• Germany edition
 
New Berlin airport delay forces mayor from board
Photo: DPA

New Berlin airport delay forces mayor from board

Published: 07 Jan 2013 07:53 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Jan 2013 17:16 GMT+01:00

The troubled multi-billion-euro project has already doubled in cost and could require more than just tinkering around with a faulty fire prevention and warning system, a report on Monday suggested.

More thorough checks must be made before a decision can be made as to whether "a complete reconstruction to reach certification status cannot be avoided", Bild newspaper quoted from a status report from Horst Amman, the technical head of the consortium building the problem-plagued Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport (BER).

Amman's report said it would not be possible to name a finish date in the near future.

There now seems to be no chance of any air traffic in or out of the new airport before 2014.

Berlin and Brandenburg are the two major shareholders of the consortium, along with the federal government - and state premiers Klaus Wowereit and Matthias Platzeck respectively, sit on the supervisory board running the project.

They have come under increasing pressure as their erstwhile prestige project has turned to political dust in their hands.

Claims were made on Monday that the supervisory board must have known about the additional delay in mid-December but this was denied at lunchtime, with assurances that it was only known at the weekend.

The Green party leader in Berlin's state legislature, Ramona Pop, said on Monday that Wowereit should resign if it turned out that he knew about the additional delay in mid-December. She called for a vote of confidence in the Social Democratic mayor.

He gave up his position at head of the airport consortium supervisory board on Monday, preparing to hand it over to Platzeck on January 16. He also said it was likely that airport manager Rainer Schwarz would be fired at that meeting.

Chairman of the federal parliamentary transport committee Anton Hofreiter called for the entire airport supervisory board to step down.

He said it was a scandal that not only was the airport so late but that the additional delay was, "only brought to light through parliament or in the press."

This demonstrated that the supervisory board, and Schwarz, were not right for their jobs. And Wowereit had damaged the Berlin's image so badly, said Hofreiter, that he should resign as mayor as well as from his position on the supervisory board.

Bild reported that the main issued continued to be the airport’s fire control system, which was apparently not built to official specifications.

“It will cost time and energy to be approved,” wrote inspectors in a letter dated December 28 to the firm overhauling the faulty system. “There will be no contortions to approve what’s been botched.”

The start of Berlin’s new airport has been delayed several times already. The air hub was expected to begin operations on June 3, 2012, but shoddy construction and management of the huge infrastructure project forced the cancellation of the opening only a month earlier. Last autumn, a March 2013 date was also postponed to October 27.

Besides embarrassing officials in the German capital, the airport is running at nearly double the initial budget and is now expected to cost more than €4 billion.

DAPD/The Local/mry/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

11:34 January 7, 2013 by pepsionice
What they aren't telling you....is that once you suggest shoddy workmanship, then you go into court for months and months to establish facts, and have a judge force what was written into the contract to be done. If this airport opens before 2016...I'll be shocked. I'd be thinking it's closer to late 2017 before it's fully opened. If you look around the country now.....it's more likely to find long and delayed projects, than on-time projects.
16:18 January 7, 2013 by maxbrando
Remember, these are left-wing politicians trying to bring a project in on time and under budget! These things are absolutely incompatible. Socialists should never be put in charge of anything.
17:17 January 7, 2013 by raandy
Everyone is running for cover on this boondoggle.

Thats correct Max , its an oxymoron for sure.
00:21 January 8, 2013 by sonriete
So, Wowereit and Platzeck were both on the supervisory board in the two leading positions the entire time since this project was conceived all those years and billions of euro's ago.

And now, Wowereit finally takes responsibility and resigns in disgrace, and passes the baton to..........Platzeck????!!! What a sick joke.
05:19 January 8, 2013 by hanskarl
@raandy, Not intentionally being coarse but more like roaches running from the light.
20:37 January 9, 2013 by blackboot11
May I ask that the BER Flughafen gets finished first before starting on the next fiasco.. the Neue Schloß.....PLEASE !
Today's headlines
Glass memorial honours Nazi disabled victims
Floral tributes were laid on Tuesday at the new Holocaust memorial in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Glass memorial honours Nazi disabled victims

A 24-metre blue glass wall in Berlin has been unveiled to commemorate the systematic murder of up to 300,000 mentally ill and disabled people under Adolf Hitler. READ  

Germany to help with Mediterranean refugees
Migrants aboard an Italian navy patrol vessel in April 2014. Photo: DPA

Germany to help with Mediterranean refugees

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière on Tuesday pledged support for his Italian colleague in the struggle to manage refugees trying to reach the European Union via its southern coast. READ  

Ice bucket challenge raises €500,000 in a week
Elephant Nelly takes part in the ice bucket challenge in a Lower Saxony safari park. Photo: DPA

Ice bucket challenge raises €500,000 in a week

The coffers of the German Society for Muscular Disease (DGM) are overflowing with donations thanks to the viral craze for videos of donors dousing themselves with ice-cold water. READ  

Russian-German school opens in teeth of conflict
The GRIAT will open in the Russian city of Kazan. Photo: Shutterstock

Russian-German school opens in teeth of conflict

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is pressing ahead with its German-Russian Institute of Advanced Technologies (GRIAT) against a backdrop of international tensions over Ukraine. READ  

Schweinsteiger is new Germany captain: Löw
Photo: DPA

Schweinsteiger is new Germany captain: Löw

Bastian Schweinsteiger will replace fellow Bayern Munich player Philipp Lahm as captain of the German national football team, head trainer Joachim Löw said on Tuesday. READ  

Munich minister resigns in 'model car scandal'
Christine Haderthauer at her resignation press conference in Munich on Monday. Photo: DPA

Munich minister resigns in 'model car scandal'

Christine Haderthauer, head of the Bavarian state chancery, resigned “with immediate effect” on Monday evening over the so-called “model car scandal” in which her company sold scale models built by a man convicted of three sexual murders. READ  

Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck
President Gauck stands shoulder to shoulder with President Komorowski of Poland in Gdansk on Monday. Photo: DPA

Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck

Russia has "effectively severed its partnership" with Europe and wants to establish a new order, German President Joachim Gauck said on Monday. READ  

National Uber ban is revenge of the taxis
Taxis are a powerful trade lobby in Germany. Photo: DPA

National Uber ban is revenge of the taxis

The Frankfurt regional court has imposed a temporary nationwide ban on chauffeur car service Uber, saying that it must pay a €250,000 fine if passengers continue to book rides through its app. READ  

Sex party 'desecrates' Bavarian royal spa
The facade of the Bad Reichenhall Royal Spa Hotel.

Sex party 'desecrates' Bavarian royal spa

The Bavarian finance ministry has demanded a report from the company running a publicly-owned spa in the town of Bad Reichenhall after they rented the property out for a fetish party. READ  

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs
Angela Merkel addressing the Bundestag on Monday as her ministers look on. Photo: DPA

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the Bundestag on Monday to explain her government's decision to send weapons to Iraqi Kurds fighting terrorist group Isis. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

3,413
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd