Essay on Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport

Published: 2021/12/24
Number of words: 1065

Tempelhof Airport, located in the south-central parts of berlin city, is one of the oldest airports in the world and among the first airports to be constructed in Germany. The design and construction of this airport started in 1923 under Nazis management. Tempelhof airport was developed to serve as an iconic World War II facility in Europe. Also, it was one of the largest commercial airports in Europe before its closure. It served several unique roles. Firstly, the testing of the first world aircraft took place there. Secondly, it housed captives of World War II. Lastly, several movies were acted in it, such as Bridge of spies.

The airport was closed in 2008 following a referendum by the Berlin citizens. It was then turned into a recreation center; a function it performs up to date. Due to its large space, it hosts several sporting events, including the Formula E series (Fahey, 2015). Also, 7000 immigrants camp currently here, thanks to its housing capability. The humanitarian role is well organized due to its design, which is proper and equipped with café. The airport has 303 ha airfield. So, it is even bigger than Monaco city, which is 200 ha in size. Its buildings were the largest structure in Europe, and therefore, the facility served as a landmark in engineering.

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During the period of construction, the airport served all the purposes of an international airport. The design and development of all its amenities were possible because of its large size. Adolf Hitler proposed the construction of several facilities in the airport so as to expand its use. Among Hitler’s suggestion was the building of a one million seater stadium in the airport (Shead, 2017). Also, he planned to construct large scale offices, control tower, and a waterfall. The intention of creating these structures was to host a military parade. He also planned to house many travelers. Because of these impeccable features, the Tempelhof Airport developed to become a model airport to the rest of the world. For example, the USA military once conducted their operation within the airport. As a result, social and recreational amenities were created, such as restaurants, and a military base, among others, most which now lie idle. The surveillance white radio tower is still present, and it is used to control traffic in and out of Berlin.

In the competitive analysis, the airport has several features for positioning its brand. Tempelhof Airport presently serves as a recreation center/park because it has several social amenities. The locals deeply value this airport because of its historical significance. Despite its closure as an airport, Tempelhof Airport did not lose its status. It continued to serve many social functions and recreational activities. The design ensured that it was secure because stable structures were used. Also, the structure serves a historical significance role for being a major airport constructed during World War II, and the Cold War periods (Szuta, 2019). The airport now enjoys significant protection, a role achieved by enacting strict policies. For example, the conservational law in Berlin does not allow construction of any building or planting of trees in the airport. This strategy protects the environmental concerns within the facility. Abandoned aeroplanes in the Tempelhof Airport are used to house various perching and resting birds, such as hawks. This method aids in protecting the birds within the airport. Specific areas within the airport are fenced properly to help conserve bees and spiders.

Tempelhof Airport concepts and positioning benefit citizens in several ways. It provides recreational facilities, such as basketball courts, baseball fields, cinema halls, and schools for locals and the refugees in the camp. The locals highly value the park because the facility is centrally located, and it has aesthetic value. So, the nearby residents feel that they have the right to question and decide on what happens to it. Gerhard Steindorf, the airport’s project chief, believes that the facility is presently a ‘party city’. Therefore, he projects an influx of population in the next years, and consequently, it means that additional buildings and housing projects should be considered (Bijak & Racoń-Leja, 2018). However, current policies inhibit his notion. The conservation law, for example, does not allow the construction of any structure in the facility. This stand can only change if the majority of residents vote against the law. To maintain the structures beauty, refurbishment and proper maintenance of the facilities in the airport can provide the needed economic impact.

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Tempelhof Airport needs marketing to improve its brand in the world. This strategy will enhance its aesthetic value and even make it popular as an airport with historical significance as well as world-class facilities. United States president, Ronald Reagan, had visited the airport in 1982 once during the Cold War era when the USA military forces were camping there (Krasner, 2010). The Tempelhof Airport is said to have topnotch facilities to host any games, commercial offices, schools and even car rental kiosks as one of the modern airports. These features suit all the clients and stakeholders because they can accommodate both corporates and locals. To covert and utilize the airport as a park as well as a party city, a productive partnership with the community can aid realize this proposal. The locals have a significant say and sole ownership on what happens to this facility, a privilege not available in any part of the world, London included. So, with the input of the community, the conservation laws can be changed.

Despite its closure as an airport in 2008, the Tempelhof Airport creates other economic avenues as a park due to its architecture and inner-city location. Proper channeling of resources alongside maintenance of the already available facilities through private developers would create even better opportunities. The airports international status would easily lure developers as well as tourists.


Bijak, A., & Racoń-Leja, K. (2018). Political aspects of Tempelhof Field. Czasopismo Techniczne5(6), 27-44.

Fahey, C. (2015). How Berliners refused to give Tempelhof airport over to developers. The Guardian2(5), 23-41.

Krasner, E. (2010). What do we do with this future? An Examination of Tempelhof Airport. Thresholds, 36-39.

Shead, S. (2017). Business insider. The Story of Berlin’s WWII Tempelhof Airport Which is Now Germany’s Largest Refugee Shelter4(3), 32-45.

Szuta, A. (2019). Abandoned heritage–the first European airports. Czasopismo Techniczne8(3), 105-117.

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