Berlin’s new international airport will now open in October 2020, eight years behind its proposed deadline for starting the operations.
“With today’s supervisory board meeting we are starting the last phase of the completion of the terminal and thus of the opening of BER,” airport Chief Engelbert Luetke Daldrup said.
Berlins’ BER airport project has been marred with lots of controversies. This project became a national laughing stock for the people of the country. The airport was scheduled to open in 2012 but it continued to become a planning disaster, tarnishing the image of the country for its punctuality and engineering prowess. The construction of this airport started in 2006, and it was supposed to commence operations in October 2011. Everything was going smoothly until serious flaws with the fire safety and smoke extraction systems being installed in the new airport were revealed. There were some issues with the roof of the sprawling main terminal building as well. The opening of the airport was first postponed until June 2012, and then it was cancelled again and again.
The city of Berlin currently relies on two small Cold War-era airports: Schoenefeld in former East Germany and Tegel in the West Berlin.
On Friday, airport planners said that they have a practical roadmap to sort out the technical defects that have plagued the construction of the airport in the past.
Daldrup said the October 2020 opening date target is “credible and reliable” although the estimated cost of the project continues to rise.
“Now we need to win back lost trust,” supervisory board chief Rainer Bretschneider said in a statement.