10-Sep-2012 10:33 AM

Berlin Brandenburg Airport opening delayed until 27-Oct-2013

Germany's Berlin Airports new COO Horst Amann stated (07-Sep-2012) the opening date of Berlin Brandenburg International Airport will now be 27-Oct-2013, marking the beginning of the winter schedule 2013/2014. Mr Amann noted the first priority is to finalise all remaining actions plans. Subsequently, the construction works will resume in autumn 2012 and will be concluded by summer 2013, so that the official approval procedures can be finalised in time for a trial period of several months. Mr Amann said, ”I have questioned existing assumptions, commitments and plans. I have pressed the reset button in the area of building services, analysed the current situation and decided upon the next steps. Only such a fresh start can get the airport back on track towards a reliable opening date". Mr Amann stated that in his evaluation he has identified four crucial issues concerning the fire safety installations:

  • The existing execution plans suffered from faults and gaps. These plans had been drawn up by the planning consortium whose contract was terminated last May by the airport. Mr Amann said, “We are still lacking plans for a coherent, integrated planning process. Further work is needed in this area to ensure that the construction companies have a reliable basis to work from for the remainder of the project";
  • Improper works were carried out on the construction site as a result of the accelerated work programme ahead of the previous opening date of 03-Jun-2012 that led to issues such as the overcrowding of cable trays;
  • The issues around the improper construction works that were carried out ahead of the previous opening date were made worse by inadequate coordination and supervision;
  • The relationship with the authority responsible for the construction (Bauordnungsamt) is to be improved. Mr Amann: “We have to provide reliable information and unambiguous functional demonstrations of the fire protection installations to ensure that the authorities will be able to declare the airport operational".

Mr Amann said works have almost been suspended for the duration of the evaluation. The next steps ahead of the opening will be as follows:

  • Until autumn 2012: Finalisation of remaining action plans;
  • Autumn 2012 to summer 2013: Remaining construction works;
  • Summer 2013: Adherence test and subsequent assessment by the construction authority;
  • Summer to autumn 2013: Conclude operational readiness of the airport and trial runs;
  • Summer to autumn 2013: Delivery of goods to storage facilities, shops and restaurants;
  • 26 October 2013: Closure of the two old airports Schönefeld and Tegel;
  • 26/27 October 2013: Move to the new airport;
  • 27 October 2013: Start of operations at Berlin Brandenburg;

Mr Amann said that this revised timetable is "reliable and realistic" and that he has already started to create clear structures and responsibilities among contracted companies. Responding to rumours about the construction site, Mr Amann said: ”Following my evaluation, I can’t confirm rumours that there is a systemic error in the fire protection installation. Equally, all those rumours that there was water in the basement, that the southern runway was bared by water or that the tower was leaning are completely without foundation.“ Mr Amann also countered criticism that the airport had been planned too small, stating, ”This is nonsense. The capacity is sufficient. We can expand the airport in step with growing passenger numbers. This is a sound approach that makes economic sense.“ [more - original PR]

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