Some history of City Airport Bremen
The origins of Bremen Airport date back to the establishment of the ‘Bremen Airship Aviation Association’ (Bremer Verein für Luftschiffahrt – BVL) in the year 1909. The Aviation Association and the Norddeutsche Lloyd shipping company were jointly commissioned by the Bremen government to create an airship port, with the military exercise grounds chosen as location. However, no airship ever did arrive on the ‘Werder’ meadows, although the ‘LZ-12 Hansa’ did land in Bremen – on the ‘Neuenlander Feld’. On 16 May 1913, the Association (which by then had shed the word ‘airship’ from its name) was commissioned by the Bremen Senate to establish an aviation base. This marked the birth of Bremen’s airport. In 1914, those involved celebrated the inauguration of the first aircraft hangar on the Neuenlander Feld.
On 18 July 1920, still under the management of the BVL, Bremen Airport was officially opened. The first scheduled flight of the KLM airline landed a mere 18 months later. On 24 September of the same year, the National Assembly approved the sum of three million Reichsmark to enlarge the airport, in the course of which the ‘Bremen Airport Company’ (Flughafengesellschaft) was founded. Focke-Wulff-Flugzeugbau AG, the aircraft makers, began operations on the airport site in 1924. Two years later, the merger of Aero Lloyd and Junkers Luftverkehr AG resulted in Deutsche Luft Hansa, which integrated Bremen into the route network immediately after its formation.
Aviation declined severely in the early 1930s, coming to a near standstill in 1933 after the National Socialists seized power. Luft Hansa obtained the monopoly and Bremen was removed from the route network. However, lobbyists from the Hanseatic city intervened in Berlin. One consequence was a new terminal in 1937 and above all a new runway system that made the airport one of the most advanced of its time. Civil aviation came to a grinding halt when World War 2 broke out.
The airport facilities were completely destroyed in the course of the war. American troops took over the management of the airport in 1945 and returned it to the civil administration authorities of Bremen city four years later. This was accompanied by repairs to the facilities and lengthening of the runway.
On 1 April 1949, the Scandinavian airline SAS launched two routes via Bremen to Düsseldorf and Frankfurt am Main.
In August 1954, Deutsche Lufthansa AG was formed from the Aktiengesellschaft für Luftverkehrsbedarf, and around two and half years later added Bremen to its route network. However, just before that, on 1 May 1956, a major milestone was unveiled, namely the Lufthansa Flight Training Institute that has been used to this day for basic training of pilots. In 1957, the privately operated airport was incorporated in Flughafen Bremen GmbH, owned by the city of Bremen.
The Senate, or government, of Bremen resolved in 1973 to establish the airport as one serving the entire region, in the course of which the River Ochtum was diverted and the runway extended to a total length of 2034 metres. In 1979, the new departure terminal was inaugurated, and a passenger volume in excess of 700,000 was achieved.
1983 saw the establishment of the ‘Bremen Airport Support Association’, an organisation that now has more than 200 members. Three years later, the planning approval procedure to divert the River Ochtum was initiated – the production of Airbus wings required that the runway be extended to a length of 2634 metres. At the end of the decade, a new era is ushered in with the launch of the ‘Airport 2000’ Investment Programme. In addition, the total passenger volume broke the one million mark for the first time in 1989.
The ‘Airport 2000’ Programme begins to have impacts: inauguration of the first construction phase of the new terminal in 1993, commissioning of the new Freight Centre in 1995 and inauguration of the departure terminal in 1998, thus marking completion of work. A totally new airport has resulted, with trams stopping at its very door.
Three airlines add Bremen to their flight timetable: OLT, Air France and Ryanair, the Irish airline. Not only that – Ryanair also stationed three aircraft in Bremen. Passenger figures provide vivid evidence of the Airport’s growing success: 2,486,337 passengers took off from Bremen in 2008.
10. Mai 2009:
More than 130,000 visitors celebrate a century of aviation in Bremen: Aerial aerobatics shows, the Airbus A380, all manner of oldtimers in the air and on the road, and much more besides, attracted crowds of spectators to the Neuenlander Feld under sunny blue skies – ‘crazy’ and ‘gave me gooseflesh’ were the most used expressions that day.