Berlin: Tempelhof Airport

Berlin Tempelhof Central Airport TCA

For historical information only, do not use for navigation or aviation purposes!
Cold War Airfields: Berlin
by Bert Kondruss
Coordinates: N522825 E0132406 (WGS84)
Map: Google Maps
Elevation: 164'
Location Indicator: DDTF (195x), EDBB (196x-1995), EDDI (1995-2008)

Use until 1945

Berlin airport

Current use

Closed

Airfield Map

Runways, taxiways

(1)Runway 09R/27L
(2)Runway 09L/27R
(3)Apron
(4)Helicopter lanes
(5)Old take-off platforms

Installations

(11)Main Building
(12)Remains of the old terminal building
(13)Cargo Hangar
(14)Railway Siding

Aeronautical installations

ALSApproach Lights
AN/FPS-117Radar Tower
ASRAirport Surveillance Radar
DVORVHF Omindirectional Radio Range navigation station
GPILS Glide Path
(H)Helipad
LLZILS Localizer
METMeteorological Station
TACANTactical Air Navigation - Military navigation system
TWRControl Tower

Runways

During the 1980s:
  • 09R/27L: 2116 m x 42,50 m
  • 09L/27R: 2093 x 42,50 m

Radio navigation

Data for the year 1985:
  • DVORTAC: 114.1 "TOF", ATIS
  • VOT: 108.2 "Dots"
  • Havel DVOR/DME: 113.3 "HVL"
  • Lubars NDB: 413.5 "DLS"
  • ILS27L: 109.5 "IDLB"
  • Planter NDB: 327 "DIP", 270°, 1.9 NM to THR 27L
  • ILS09R: 109.7 "IDBR"
  • Helmholtz NDB: 347 "DBR", 090°, 3.59 NM to THR 09R

Radar

ASR, PAR (09R, 27L)

Radio

During the 1980s:
  • Berlin Center 120.85, 353.8 South Corridor
  • Berlin Center 125.3, 293.8 Center and North Corridor
  • Berlin Center 125.5, 134.65
  • Berlin Approach 120.95, 125.8, 132.65, 362.3
  • Berlin Approach 120.7, 345.3 PAR 09R, 27L
  • Berlin Departure 119.3, 372.0
  • ATIS 114.1 TOF VORTAC
  • Tempelhof Tower 118.1, 337.3, 356.0, 358.0
  • Tempelhof Ground 121.9, 356.0
  • Base Ops 386.9
  • Berlin Radio 3479, 5661, 6598, 10084 SELCAL

Units

1990: US Army Aviation Detachment: 6 UH-1H, 1 C-12C, 2 UV-20A; 7350th ABG

History

1948/1949 Airlift
30OCT2008 Closing
24NOV2008 Last aircrafts left the airport

Images

After 1945

Aerial picture winter 1947/1948 (Photo: Berliner Flughäfen / Archiv)
Approach from the east over the cemetery in 1948 (Photo: Berliner Flughäfen / Archiv)

The 1980s

Aerial picture from 14oct1983 (Source: DoD, THOMAS FARR)
Main Building June 1st, 1983 (Source: DoD, photographer: MASTER SERGEANT DON SUTHERLAND)
Relicts of the old airport 1983 (Source: DoD, THOMAS FARR)
Apron - C-141B on the apron 01jun1983 (Source: DoD, MSGT DON SUTHERLAND)
Southwestern take-off platform - Part of an aerial picture from 1983 (Source: DoD, THOMAS FARR)
"Welcome to Tempelhof Central Airport" (1984)
"US Army Aviation Section - Berlin Brigade - Freedom City"
Bell UH-1 Iroquois "Freedom City" (1984)
One of the two Pilatus UV-20 Chiricahua
Beech U-21A King Air 66-18010 "Freedom City" (1984)
Sign at the gate (1987) (Source: DoD, MSGT PAT NUGENT)
Runway 27L - Landing of a C-47 on runway 27L in 1988.
Helicopter lanes - On this picture, all three helicopter lanes can be seen. The aircraft is a C-130E from the 37th Tactical Airlift Squadron on the 14oct1988, using the low altitude parachute extraction system (LAPES) - Source: DoD, photographer MSGT PATRICK NUGENT
Aerial view from the open house 1989 (Photo: Berliner Flughäfen / Archiv)

1994 until 2008

Eastern Approach Lights - A mast of the approach light on the St.-Thomas cemetery in Neukölln 2004.
Runwy 27R - Northern runway in western direction in the year 2007. In the east (photographer's position), the runway reaches to the Oderstraße with its buildings, so the threshold was displaced to the west.

