A final attempt to save the historic Templehof airport in west Berlin has failed after a referendum opposing its closure fell short of the necessary quorum. However according to mayor Klaus Wowereit, the non-binding referendum would not have influenced government plans to close the vast inner-city airport in October 2008 to make way for the new Berlin Brandenburg International airport on the eastern outskirts of the capital.

Under threat of closure for around ten years, Templehof has become a major drain on city finances, with passengers down to 350,000 last year, a mere fraction of the 20 million who used Berlin