Opponents argue that Tegel, with its concrete, hexagonal terminal that dates back to the 1970s, is antiquated, does not meet current safety standards and must be renovated at a cost of at least 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion).

They want the state government to go ahead with plans to convert the site into a new business and technology park to boost Berlin’s economy, and build affordable flats to alleviate a housing shortage.

Supporters, however, say that even when complete the new airport will be too small to meet passenger demand and want Tegel retained to serve around 10 million passengers per year, mainly on short-haul flights.

Airlines were also divided, with Ryanair calling for it to be kept open to avoid a capacity crunch, and Lufthansa saying it would prefer to operate from one airport.

Ryanair, which placed posters around Berlin urging locals to vote to keep Tegel open, on Monday welcomed the result and called on the government to explore all options to keep it open.

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