Radar Equipment

Height Finder
Removing the height finder in october 1984 (Photo: DoD, RAMI HARCSZTARK)
AN/FPS-117
The radar tower in 1984. The radom shows a segmented structure, which is different today.
Short before exchanging the radom?
Aerodrome Surveillance Radar (ASR)
The ASR in 1983 (Photo: DoD, Thomas Farr)
ASR - The Airport Surveillance Radar (ASR) in 1987 (Source: DoD)
The empty radar tower in 2004 (Photo: Berliner Flughäfen)

Berlin Air Route Traffic Control Center (BARTCC) und Tempelhof Automated System (TAS)

01sep1982: "TSGT James Elmore of the 1946th Communication Squadron is an air traffic approach controller at the Tempelhof Central Airport." (Photo: DoD, THOMAS FARR)
01jan1986 (Photo: DoD, CHIEF MASTER SGT. SUTHERLAND)
01apr1987 (Photo: DoD, THOMAS FARR)
Radar console GPN-22 (Photo: DoD, THOMAS FARR)
Grafical display (Photo: DoD, THOMAS FARR)
Airport information, radio frequencies and radio navigation aids (Photo: DoD, THOMAS FARR)

Radar Pictures

Radar screen either from March 25th, 1986 or April 1st, 1987, probably from the AN/FPS-117 (Source: DoD, THOMAS FARR)
Graphic with explanations
Airfields
- BerlinBerlin: Gatow Airfield, Berlin: Tegel Airport, Tempelhof
- East GermanySchönefeld: Airport, Briest: Air Base, Mahlwinkel: Airbase, Oranienburg: Airbase, Schönhauser Damm: Airfield, Zerbst: Air Base
Radio beacons
- BerlinHVL=Havel, DLS=Lübars, TGL=Tegel, TOF=Tempelhof
- Federal RepublicBKD=Brünkendorf, HLZ=Hehlingen
- East GermanyNUF=Nunsdorf, RSF=Reinsdorf
Airways
- CorridorsNorth Route 1, North Route 2, Center Route 1, Center Route 2, South Route 1, South Route 2, Havel Transition
- Federal RepublicB 29, B 29 S, B 29 E, G 9, G 9 N, G 9 S
- East GermanyB 50
Reporting Points
- CorridorsAKENA, ALANU, ELBEN, GUSEN, KIRIS, KONEN, LIKTI, LINDU, NIDAR, NUVEN, RINOV, ROSLA, VELTE
Flights
AF123
PA725Center Corridor, "86"=Height FL86?, "37"=Ground speed 370 kt?, "HSAV" (?) unknownr, "D" unknown. Die white line to the HLZ beacon is described below.
???Target in the Center Corridor, flight ID unreadable on the original picture.
6227
044
Others
Data Block
COAST LIST
Stars
Circles
White dots
The screens looks empty, probably because no primary radar information is shown. Therefor, only targets with an active transponder are visible.
Radar picture from the 26jan1989 (Photo: DoD, CMSGT. DON SUTHERLAND)
Commented graphic
Please see the picture above for an explanation of the airfields, airways etc. Texts which is unreadable on the original picture is shown as # in the graphic.
In contrast to the picture above, primary data is shown here. With it, you get a good impression of the flying activities in the southwestern part of former east germany. Clutter is shown in the Berlin area.
The primary targets show their past positions with dots. They also show a figure, ending with "M". This looks like the height of the target, but probably, "M" does not mean "meter". Instead, it could symbolize that the height is measured by the 3D radar (in contrast for being transmitted by the transponder)
To save some efforts when creating the graphic, the past position symbols are not shown dot by dot. Instead, I draw a dotted line along the chain. But it means that the speed-dependend distance between two dots can only be recognized on the photo.
Interesting are the three sequenced primary targets that are on a long left turn in the Dobeln area. On the photo, the past position symbols have great distances, so the targets seems to move at high speed.
The measurement instrument "hangs down" from the HLZ beacon. Accordingly, the textblock shows: BRG/RNG: 174/012.

Approach Lights

Pictures from 2004 - 2010
Poles at the St.-Thomas cemetery
High pole
Low pole
Looking to the east
Approach lights on top of a roof (Hermannstr.)

