• Germany edition
 
Berlin airport building stops over cash woes
Photo: DPA

Berlin airport building stops over cash woes

Published: 29 Nov 2012 07:26 GMT+01:00
Updated: 29 Nov 2012 07:26 GMT+01:00

The chances of Berlin's much-delayed new airport being finished before its latest deadline would seem to be nose-diving, with contractors refusing to work because they doubt the corporation can pay.

The new multi-billion-euro airport is due to open in October 2013 - a date settled on after this June's date was missed by a mile, to the great embarrassment of the Berlin and Brandenburg state governments who were are behind the project.

They and the federal government run a corporation in charge of building the new airport which is due to replace both of the capital's other airports Tegel and Schönefeld.

The Bild newspaper reported on Thursday that the airport could end up costing an extra €250 million, that is, if the work is ever completed.

Construction was halted after the last opening date was missed, and various managers as well as the architects, were sacked. But on Wednesday the Tagesspiegel newspaper reported that construction at the site had not resumed in mid-November as had been planned.

Experts told the paper they would not expect work to start again before the end of the year. The airport corporation has said that work would be resumed in stages, and confirmed that not all areas were being worked upon.

The Tagesspiegel daily reported this week that it had information that the problem was money, and that the construction firms were trying to get the best out of the situation - which the corporation was struggling to pay as its finances were in poor shape. It confirmed months ago that its liquidity was only secure until the end of the year. Berlin and Brandenburg states have each made €444 million available, but the €312 million due from the federal government has not been released.

Some companies, the Tagesspiegel reported, were refused to go back to work until they had been paid a deposit.

Another problem, insiders told the paper, is that just one of the construction firms has a contract that is linked to finishing on time. Many workers have been moved to other projects, and it will take up to six weeks for them to return to the BER site. Many companies have little interest in making things move along more quickly, the paper said.

Further concern was voiced over BER this week with the publication on Tuesday of a 75-page report by international airport designer Dieter Faulenbach da Costa. Commissioned by the Christian Democratic Union opposition in Brandenburg, the report is scathing about the basic concept of the airport.

It says that even as and when BER opens, passengers will get worse service than they currently do at the two old Berlin airports. They have 176 check in desks between them, the report says - but the BER airport is due to have just 112. Da Costa said work would have to start almost immediately to expand capacity.

This was rejected by the BER consortium which said it had planned enough capacity to deal with 27 million passengers a year and that the check in desk numbers had been agreed with airlines.

The main problem, Da Costa said, was that because regular passengers were going to be mixed with bargain ticket-holders, the non-discount airlines would refuse to pay higher landing fees - which could prove problematic for the airport's long-term finances.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

10:03 November 29, 2012 by pepsionice
I think if you peel back everything, you find a number of issues. The corporation that the gov't created to build and run the airport....I suspect....never had absolutely competent people to micromanage the construction phase. The various contractors to build? They probably found dozens of ways of over-charging for each phase of their contract, in hopes of milking more money out of the corporation. Sub-contractors did the same thing, is also a hunch of mine.

Go and look at the KMC over at Ramstein. It actually reached a point where the Air Force refused to pay a cent more for construction, and it sat idle for almost two years at the eighty-percent point of construction. Only when investigators were called out and everyone (including political figures) started to get nervous over what kind of mess they run into.....did the German government suddenly stand up and throw some cash into the pot to finish up the project. No one ever talked about how much extra the Germans had to pay....to ensure the completion of an American project.
10:47 November 29, 2012 by raandy
The new airport is unfortunately just one station beyond the AB BVG ticket so you must purchase a ABC ticket, if you have a monthly ticket this is a pain in the butt.

