Historic Berlin Airport Could Get Drive-In Sex Booths

It's being proposed as prostitution with the safety and convenience of an Uber. A historic airport in Berlin is the proposed site of "Verichtungsboxen" or publicly available prostitution booths where sex workers can meet clients at what's considered a relatively safe and regulated venue. 

The mayor of Berlin's central Mitte district is leading the initiative to turn the city's former Tempelhof airport, which was famous for being a Nazi airfield in WWII and afterwards site of the Berlin airlift during the Cold War, into a "drive-in" prostitution site

The historic Tempelhof airport. Image source: Cairns Post

According to CNN, the plans will include "drive-in booths, where customers can meet sex workers in their own vehicles."

Since going out of service in 2008, Tempelhof has since been turned into a sprawling public park and recreation area, but previously claimed the title of the world's oldest operating commercial airport.

The Green party mayor leading the initiative, Stephan von Dassel, says he wants to not only clean up Berlin's streets, but provide a safer environment for sex workers, ultimately in a bid to improve the lives of "residents and sex workers" alike.

Via The Daily Mail

"Residents and businesses have been calling for a ban on street prostitution for many years," he said in a statement.

He further described as the Berlin Senate refusing to take any regulatory action "because it fears a deterioration of the overall situation."

The historic Tempelhof airport turned public park area. Image source: Getty via CNN.

Tempelhof airport has often been referenced as "Hitler's Airport" but has since 2008 been a popular public park and recreation area. 

Dassel also noted that providing Kurfürstenstrasse at the well-known and popular city site would hopefully prevent men "seeking sexual services at such a low price". One of the problems, he explained, is that sex workers increasingly had to operate as a "bulk business in order to earn a basic income."

Germany legalized street prostitution in the early 2000's, and especially over the last decade has seen the sex industry boom, with prostitutes enjoying "worker's rights" the same as if they were in transportation or the food industry. Berlin has long been known as having among the world's most liberal prostitution laws.

Verrichtungsboxen in Zürich-Altstetten, August 2013

But similar to the situation the The Netherlands recently, there's been a slow public backlash given the simultaneous sex worker health crisis, influx of drugs, pimps, human trafficking, and rampant unreported abuse of women

One classic line of Mitte district's mayor quoted by CNN is as follows:

The visibility of pimps is having a "negative impact on the safety of residents," he says.

Another example of regulated sex booths. Source: Uwe Weiser (Express)

The drive-in sex booths idea has actually been implemented on a limited bases in places like Cologne, Zurich, and in The Netherlands.

In practice they ideally include security features like cameras outside the booths and alarm buttons that a sex worker can push if they are under threat. 

But one significant roadblock the plan may run into is the fact that as a centrally located public park, where families can often be seen rollerblading or picnicking or having an early evening stroll, is that families may react angrily at the idea that Tempelhof could be partially transformed into a drive-in sex service. 

This would of course, simply take the pimps and prostitutes off the streets and bring them to the recreation and "play" area of the landmark airport.