Additional information

Polish Aircraft at Tempelhof

Several times, planes from Poland were hijacked or used to escape. Among others:
- 12JUN1982 Yak-12A SP-ABX Flight from Wroclaw Szymanow to Tempelhof. The aircraft was painted with red stars to confuse the air defense.
- 17SEP1983 An-2 SP-ANK The flight began on the airfield of Przylep, near Zielona Góra. On board were Jan Z. (pilot) and Mieczysław S., who both coordinated the escape. At an intermediate stop on a field near Letnica, 7 more people were picked up, including 4 childrens.
In 2005-2006 Polish TV made series of films - dramatized documentary - under the general title: "Wielkie Ucieczki" (Great Escapes), see http://www.filmpolski.pl/fp/index.php/4221384 (polish). One of the episodes describes in detail the An-2 SP-ANK escape story. The title of this episode is:"Tempelhof - Brama do wolności" (Tempelhof - Gate to freedom).
- 25OCT1983 Yak-12 SP-KLA The aircraft belonged to the Aeroclub Swidnik. The flight to Tempelhof began at the airfield of Leszno.
Yak-12 in Tempelhof (October 25th, 1983) (Quelle: DoD, Thomas Farr)
- 15SEP1984 PZL-101 Gawron SP-CGF Flight from Szczecin Dąbie to Tempelhof.
But how did the planes return to Poland? A report from Janusz Krasicki, a pilot from Warsaw:

FOUR TIMES THROUGH THE BERLIN WALL TO POLAND

- My trips to Berlin to fly aircraft back to Poland -
General procedures
Each time I was delegated to Berlin as an employee (among others pilot and flight instructor) of the Aero Club of Poland (all four aircraft were property of the Aero Club of Poland). I have preserved - until now - my personal three DDR passes through the Berlin Wall !!! (Friedrichstrasse - Checkpoint Charlie).
The normal procedure was that each time on arrival in East Berlin (three times Ostbahnhof, one time Schönefeld: Airport) I had contacted Polish Embassy (Unter den Linden) or I had been met by gentlemen from LOT Polish Airlines in East or West Berlin, then I was conveyed through the Berlin Wall (Friedrichstrasse) to the Polish Military Mission in West Berlin (Grunewald, Lassenstrasse 19-21; now the Polish Embassy HQ). The Mission was responsible for all further arrangements with American authorities at Tempelhof and gentlemen from the Mission were quite experienced owing to previous Polish landings at this airport.
My four flights
The normal route was, in principle: Tempelhof – Drewitz/Dreilinden (= Checkpoint Bravo) - VOR NUF (Nunsdorf) - NDB BKW (Beeskow) - SUI (Slubice) - .... But in practice each time the route was slightly different.
1) 16.06.1982: Jak-12A SP-ABX It appeared that there is no petrol at Tempelhof as only jet fuel was available (only turbine-engined aircraft were operating from Tempelhof) and there was not enough fuel in the plane’s tanks for the flight to Poland. So it was decided that I must make a short flight to Schönhagen for refuelling. (I had occasion to visit this big GST (Gesellschaft für Sport und Technik) centre a year before when I was a member of the Polish team that attended the World Gliding Championships in Paderborn in 1981; and on return route from Paderborn - with 4 gliders on trailers - we stayed overnight in Schönhagen.).
Now my departure from Tempelhof was delayed, as earlier that day I had to pay a visit to GST HQ (and DDR Aeroklub) in East Berlin to discuss details of the flight and refuelling. So I reached Schönhagen only in the evening and I spent the night here, to continue my flight the next day, June 17, via Beeskow - Slubice - to Zielona Góra (Przylep Airfield) = the place of An-2 hijacking in 1983. Here there was passport control and a long interrogation by a special officer; and only after that I followed to Wroclaw / Szymanow, where the plane was from.
2) 20.09.1983: An-2 SP-ANK This time it appeared the day before (September 19) that there is not enough engine oil in the plane’s oil tank. So oil (Soviet oil MS-20, widely used in the East in engines of Soviet origin) was specially transported to Tempelhof from Schönefeld in the morning on September 20th.
As concerns fuel: this time petrol was available at Tempelhof and we took 300 litres. (There were only about 100 litres in the fuel tanks. On September 17, when An-2 departed from Zielona Góra, the left fuel level warning lamp lighted up - as reported later by the pilot, Jan Z. - just after take off, the right one after crossing the DDR border; the lamps light up indicating about 80 litres in left or right tanks).
The flight route was – this time – exactly as laid down in official rules: Tempelhof – Drewitz/Dreilinden - VOR NUF (Nunsdorf) – BKW (Beeskow) - SUI (Slubice). The An-2 was not fitted with VOR (like other Polish Aero Club’s aircraft in those years), but I had identified the VOR on the ground (map and coordinates). Destination - in the Flight Plan - was Zielona Góra / Przylep, but after crossing the DDR/Polish border the weather dramatically deteriorated and we had been directed to Poznan / Lawica.
An-2 SP-ANK: Engine check prior to departure for Poland. Crew: Janusz Krasicki (Pilot), Józef S. (flight engineer) 20.09.1983 (Source: DoD, Thomas Farr)
3) 27.10.1983: Jak-12A SP-KLA and 4) 19.09.1984: PZL-101 SP-CGF The route was slightly amended in that it was not necessary now to overfly Drewitz/Dreilinden road border crossing, so I flew: Tempelhof - NUF - BKW - SUI - EPPO (Poznan Lawica). As the Jak-12A SP-KLA was from the Aero Club in Swidnik (near Lublin), I spent the night 27/28 October in Poznan and on 28 October I continued to Warsaw Babice. With PZL-101 SP-CGF in 1984, I finished in Poznan.
To avoid possible problems with MS-20 oil, on both last trips to Berlin I brought a 3-litre plastic container with MS-20; (I used it for Jak-12A; PZL-101 was OK). But another device that appeared indispensable (I was, providently, equipped with) was an adapter (connection terminal) for compressed air; American air piping terminals did not fit Russian inlets (compressed air is used in these aircraft for starting engine and for operating flaps and wheel brakes; in many aircraft the compressed air installation is not tight and bottles must be refilled from an external source).
Air Traffic Control
I had been in radio contact with both US controllers on Tempelhof and with East German air traffic control, though in two cases this communication was not easy to establish and maintain: two of four aeroplanes were fitted with quite obsolete equipment (4-channel transceivers R-800), so there were air traffic controllers that were kind enough to tune to one of my only four frequencies !!!).
Janusz Krasicki