The cost of a cab from here is a lot more in most case than it was from Tegal.I am use to flying out of Tegal and couldn't care less if they ever finnish it.
11:00 November 29, 2012 by HHayrider
At the rate they are going, I might have a chance to fly into Tegel one more time before it closes!
11:25 November 29, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
@ raandy

You don't need to purchase an ABC ticket if you have a monthly AB ticket. All you need to do is top it up. You buy an additional ticket which costs €1,40 I think.
11:53 November 29, 2012 by raandy
Berlin fuer alle Thats correct, but I was controlled at Shoenefeld once when I got off the bus, had no idea about being out of the AB (or entering the

Twilight zone) and the guy smiled and said I was the 8th person he caught that day.

You are right , all you need is to buy the additional 1.40
17:00 November 29, 2012 by catjones
Just call it Templehof II, plants some trees, make it a park and keep the two airports.
01:51 November 30, 2012 by chicagolive
@ pepsionice

KMC was about $350 over budget and the German government had to cough up 300million of it. Severe quality issues, fraud from so called German government cleared firms it was a true debacle. They did not want that coming out on them, but the Airport in Berlin just shows the inability of firms here to do large jobs without committing crooked acts. The Plaza project in Frankfurt is also supposed to be over budget and suffering the same issues.
19:52 November 30, 2012 by Englishted
Does could not run a pi## up in a brewery and as much use as a chocolate teapot spring into anyone mind or is it only me?
19:58 November 30, 2012 by raandy
For sure there is a disconnect there somewhere .
Today's headlines
Ex-minister jailed over F1 race track scandal
Ingolf Deubel in court on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

Ex-minister jailed over F1 race track scandal

A former state finance minister was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison on Wednesday, having been found guilty of embezzling money in the scandal around the failed sale of the Nürburgring Formula One race track. READ () »

Upper Bavaria boasts lowest EU unemployment
A Bavarian worker works hard Photo: DPA

Upper Bavaria boasts lowest EU unemployment

Southern and central Bavaria have the lowest unemployment in the EU, according to figures released on Tuesday, with one business leader boasting the area has “de facto full employment”. READ () »

Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare
Uli Hoeneß was jailed last month for tax evasion. Photo: DPA

Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare

The number of German tax evaders who have self-declared to avoid prosecution trebled in the first quarter of 2014, figures published on Wednesday showed, with the rise put down to the "Uli Hoeneß effect". READ () »

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks
One of the WWII Russian tanks near the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks

The German government rejected on Wednesday a call by two newspapers to remove Russian tanks from a World War II memorial in central Berlin in protest against spiralling tensions in Ukraine. READ () »

Germany warns Ukraine talks must not fail
A Ukrainian policeman at a checkpoint in the eastern city of Kharkiv on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Germany warns Ukraine talks must not fail

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Wednesday that scheduled four-way talks on the Ukraine crisis must not fail, warning of "the threat of more dead and injured". READ () »

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station
Berlin's Olympic Stadium. Photo: DPA

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station

Berlin's Olympic stadium could become the world's biggest polling station if the Turkish community gets the go-ahead to vote there in Turkey’s general elections. READ () »

The Local List
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: DPA

Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German

From rolling wheels filled with burning hay down a hill, to waiting for a fox to bring eggs, The Local List this week looks at the nine best German Easter traditions. READ () »

Biology pupils find horse in kebab meat test
Horse? Photo: DPA

Biology pupils find horse in kebab meat test

Schoolchildren in western Germany came across horse meat while testing doner kebabs in a biology experiment. It comes a year after the horse meat scandal which showed much meat on sale in Europe had been mislabelled. READ () »

Private health insurance not worth it for workers
Photo: DPA

Private health insurance not worth it for workers

Thousands of employees paying into private health insurance in Germany get poor value for money, according to consumer experts - who recommend going private for just one group of workers. READ () »

'Free range' chicken farmer tricks customers
Free range? Photo: DPA

'Free range' chicken farmer tricks customers

UPDATE: A major producer of ethically certifified meat has admitted to defrauding thousands of customers for years by passing off conventional chicken as free range. But the brand said it took swift action to deal with the case. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
'The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany'
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The week in pictures: April 5th - April 11th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Advertisement:
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo:ESL
Sponsored Article
How to integrate successfully in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,115
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd