Historic overview
Holtenau is one of the oldest airfields in german history. The area todays airfield is situated on, was evaluated by the emperial navy as early as 1865. The first military installation was the Fort Holtenau, which was build between 1867 and 1890. Its task was to defend Kiel's Reichskriegshafen. Due to several constructions in the area, an artifical peninsula arose from the Foerde and was chosen as one of the first Seeflughafen of the German Navy. In 1913 a provisoric runway was completed and the Marinefliegerstation ready for duty.
About a year later, the Marinefliegerabteilung of the Danziger Bucht was transferred to Holtenau.
During the Great War, navy aircraft conducted observation missions over the baltic, but were hardly envolved in military action against the enemy.
After the end of World War I, Holtenau was declared an international airtraffic center, which saved the airfield from destruction by the allies.
On 2nd december 1918 the naval air station returned to duty with only ten aircraft in available.
A short while later, in march 1920, the allies ordered the destruction of all remaining aircraft. A total of 41 airplanes fell victim to this decision. On 9th september 1920 the Marineflieger were officially disbanded.
Exactly two years later, Holtenau was incorporated into the city of Kiel, thus receiving its current name of Kiel-Holtenau.
Early photograph of the Seeflugstation Holtenau in 1918
Still owned by the navy, major changes to the area were conducted in 1925. The former Fort was dismanteled and a new airfield build instead.
In november 1927 the "Kieler Flughafen-Gesellschaft mbH" was founded and the airport opened its gate on 23rd april 1928.
Military operations returned to Holtenau on 1st march 1937, when Marinefliegerbordgruppe 196 was established. This airgroup was accompanied by Traegergruppe 4./184 - the airgroup which was to equip the new aircraft carrier "Graf Zeppelin". Eventually, the aircraft carrier was never completed and the aircraft transferred to other combat theatres (in case of the Bf 109T fighter aircraft Norway).
Moreover Goering ordered the Marineflieger to be incorporated into the Luftwaffe on 27th january 1939.
Though serving primarily as a SAR base in World War II, Holtenau suffered from heavy allied air attacks. Targeted were the naval shipyards in Kiel harbour though.
Between 1945 and 1951 no german airplane operated from Holtenau. The base was occupied by british forces, mainly Royal Engineers and Royal Navy ship crews.
In 1951 the allies allowed glider activity and in 1955 permission was given for motorized flight.
Due to Marineaufstellunsgbefehl Nr.41 - Marine - of 26th june 1956, Kiel-Holtenau was chosen as the new Bundesmarines first Seeflughafen.
In 1957 Holtenau was the place were the 1. Marinefliegergruppe was established. Besides MFG 3 all naval air units of the Bundeswehr were commissioned at Holtenau, though only MFG 4 and MFG 5 operated from the airbase.
The flying units had to share the base with several other military installations, included various naval schools, a Music Corps and COMNAVBALTAP - NATO's naval Command for the Baltic.
Generationchange at Kiel
Since 1968, when MFG 4 was disbanded, MFG 5 is the sole military flying unit at Kiel-Holtenau's airfield. Between 1971 and ´74 the military was accompanied by Cimber Air, who conducted civil passenger flights from and to Kiel-Holtenau.
On 2nd november 1987 the airport was officially opened for civil airlines and it's importance is growing constantly since then.

click on the edge to return

[back to main page]