Luftwaffe lacking plans for move to new Berlin airport

Luftwaffe lacking plans for move to new Berlin airport
A government Challenger jet. Photo: DPA
The German military’s current airport home in Berlin may be closing, but the Luftwaffe still lacks concrete plans for a move to a new air hub currently under construction, daily newspaper Tagesspiegel reported on Tuesday.

The German air force’s VIP squadron, used to fly politicians from one place to the other, will continue to headquarter its long-distance planes near the country’s former capital of Bonn, the newspaper reported.

The seven Airbus A-310 planes located near Bonn must travel to Berlin each time they are needed to escort government officials on a long-distance trip.

Helicopters and small Challenger jets used on shorter trips are now based at Berlin’s Tegel airport. The airport also has a reception area for official government guests.

Tegel is set to close once the city’s new Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport (BBI) opens – scheduled in 2011.

The Tagesspiegel quoted a government spokesman as saying the air force intends to move to BBI but has reached no final decision.

The government wanted to leave its options open to see how the controversy over Berlin’s airports developed, the newspaper reported.

“Discussions are ongoing but have not finished yet,” Berlin Airports spokesman Ralf Kunkel told the Tagesspiegel.

A referendum aiming to keep open the city’s third airport, Tempelhof, failed last month.