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Berlin airport delayed until October 2013
Photo: DPA

Berlin airport delayed until October 2013

Published: 04 Sep 2012 12:44 GMT+02:00
Updated: 04 Sep 2012 12:44 GMT+02:00

Berlin's new main airport, already dogged by embarrassing delays, will not open until October next year, it was confirmed on Tuesday. The news is a further blow to government officials and airport officials.

The Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport (BER) had been scheduled to open in June this year, but just weeks before hand, everything was put on hold after problems over fire safety emerged. A new manager was appointed and a provisional new date of March 2013 was announced.

The corporation responsible for building the airport is due to meet on Friday, where an even later opening date is expected to be announced.

Brandenburg’s state premier Matthias Platzeck confirmed on Tuesday that this new date would be late October 2013.

The scandal surrounding the project has dented the popularity of Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit, accused of incompetence and underestimating the problems linked to the construction.

The country's top two airlines, Lufthansa and Air Berlin, have also expressed outrage over the repeated delays to the project, on the site of the current Schönefeld Airport, in the south-east of the city.

Berlin's airports are not the country's busiest, with Schönefeld and Tegel combined welcoming around 24 million visitors a year - less than half the 56 million passengers serviced at Frankfurt airport in western Germany.

But the new airport, to be named after former chancellor Willy Brandt, was intended to accommodate the sharp rise in air traffic to the region seen in the two decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification.

It is due to service around 27 million passengers a year.

Berliners were already mourning the closure of Tegel, which is relatively close to the city centre and whose small, hexagonal main terminal is a 1960s relic that allows passengers to hop in or out of a taxi just outside their gate.

Now it would seem they will be able to use it for longer than they thought.

The Local/DAPD/AFP/sh

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:41 September 4, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Pity. I was looking forward to Tegal closing. It would make the neighbourhood quieter.
15:18 September 4, 2012 by lucksi
Good show chaps. Bonuses and promotions all around.
15:28 September 4, 2012 by The-ex-pat
"Everything was put on hold after problems over fire safety emerged".......................

I have colleagues who have to visit the airport quite regularly, fire safety problems are the least of the problems they have. I am told that building site still best describes the airport.........................
08:53 September 5, 2012 by strahlungsamt
What are you people talking about? This is progress. Finally Germany adopted the American Libertarian way of doing things. Money first and everything else will take care of itself. Ayn Rand was right after all. The Market is the only God there is. If you don't like it then find another airport. It's what Mitt Romney would do.

Now, excuse me while I bravely troll for Ron Paul for sub-minimum wage for the next 50 hours.
11:17 September 5, 2012 by catjones
strahlungsamt...not every german failure is the fault of America. Man up and take your own blame.

The reason BER put the date so far out is so when then go live in September of 2013, you and others will cheer them beating their estimate and forget about this abysmal failure.
11:14 September 8, 2012 by notelove2
why does Tegel have to close anyway? Major cities often have more than one airport - London, Paris....Let's keep Tegel!
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