Berliners hope new proposed airport will revitalize city





Supporters of Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport contend that it might be the salvation of a city that, despite its incredible historical resonance, has become an economic and geographic backwater. Detractors vehemently argue that the airport will be just another misguided drain of money by a local government critics say has failed to help Berlin realize its potential despite the city’s status as one of the hottest destinations on the planet....

The landlocked capital on the eastern fringe of the country will have closed three airports to open one: the budget airport currently at Schönefeld, the main airport, Tegel, and, in an emotionally charged shuttering in 2008, Tempelhof Airport, an architectural monument and symbol of freedom to West Berliners since the days of the Berlin Airlift. Officials placed their bets on the new mega-airport at Schönefeld, the size of 2,000 football fields with a terminal building as big as the Nazi-built Olympic stadium....

Many of Berlin’s problems are not the same as those facing other industrial cities in decline like Detroit, but are a product of its unique history. Beginning in 1945, the Soviets literally carried factories home from their sector in the east as reparations for Nazi crimes.

Gradually, remaining factory owners gave up on the capitalist island of West Berlin during the 28 years that the Wall constricted the movement of goods and people. Finally the reunification of city and country brought an end to subsidies pressed by cold war adversaries....



comments powered by Disqus