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The new Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) may or may not open in 2013

Posted by | Evil Kristos | September 3, 2012 | 1 Comment

In case you missed it, Berlin was supposed to get a brand new airport in 2011. Despite everything you may or may not have heard about German efficiency; it didn’t happen. They didn’t even come close to be honest. The opening was postponed to June 3rd 2012 and you can guess already that this one didn’t happen either. Even worse; they could not make the date but didn’t tell anyone until the very last minute. That made it not only very annoying for all parties involved but also very expensive.

Airlines had filled up storage tanks in the new location southeast of Berlin but suddenly they needed the kerosene in Tegel Airport which is pretty much North West Berlin. They had to hire trucks and drive the fuel across the entire city. And that’s only one half the story.

A lot of businesses had prepared to open in the new location. They hired people, stocked up and were ready to go. Since the airport didn’t open, what’s the point of opening the shops? They weren’t particularly happy about it as you can imagine. And now A) Guess who is suing the operating company in charge of the new airport for Millions? The correct answer is: All of the above. And B) Who is footing the bill? On this one I’ll give you a hint: It’s ME, the taxpayer.

The airport was contracted by the city of Berlin (who runs a 3 billion annual deficit already) and the federal government. Unfortunately the building project is also managed by politicians which probably explains why it’s such a disaster.

Currently a few minions are being blamed but they are scapegoats. The political liability is with the local government. They are either useless or careless and ignorant. Which one is worse?

All we know is that we don’t have a new airport but already spent 2.5 billion Euros. As it looks the tax payer will have to come up with another 1.7 billion Euros. The delay alone costs 20 million Euro a month! And the proposed opening date in spring 2013 was already called “ambitious”. That sounds to me like “it ain’t happening”.

The latest idea is a “Soft Opening”. Instead of moving Tegel airport (TXL) and Schönefeld (SXF) the same date, they now want to do it in stages. This way they can test the new airport at half the capacity and see how things will go. Funny, initially they wanted to do it in one go because it is cheaper. I guess that ship has sailed.

So if you already booked a ticket for next year to Berlin you can safely assume you will be landing in Berlin Tegel. As for the new Willy Brandt Airport (BER) … place your bets now. I say it will not open in spring 2013. I doubt it will open at all in 2013. There is another figure I doubt.

Initially the airport was estimated to cost 2.5 billion Euros. We are now looking at 4.2 billion Euros and – quite frankly- I’d be very surprised if it will cost any less than 5 billion at the end.

To put this in perspective; the new terminal in Dublin airport, capable of handling 15 million passengers a year cost 395 million Euros to build. It was perceived as ridiculously expensive despite the fact that Dublin Ireland is considered one of the most expensive places in the entire Euro zone. And the Irish are not generally being praised for their precision and efficiency.

And now we take the German capital in comparison: Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) is projected for handling 27 million passengers a year. Even if you consider that they had to build new runways I honestly believe that there is something wrong. The airport in Berlin costs ten times more and can handle only twice as many passengers. And it is broken. German efficiency my ar…


One Response to “The new Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) may or may not open in 2013”

  1. The Berlin Airport disaster continues : Blogspot @ Head-over-Heels
    January 9th, 2013 @ 16:12

    […] 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. […]

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