Berliners decide whether to build housing at historic Tempelhof airport or keep it for leisure

Berlin voters are casting ballots on whether to develop or preserve as leisure space a big part of the former Tempelhof airport, the hub of the historic 1948-49 Berlin Airlift.

The airport in the heart of the German capital was used by Allies to supply the city by air during the Soviet Union's blockade of Berlin's western sector and closed in 2008.

Its vast runways and grassy spaces are bigger than Monaco and have been transformed into a popular site for kite-flying, barbecues and cycling.

City officials want about a third of the land for housing because of Berlin's growing population.

Opponents argue citizens were not properly consulted and that Berliners would lose unique leisure space to development.

The referendum Sunday is binding if 625,000 voters back either proposal.