• 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"The risk assessments for the reactor in terms of air traffic" were "outdated," the court said in a statement.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
Unemployment hovers at historic low
A construction worker in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

Unemployment hovers at historic low

German unemployment stayed at 6.4 percent in July, the lowest level since reunification almost a quarter century ago, despite an unexpected rise of 9,000 jobless, the federal labour office said on Thursday. READ  

Lifted by cheap fuel, Lufthansa triples profit
Photo: DPA

Lifted by cheap fuel, Lufthansa triples profit

German airline Lufthansa, still reeling from the crash of one of its Germanwings planes in March over the French Alps, said on Thursday it tripled net profit in the second quarter, helped by cheap fuel. READ  

Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Manuel Neuer. Photo: DPA

Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe

World Cup winning goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has faced a wave of derision on social media since giving a cringe-worthy interview to football magazine Kicker explaining his choice of commercial partners. READ  

Shoot-out near Ku'damm leaves bystander injured
Photo: DPA

Shoot-out near Ku'damm leaves bystander injured

A shoot-out near Germany's most iconic shopping street, the Kurfürstendamm in west Berlin, left an apparently innocent bystander injured after she was shot in the leg on Wednesday evening. READ  

Refugees live in fear of German far-right
A Pegida demonstration in Dresden in May. Photo: DPA

Refugees live in fear of German far-right

It's an astonishing statement for a refugee from war-torn Syria, but Taher has had enough of the xenophobia he has experienced in Germany. READ  

Germany heightens travel warning for Turkey
A view of Istanbul. Photo: DPA.

Germany heightens travel warning for Turkey

The German government has issued more severe warnings about travelling to Turkey after a string of terror attacks in the south of the country, and as Ankara intensifies conflict against two militias in Syria and Iraq. READ  

Fireman turned arsonist jailed for 3 years
Fire services extinguish an unrelated fire in Hamburg in 2011. Photo: DPA

Fireman turned arsonist jailed for 3 years

After a series of arson attacks over several months, an ex-fireman has been sentenced to three years in jail without chance of bail. READ  

Mother slams IKEA for rejecting autistic son
Photo: DPA

Mother slams IKEA for rejecting autistic son

A mother from North Rhine-Westphalia has accused furniture chain IKEA of debasement, discrimination and marginalization – after employees in their Dortmund store refused to let her autistic son into the children's play area. READ  

Wallaby goes walkabout in Berlin outback
Photo: Gemeinde Nuthe-Urstromtal

Wallaby goes walkabout in Berlin outback

A woman in a village south of Berlin was shocked to find a rather unusual visitor in her garden on Tuesday. But by the time police got there he'd already bounced. READ  

Munich upholds ban on Jewish 'memory blocks'
A pedestrian walks by a group of Stolpersteine. Photo: DPA

Munich upholds ban on Jewish 'memory blocks'

The Munich City Council said on Wednesday that it had voted to continue banning the placement of blocks commemorating Jewish Holocaust victims in city streets - a ban that garnered surprising support from Jewish community leaders. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Society
In North Germany, money sometimes DOES grow on trees
National
Hero mechanics stop Bavaria shooting spree
International
Denmark says that border controls are coming
National
Did hackers take control of German missile battery?
Politics
Munich gives gay pride green light
Business & Money
Berlin rent controls hit prices hard
National
Fighting to breastfeed in public without shame
Society
Ice cream for dogs 'gobbled up in one gulp'
Education
Are hotpants a feminist issue?
Rhineland
Lion cub reunited with mother
National
How the heatwave is cracking Germany's Autobahns
International
Why the French are more sympathetic to Greece than the Germans
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
National
Yes, you CAN buy adult e-books before 10pm in Germany
VIDEO: Watch a 93-metre turbine crash to earth in slow motion
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

7,175
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd