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Terrorist fears undo planned Berlin flight path
Photo: DPA

Terrorist fears undo planned Berlin flight path

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

A German administrative court has dealt a new blow to Berlin's already troubled airport project, ruling that one of the planned flight paths runs too close to a nearby atomic research reactor.

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"The risk assessments for the reactor in terms of air traffic" were "outdated," the court said in a statement.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

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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
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