordinates are 52’22’00’’N 013’30’12’’E.
  • The airport is named after Willy Brandt, who by all accounts was a total ausgezeichneter herr (awesome dude). He was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his work both in Deutschland and across Europe. He is also known for the Brandt report which called for the world to do better in supporting development in 3rd world countries, and he is the guy that flew to Iraq and got Saddam Hussein to free loads of hostages. He then flew back with 174 of them to Frankfurt.

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One Comment

  • Todd Chisholm says:

    Having been leader of the SPD (Special Pilot Dudes), it only makes sense to name the new airport after Willy.

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