• Germany's news in English
 

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)

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
Schumacher Jr lives up to his name
Schumacher Jr is too young to drink any of that champagne. Photo: DPA

Schumacher Jr lives up to his name

Mick Schumacher Jr did his famous father proud on his Formula Four debut on Saturday by claiming a trophy as the best rookie and finishing ninth, despite starting 19th. READ  

Deutsche Bank to sell Postbank
Deutsche Bank acquired Postbank in 2008. Photo: DPA

Deutsche Bank to sell Postbank

Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank announced late Friday it was seeking to sell its Postbank subsidiary as part of a revamp to improve profitability. READ  

Far left activists attack immigration office
Photo: DPA

Far left activists attack immigration office

Far-left extremists attacked an immigration office in Leipzig early on Friday morning. It was the second targeted attack on an official building in the city in recent months. READ  

Steinmeier: Armenia wasn't genocide
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo:DPA

Steinmeier: Armenia wasn't genocide

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier insisted on Friday that calling Armenian massacres genocide risks belittling the Holocaust, after President Joachim Gauck broke a taboo by using the word on Thursday. READ  

Schumacher Jr launches Formula race career
Mick Schumacher on test day earlier in April. Photo: DPA

Schumacher Jr launches Formula race career

Michael Schumacher's 16-year-old son starts his Formula Four career this weekend, under the pressure of living up to the famous family name of the seven-time Formula One world champion. READ  

Property of the week
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Mr Lodge

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

A highly sought-after location, great connection to public transport, and a very stylish interior – Does that sound good to you? Then you’ll love this week’s property! READ  

Germany's most polluted cities
The sun rises behind a coal-burning power station in Lower Saxony. Photo: DPA

Germany's most polluted cities

The Federal Environment Ministry has named the most polluted places around the country, with Stuttgart claiming the undesirable title of Germany's most polluted city. READ  

Göring's daughter fails in bid to win father's assets
Edda Göring photographed in 1942. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Göring's daughter fails in bid to win father's assets

The Bavarian government rejected on Thursday an attempt by Hermann Göring's daughter to win back her father's assets, which the government seized in 1948. READ  

Tugce accused admits to delivering fatal blow
Tugce Albayrak's death shocked Germany. Photo:DPA

Tugce accused admits to delivering fatal blow

When 22-year-old Tugce Albayrak was fatally beaten in a MacDonald's car park in November 2014, Germany was left in a state of shock. On the first day of her attacker's trial he admits to 'boxing her on the ear.' READ  

Prosecutors want info on spies' help to US
Gerhard Schindler, head of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's foreign intelligence agency. Photo: DPA

Prosecutors want info on spies' help to US

Federal prosecutors have asked for access on files from the Bundestag (German parliament) inquiry into mass surveillance, after news that German spies helped the US eavesdrop on European leaders and businesses. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
German beer day: take the tour
Features
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Gallery
The smileys Germans love to text
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
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

7,216
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd