• 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"The risk assessments for the reactor in terms of air traffic" were "outdated," the court said in a statement.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
Five things to know about weed in Germany
Photo: DPA

Five things to know about weed in Germany

The stoner holiday of 4/20 may not be as popular in Germany as in its homeland the United States, but weed is nonetheless a hot topic in Europe’s largest economy. For the hemp holiday on Monday, The Local shares five things you should know about weed in Germany. READ  

Migrant boat tragedy
Merkel: We must stop migrant traffickers
Refugees on the deck of an Italian navy ship in April 2014. Photo: DPA

Merkel: We must stop migrant traffickers

Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday that "everything" would be done to prevent more migrants dying in the Mediterranean in their quest for a better life in Europe. READ  

Salafists giving kids martial arts lessons
Police arrest a terror suspect in Mönchengladbach in January. Photo: DPA

Salafists giving kids martial arts lessons

Members of a Salafist group in western Germany have been giving lessons in martial arts to local kids, police reports revealed on Monday. READ  

Holocaust survivors speak before Nazi trial
Two Holocaust survivors at the press conference in Lüneberg. Photo:Dpa

Holocaust survivors speak before Nazi trial

Holocaust survivors spoke at a press conference on Monday before the beginning of the trial of Oscar Gröning, a 93-year-old man who worked at Auschwitz concentration camp during the Second World War. READ  

Football fans abuse AfD head on train
Alternative for Germany leader Bernd Lucke with Deputy Alexander Gauland. Photo: DPA

Football fans abuse AfD head on train

Two football fans hurled abuse at Bernd Lucke, the leader of the right-wing Alternative for Germany party, as he tried to eat dinner with his wife on a train from Berlin to Cologne on Saturday. READ  

Meet new Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel: the young pretender. Photo: DPA

Meet new Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel

Borussia Dortmund have named ex-Mainz manager Thomas Tuchel as Jürgen Klopp's successor. But the legendary coach who steered BVB from strength to strength will be a tough act to follow. READ  

Woman takes equal pay battle to highest court
Edeltraud Walla in her University of Stuttgart workshop. Photo: DPA

Woman takes equal pay battle to highest court

A university worker in Stuttgart has fought a battle with her employer over unequal pay all the way to the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, as the government mulls a new law on gendered compensation. READ  

Nuremberg man injures three in car attack
The aftermath of the crash in Nürnberg. Photo:DPA

Nuremberg man injures three in car attack

A 42-year-old man drove his car into a crowd sitting outside a cafe in Nuremberg on Sunday evening, seriously injuring three men. Police said they suspect that the crash was deliberate. READ  

Union plans new rail strikes this week
Deutsche Bahn intercity trains. Photo: DPA

Union plans new rail strikes this week

Train drivers' union GDL said on Monday that passenger services as well as freight could be hit by strikes this week, after talks over pay, conditions and union representation failed on Friday. READ  

Robots woo crowds at Hannover trade fair
Photo: DPA

Robots woo crowds at Hannover trade fair

Collaborative robots and intelligent machinery may have wowed the crowds at this year's Hannover Messe, but experts see German industry as having some way to go towards incorporating them on factory floors in what could become the fourth industrial revolution. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
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
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
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?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
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

7,183
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd