27 August 2020, Berlin, GERMANY
On 25th October 2020, Schönefeld Airport will become Terminal 5 of BER. Although Terminal 1 of the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport will be only be opening on 31st October 2020, the IATA code for the entire airport location will change with the start of the 2020/2021 winter flight schedule. SXF becomes BER.
It may be that passengers flying from Schönefeld in October take off from Schönefeld (SXF), but land at BER as the new code is applicable for all flights as of the 25th October (last day of the holidays in Berlin-Brandenburg) going from or to the Schönefeld location. The code ‘BER’ is already in the booking systems of the airlines or stored on booking platforms and will be shown on booking confirmations and tickets. In practice that means: while the city code BER was previously used for all airports in the Berlin-Brandenburg airport location and travellers were able to search for flights from Schönefeld and/or Tegel, the code will be explicitly assigned to the Schönefeld location from 25th October 2020. The three-letter code SXF will disappear.
The opening of the BER will see flight operations take place in so-called “double-roof operation”, e.g. at two locations. Depending on the airline, passengers will check in and board either at T5 in the north or T1/T2 in Midfield. The aircraft which can be boarded from the former Schönefeld Airport will taxi to BER’s northern runway and take off from there. Those waiting in the south at T1 will take off from the southern runway.
In order to avoid the use of the double designation of BER, the infrastructure of the buildings and the car park of Schönefeld Airport/the future Terminal 5 were already renamed at the end of March (with the start of the summer flight schedule). The terminal areas are now signposted as K, L, M, Q and are displayed as such to travellers in all systems. With the changeover of the 3-letter code, the large lettering on the roof will also be replaced and in the future will read ‘BER Terminal 5’.
The flight schedule change in autumn traditionally takes place at the same time as the changeover from summer to winter time. Airlines use this time to adjust their flight programme and the frequency of flights to the needs of the current season. In this respect, it is also important that the airport codes are clearly stored.
The three-digit IATA codes for airports are allocated by the International Air Transport Association. They are unique and each designates a specific commercial airport. Their primary role is to simplify the clearance processes.
Source and photo: Berlin Brandenburg Airport