Berlin: One Year successful referendum on Tempelhof Airport

On May 25th it was not only my sons birthday, but also one year has passed since the successful referendum on the future of Tempelhof Airport.
Seven years ago the official operating license of the inner city airport expired. It was already a celebration for most Berliners, because of all the noise and kerosine in the middle of the city. Although the Airport basically saved the city during the Berlin Airlift with one airplane landing or starting every minute, its time had run out. On that day – the 31st of October 2008 at 0:01 AM Tempelhof Airport ceased to exist. Well, as you probably know, you are not allowed to fly kites close to an airport. But seeing as it was officially no longer an Airport we decided to fly two 100 meter long Ohashi Kite Systems. We flew them shortly after the last airplane departed from the Airport. The two trains of kites were made of highly reflective Mylar and were illuminated by very powerful spotlights. You could see them for miles. Attached to one of he kite systems was a banner we made “Kite Flying Field Tempelhof – 4ever”.

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I decided to fly this historic banner again to celebrate the successful referendum on the future of Tempelhof Airport. The Berliners had once again stood up for their own interests and voted to cancel any kind of construction on this huge grassy field. Over 650,000 Berliners said yes to 100% Tempelhof and saved this precious gem from being built upon by special interest groups.

The result is, that we now have the largest inner city kite field in the world. It is a beautiful addition to the wonderful parks in Berlin with its own special charm. Kites have become a symbol of the freedom in this park. Some people even call it “Tempelhof Freedom”

All Photos taken by Andreas Grimm

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