8-Jan-2013 12:16 PM

Berlin Brandenburg Airport delayed again

Germany's Berlin Airports stated (07-Jan-2013) Berlin Brandenburg International Airport’s (BER) joint owners – Berlin, Brandenburg and the German Government – met the management team from Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH on 07-Jan-2013 to discuss progress on the construction of the new airport. The airport said, "In essence, it has now become clear that the airport operator’s Technical Director, Horst Amann, was right to suggest that the proposed opening date of 27 October 2013 is no longer viable." Mr Amann stated: “We critically discussed the current situation and the next steps in the construction work for BER. It became clear that the findings to date made it less likely that the airport would be able to go operational as planned on 27 October 2013. Nevertheless, we decided not to reschedule the opening at that stage. Instead, we kept checking whether the original date was still viable. We completed this probe in the run-up to 4 January 2013.” The further delay is the result of problems with the fire protection system, in particular the fresh air supply in the case of a fire and the complexity of the system as a whole. Based on the latest timetable, construction work was due to be completed by May-2013, allowing a five-month period for trial operations before the official opening. Mr Amann believes "that it is early to discuss when the airport could possibly open". The airport operator’s supervisory board will discuss further action at BER and the consequences of postponing the airport’s opening at its next meeting in Jan-2013. This marks the fifth postponement of the opening of the airport. Meanwhile, Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit said he would step down as supervisory board chairman of the airport following the delay, according to reports from Der Spiegel and dpa-AFX. Mr Wowereit has faced criticism for the repeated delays in opening the EUR4.3 billion airport. [more - original PR]

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