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The Berlin Airport disaster continues


Posted by | Evil Kristos | January 9, 2013 | No Comments

The word is out: BER – the new international airport for Berlin – will almost certainly not open in 2013 and it most likely won’t open in 2014 either. What a surprise.

With this new set back Berlins mayor Klaus Wowereit finally stepped down as chairman of the board of management. That of course won’t change anything and – let’s face it – was long overdue. He is being replaced with Matthias Platzeck – the premier of Brandenburg, the second stakeholder in the project. He knows as much about airports as Klaus Wowereit and he proved it. He was on the board the entire time meaning he is as much to blame as his predecessor. The airport director in charge of the project may get sacked but quite frankly, the sheer fact that he is still there is an outrage.

At least in August 2012 a new technical director was installed but at that stage the shipped had sailed. The facts this new technical director (Horst Amann) now presented to the public are shocking. The project failed on so many levels that one could ask at least two questions: a) What the f*ck and B) Who can we hold responsible? It is an insult to the taxpayers that have to foot the bill. And this stage most of us tax payers want to see someone going to jail for this.

So what’s the story?

Well it’s not that simple. Let’s start with recent events. The airport was supposed to open in June 2012. Two weeks before the grand opening day they called it off. TWO WEEKS! One would guess that they came pretty close to being ready if they only noticed the problems two weeks before the opening date but as we know now: They weren’t. A new date was set: Spring 2013. Then it was said more like October 2013. We know now that won’t be happening either which is what I suspected all along.

It took the new technical director 4 months to come up with the statement that the situation is somewhere in between difficult and shocking. You think that’s bad? He also said he will not name another opening date until he knows all the facts and that it will take at least another 6 months until they roughly know what is left to do and how long it will take. 10 months just to analyze the problem. And I believe him. It probably does take 10 months to find out just how badly this went.

Now more and more details are released and I am getting the impression that it would be cheaper to simply build a new airport. They even failed to plant the trees in the right spot. Who planned this? A chimp? And this where we are approaching the crux of the matter: Who was in charge of the project?

Well there are two ways to run a project like this. A) You can ask a professional. He will tell you a terminal will set you back 1 Billion Euro. That’s a lot of money and being a politician you have to sell it to the public. So you simply pull a figure out of your arse. The figure in this case was an estimated cost of 620 million Euro.

This figure you, a politician who couldn’t build a dog kennel in your backyard just pulled out of your arse, you present to the public and call it an estimate. Of course you will never find any professional who can do it for this price (or anyone with some sense) so you manage it yourself. That of course is our option B) Hope for the best knowing that when the shit finally hits the fan you most likely won’t be in charge anymore. At least you will never be held responsible for this utter failure.

As of today option B already cost 1.2 billion for the terminal alone and as we know this terminal is nowhere near ready. It failed the fire safety test and there are rumors the luggage handling system won’t cope with the anticipated number of passengers.

The terminal they built for 1.2 billion Euro and up until two weeks before the grand opening thought it would do is in fact so bad that at this stage a technical director looking at it for 4 month cannot say what needs to be done in order for this thing to actually be finished.

And all this happens in the capitol of Germany; the home of efficiency, the motherland of engineering, the world capitol off being a bunch of fecking smartasses that wants to tell the rest of Europe how to run their countries. If it wasn’t so sad you would laugh in their faces.

What annoys people most is probably that not one of the people involved feels in any way guilty or responsible. Klaus Wowereit, chairman since the very beginning of the construction, stepped down as chairman but not as mayor of Berlin. I am somewhat sure that he will be kicked out of office by either his own party or the voters but he himself obviously doesn’t see any failure or neglect on his part.

If he had any decency he would resign. But of course that would mean accepting responsibility for what happened. This he will not. The saddest part of this story is that the Berliners loved their mayor. He is the longest reining premier in Germany. 11 years without having any political message or idea. He was so likeable. One of his most famous quotes is: Berlin is poor but sexy. That’s how people felt in the German capitol. That feeling is gone and replaced by embarrassment. Wowi go home!

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