Links

General

Until 1945

1945-1994

1994-2008

Airfields in the vicinity

  • 013°/2km Berlin: Urban-Krankenhaus Hospital Helipad
  • 324°/5km Berlin: MoD Helipad
  • 023°/6km Berlin: Friedrichshain Hospital Helipad
  • 074°/6km Berlin: Treptow Seaplane Base
  • 237°/6km Berlin: Steglitz Hospital Helipad
  • 332°/6km Berlin: Kanzlerpark Helipad
  • 336°/6km Berlin: Bundeskanzleramt Helipad
  • 342°/7km Berlin: Bundeswehrkrankenhaus Helipad
  • 217°/8km Berlin: Fliegeberg
  • 332°/8km Berlin: Virchow Hospital Helipad (1)
  • 118°/9km Berlin: Johannisthal Airfield
  • 331°/9km Berlin: Virchow Hospital Helipad (2)
  • 083°/10km Berlin: Karlshorst Airfield (until 1918) (Friedrichsfelde)
  • 232°/10km Berlin: Berlin Command Airstrip
  • 327°/10km Berlin: Quartier Napoleon Helipad
  • 281°/11km Berlin: Teufelssee Helipad
  • 327°/11km Berlin: Julius-Leber-Kaserne Helipad
  • 065°/12km Berlin: Unfallkrankenhaus Hospital Helipad
  • 074°/12km Berlin: Helipad 1028 (HSLP / HLP 1028)
  • 216°/12km Teltow: Airfield
  • 321°/12km Berlin: Tegel Airport
  • 143°/13km Schönefeld: Airport (Berlin-Schönefeld)
  • 105°/14km Berlin: Köpenick Hospital Helipad
  • 189°/14km Diedersdorf: Agricultural Airfield
  • 334°/14km Berlin: Humboldt-Klinikum Hospital Helipad
  • 264°/15km Berlin: Havel Flying Boat Landing
  • 303°/16km Berlin: Klinikum Spandau Hospital Helipad
  • 040°/18km Blumberg: Federal Police Heliport (Ahrensfelde)
  • 270°/18km Berlin: Gatow Airfield (Kladow)
  • 023°/19km Berlin: Klinikum Buch Hospital Helipad
  • 062°/19km Hönow: Agricultural Airfield
  • 216°/19km Sputendorf: Agricultural Airfield
  • 301°/19km Berlin: Waldkrankenhaus Hospital Helipad
  • 319°/19km Berlin: Baumberge Helipad
  • 323°/19km Berlin: Schulzendorf Airfield
  • 051°/20km Blumberg: Agricultural Airfield
  • 115°/20km Berlin: Müggelheim Agricultural Airfield
  • 155°/20km Ragow: Agricultural Airfield
  • 289°/20km Berlin: Staaken Airfield
  • 230°/21km Güterfelde: Airfield
  • 244°/21km Berlin: Steinstücken