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Minister: Berlin airport date is in danger
Photo: DPA

Minister: Berlin airport date is in danger

Published: 26 Dec 2012 11:03 GMT+01:00
Updated: 26 Dec 2012 11:03 GMT+01:00

Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer has admitted that the much-delayed new Berlin BER international airport may miss its October 2013 opening deadline, yet indirectly criticised the capital's mayor for the continuing fiasco.

Ramsauer called for great clarity and more honesty when large construction projects are being planned and carried out, to avoid the kind of cost explosion and delay seen with BER. It has more than doubled in cost from €2 billion to around €4.3 billion - and seems far from being ready.

"The co-owner, the federal government, sees signs that the opening date of October 27, 2013 might possibly not be met," Ramsauer told Die Welt newspaper on Wednesday.

The state governments of Brandenburg and Berlin are the other two owners of the airport which is being built to replace the Schönefeld and Tegel airports, and was last expected to open in the summer.

The latest official reason for the non-opening of the airport was that the fire warning system was not working, and Ramsauer said many tests were still needed to see whether it was now going to function.

He said the BER supervisory board, chaired by Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit, was responsible for the management of the project - but also that they were reliant on the managers providing all necessary information.

The main problem with the project has been that, "not all decisive facts have been laid on the table of the supervisory board," said Ramsauer.

Yet the transport minister, who is also responsible for construction, said such problems were not unique to publicly-run projects. "Public and private building contractors cook with the same water - both give out contracts to companies," he said.

"There are botches, delays and cost increases. That does not excuse anything for public projects, but one should not make it worse than it is," he said.

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Your comments about this article

11:21 December 26, 2012 by grahame-s
"but one should not make it worse than it is," he said" - er how exactly?
12:08 December 26, 2012 by raandy
I would have been surprised if the date was a go.

Now everyone is pointing fingers, but the end result seems to remain on course, nothing is getting done.
12:22 December 26, 2012 by Englishted
If a "normal" worker had done any of the things these monkeys have, they would be unemployed at least by now .

The "The buck stops here" sign is missing from the desktop so they play pass the buck but the music never stops.
13:17 December 26, 2012 by The-ex-pat
As most of the people at the top will have letters after their names (or a Meisterbrief) then they are the last people who will think they have any responsibility for the whole fiasco....................
00:39 December 28, 2012 by chicagolive
If only they had the US military to kick them in the butt like the RMC fiasco. They did not like that embarrassment that was coming and they quickly got their butts in order. What I have notice is that when it comes to major projects the Germans seem to be really incapable of getting them off the ground right.
14:29 December 28, 2012 by Bill Simpson
Don't feel too bad. It took Louisiana 2 years to widen 3 km of Interstate 12 by one travel lane.
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