The Ukraine Arrivals Center at the former Tegel Airport will continue to operate and will be relocated from Terminal A/B to Terminal C. The Senate decided this at its meeting on Tuesday on the basis of a presentation by Social Senator Katja Kipping (left).

The reason for the move is that the building fabric in Terminal C is in a much better condition, said Senator for Culture Klaus Lederer (left) on Tuesday after the Senate session. After the move, the center will also be made winter-proof, i.e. equipped for colder temperatures. The registration tent is to be replaced by heatable containers.

Terminal C will initially be rented until December 31, 2022 to operate the arrival center. If necessary, the rental period can be extended – in a first step until March 31, 2023, in a second step until June 30, 2023.

The renovation work is scheduled to begin in August. So that the move and expansion of Terminal C can take place during ongoing operations, the Senate is extending the lease of Terminal A/B until the end of the year. Terminal A/B is to be dismantled in November and December so that these areas can then be returned to the owners, Tegel Projekt GmbH.

After moving the arrival center in Terminal C, there will be room for 960 people. The current need for accommodation is thus covered and a reserve is also planned, said Lederer.

The current situation does not look like easing, for example when one thinks of the request to the people in eastern Ukrainian Donbass, who should now leave their region. “We are preparing very, very carefully for escape movements in autumn and winter,” said Lederer.

A few weeks ago it became known that toxic substances had been discovered on the former airport site. Lederer assured that the State Office for Refugee Affairs had already investigated the situation so that no people on the site were endangered.

“The continuation of the Ukraine arrival center is necessary because Berlin occupies a key position for Ukrainian refugees due to its geographical location,” said Lederer. Around 600 people from Ukraine still arrive in Berlin every day. But not all of them stayed in Berlin.

Last week, Social Senator Kipping activated the first stage of the emergency plan due to the shortage of places in refugee accommodation. Against this background, tent accommodation with 900 sleeping places on the airport site was made ready for action last Friday. However, this should only be used if all other options have been exhausted.

Lederer could not say whether the move of the arrival center would also have an impact on the location and possible operation of the tent accommodation.

In Tegel, a living and working quarter is actually to be created that has been in the planning for years. Lederer said on Tuesday that he assumes that this project can continue as planned in Terminal A/B after the parts of the building have been handed over to the owner. However, he also pointed out that there were delays in construction projects of any kind due to the currently tense world market situation.