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Brussels, 13 May 2009

Commission authorises financing for new Berlin Brandenburg International airport

The European Commission has decided today not to raise any objections to the financing of the construction of Berlin Brandenburg International (BBI) airport through capital increases of €654.5 million, a 100 % guarantee for up to €2.4 billion from the public shareholders of Flughafen Berlin Schönefeld GmbH and a €74 million infrastructure grant. The investment project aims to construct one single airport for Berlin and Brandenburg.

The project sets out to develop one single airport for the Federal capital of Germany. After the reunification of Germany, Berlin found itself in the particular situation of having three airports serve the city: Tempelhof airport, Tegel airport and Berlin-Schönefeld. Tempelhof airport, located within the city, was closed in late 2008. Schönefeld airport will be developed into the new BBI Airport while Tegel airport will close when BBI airport opens.

By concentrating aviation activity at one single airport outside the city, the impact of noise and emissions on the population will be reduced as there will be no need to fly over densely populated areas in the city centre in the future. Moreover, the increased energy efficiency of the buildings at the new state-of-the-art airport will lead to a reduction of CO2.

The investment project concerns the construction of a new airport with two parallel runways with an operating capacity of 45 million passengers per year and a new terminal with a starting capacity of 22 – 25 million passengers on the site of the existing Berlin Schönefeld airport. The total investment costs of €3.6 billion will only be partially financed through capital increases of the public shareholder of the airport operator worth €654.5 million, a 100% guaranteed loan up to €2.4 billion and a grant for the construction of the private airport road of €74 million. The rest of the financing will be made up from the airport's own resources. The aid intensity amounts to a maximum of 27%.

The Commission decided to approve the measure because it is not prejudicial to the common interest as it is necessary and proportionate to reach objectives of Community interest.[1]

[1] Community guidelines on financing of airports and start-up aid to airlines departing from regional airport, OJ C 312, 9 December 2005, page 1.

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