• Germany's news in English
 

Terrorist fears undo planned Berlin flight path

Published: 24 Jan 2013 11:44 GMT+01:00

The court said on Wednesday that the risk of a plane crash or a terrorist attack involving the reactor at Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin (HZB), a large scientific research facility, had not been properly investigated when planning the "Wannsee" flight path.

Workers at the HZB, the councils of the Brandenburg villages of Teltow, Stahnsdorf and Kleinmachnow, as well as several private individuals had brought the case against the federal supervisory office for flight safety (BAF), which laid out the flight paths for the new airport in January 2012.

Aside from the dangers posed by the nearby reactor, the case had also included complaints about potential noise pollution, but the court did not even consider this, since the safety issue was already enough to send the BAF back to the drawing board.

"The risk assessments for the reactor in terms of air traffic" were "outdated," the court said in a statement.

Matthias Platzeck, Brandenburg state premier and new chair of the troubled airport's supervisory board, did not yet want to comment on the verdict on Thursday morning. "I have to read it in peace first," he said, before adding that the BAF was responsible for laying out flight-paths.

The case is just the first of many dogging the planned flight paths. Local residents and environmental groups are also challenging another flight path from the new airport in the direction of the nearby Müggelsee lake.

On top of that, the European Commission is examining the possibility that two of its directives have been violated by the German authorities, on the grounds that environmental impact assessments have not been properly carried out for the planned flight paths, which cross nearby nature and bird-conservation areas.

The official opening of the new airport has been delayed four times due to a variety of construction delays, with the latest estimates putting the opening at no earlier than 2015.

The Local/DPA/DAPD/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

12:12 January 24, 2013 by lucksi
Yes, when terrorists take over a plane, the only thing they can fly into is stuff that lies on the planned flight path...
12:34 January 24, 2013 by Berlin fuer alles
haha @ lucksi. Good point. However this is surely the authorities should have considered. No point in making things easy for terrorists or attracting fate with an airplane accident. I wonder how much corruption in planning is as yet unexposed. I will believe this airport being open when I see it. Just like I will believe they roadworks near Hauptbahnhof proceeding when I see it. Is there a conspiracy theory for uprooting Berlin and destroying it under our noses? Or is it really all just total negligence and inefficiency.
12:56 January 24, 2013 by pepsionice
The reactor has to go....period. I'll bet within five years....it's shut down. But don't worry....it'll take ten more years before the Berlin airport is finished anyway.
13:53 January 24, 2013 by freechoice
good riddance to Fukushima! all nukes should be replaced by solar panels. it's so bright staring out into the snowy landscapes.
20:30 January 24, 2013 by Bigfoot76
What was the latest estimate of how much more it will cost to finish it? On top of the continued delays, the lawsuits by the airline companies, the inability to hire capable individuals to run the operation and now more legal issues about where it is being built and the environmental impact studies. The only thing that makes this project worse is continuing to do it since they only seem to accomplish more failure as it pushes on.
23:56 January 24, 2013 by wood artist
In truth, assuming there is a question, I'd be more worried about the birds around the lakes. The nuclear reactor could be crashed regardless of where it is if a terrorist got control of a plane. Said terrorist could just as easily crash the Reichstag or Sanssouci or anyplace else for that matter. On the other hand, flying through a nesting area for large birds has dangers that a "security system" can't defeat...just as Sully about landing in the Hudson River. On the other hand, at least there would be large lakes handy for such landings.

This is a reasonable concern, but an invalid issue. Over the greater Berlin area it's nearly impossible to plan ANY flight path that doesn't cross "something" dangerous. I'll be we could easily find a handy chemical factory or power station that poses just as much risk.

wa
Today's headlines
Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'
Sudeten Germans practising traditional dance at a gathering in 2014. Photo: DPA

Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'

The Sudeten German Homeland Association has given up its claim to the group's former home in parts of the Czech Republic, quieting one of the final echoes of the Second World War. READ  

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan
Families Minister Manuela Schwesig. Photo: DPA

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan

Families Minister Manuela Schwesig confirmed on Sunday that she wants a new law allowing women to compare their wages with men doing similar work, provoking angry reactions from employers. READ  

Police wind down Bremen terror response
Heavily-armed police on patrol outside Bremen cathedral. Photo: DPA

Police wind down Bremen terror response

Police in Bremen said that the risk of a terrorist attack had been reduced in the city after they arrested two suspected arms dealers. The city remains under high alert, with special protection for the Jewish community. READ  

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone
Photo: DPA

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said Sunday Greece's new hard-left government needs "a bit of time" but is committed to implementing necessary reforms to resolve its debt crisis. READ  

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo
Photo: DPA

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo

An estimated 375 people turned out for the Germany-based PEGIDA movement's first demonstration in Britain on Saturday, but were outnumbered by a 2,000-strong crowd of counter-protesters, police said. READ  

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote
Photo: DPA

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras vowed Friday to "start working hard" to implement vital reforms in the stricken eurozone country, after Germany's parliament approved a four month extension to its bailout. READ  

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce
Photo: DPA

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared the killing of three government troops by pro Moscow rebels a "serious breach of the ceasefire", during a telephone call Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, her office said. READ  

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps
Trouble at the top. Photo: DPA

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps

Germany's highest civil court ruled in favour of a man who swapped the carpet in his new apartment for parquet flooring, incurring the wrath of the retired couple who lived below him over his loud footsteps. READ  

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday
Photo: DPA

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday

Teachers all over the country are expected to stike starting Monday, German education trade union GEW said, after negotiations with the wage commission of the federal states (TdL) failed to achieve results. READ  

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes
Andre Shepherd at the European Court of Justice in June 2014. Photo: DPA

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes

American soldier Andre Shepherd, who applied for asylum in Germany as a conscientious objector against the war in Iraq after going AWOL from his unit, saw a judgement by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) go against him on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
Sponsored Article
Tourist or lifer: what sort of expat are you?
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Sponsored Article
Are you an American expat? How to face FATCA
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
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

3,160
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd