- 1939 - 1945
- War and armistice
In 1939, construction work was started on the south terminal. But by the time it was ready for use, Fuhlsbüttel was no longer a civil airport. On 28th August 1939, four days before the outbreak of the Second World War, the Luftwaffe seized the aiport in order to place it "in the service of national defence". All civil facilities were appropriated for military use, and Fuhlsbüttel became an airbase for the German air force and the pilots' training school. While other German airports continued to be available for civil flights, Hamburg airspace was declared closed for all except military flights. All normal flights were stopped, and Fuhlsbüttel was only used for supply, courier and reconnaissance flights for the Luftwaffe.
1941: The last non-military user of the airport, the Hamburg Police, was forced to abandon the hangar it had leased on the airfield in 1941: the Luftwaffe needed the building to store dummy planes. The military authorities also appropriated the Lufthansa fleet, and henceforth special permission was required for civil flights. The routes still being flown were mainly those to neutral countries such as Switzerland, Spain, Portugal and Sweden. Regular scheduled flights were out of the question – the hostilities made flying a hazardous business.
1939-1945: Little is known about the fate of Hamburg Airport during the war, about the number of take-offs and landings and the airport's importance for the Luftwaffe: at the end of the war, all documents covering the period 1939–1945 were burnt. But the changes in the airport's appearance were plain to see: a busy traffic interchange had – at least seemingly – reverted to the rural idyll it had been before. Hundreds of birches and fir trees, huge woven mats and camouflage nets were intended to make the airport seem like an area of unspoilt nature for enemy reconnaissance pilots. Whether the camouflage was successful, or whether the enemy bombers spared Fuhlsbüttel on purpose – either way, unlike many other German airports, Hamburg was not destroyed, and the Royal Air Force was able to take over a fully functioning airfield in May 1945.