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Berlin's BER Airport to finally open in October 2020

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Berlin's BER Airport to finally open in October 2020
The new BER airport has a new opening date. Will it definitely happen? Photo: DPA
15:06 CET+01:00
The long-delayed new international BER Airport is set to open, nine years late.

Operators announced on Friday that it will open on October 31st, 2020 after an embarrassing nine-year delay owing to structural problems and corruption.

"The BER will open on 31.10.2020," Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg (FBB) said on Twitter, using the international code for the airport.

FBB said chief executive Engelbert Lütke Daldrup had informed the airport operator's board of the new date.

The Berlin Brandenburg Airport's original opening was planned for October 2011 but was postponed at the last minute due to concerns about fire safety.

Various other construction shortcomings, technical problems and planning errors have caused the opening of BER to be delayed a number of times.

LEARN MORE: The never-ending story: How BER airport became the laughing stock of Berlin

Its building costs have reportedly more than tripled from the roughly €2 billion initially budgeted to more than €7 billion to date.

Meanwhile, in 2016, a former manager was jailed for accepting a bribe.

The new airport is located in Schönefeld in the state of Brandenburg. October 31st is Reformation Day and a public holiday in this state.

READ ALSO: BER 'on track' to open in October 2020

Brandenburg state premier Dietmar Woidke was optimistic that "things will work out this time," reported broadcaster RBB.

After the launch of BER, operations will move from the old Tegel and Schönefeld airports to the new site in several stages.

Tegel is set to close after the new airport opens.  But, in a referendum in 2017, Berliners voted to keep Tegel, arguing that with the growing number of arrivals the new airport may already be too small when it opens.

Planes will continue to depart from the old terminal in Schönefeld for several years to relieve the BER until additional capacities are created.

On social media, people joked about whether the opening would actually take place. 

 
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