Opening of New Berlin Airport Postponed Indefinitely

The opening of the new Brandenburg airport (BER) in Berlin, Germany, has been delayed indefinitely, according to recent reports in the German media.

The new airport was slated to open on June 3, 2012, and has been delayed due to problems with its fire safety systems. The new airport is intended to replace Berlin’s Tegel and Schonefeld airports.

The new opening date for the airport is yet to be announced, and sources say that it may be even later than the previously announced date of October this year.

A statement made by the airport authority reads, ‘This 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 previous timetable, construction work was due to be completed by May 2013 to allow a five-month period for trial operations before the official opening.’

The airport chief operations officer, Horst Amann, said, ‘We evaluated the current situation and the next steps concerning the construction work at BER. The analysis highlighted that there was an increased risk that the airport might not be operational by 27 October 2013 as planned. However, we decided to continue the evaluation of the opening date, rather than cancelling the opening date at that stage. This evaluation was concluded by 4 January 2013’

Air Berlin, the Germany based airline, which was scheduled to operate out of the new airport, has also released a statement. Air Berlin chief executive officer, Hartmut Mehdorn, said, ‘The situation is extremely tricky, as we have to contact at least one million passengers individually to inform them about their airport of departure or arrival. In addition, Air Berlin’s expanded and more ambitious flight schedule, planned for BER, now has to be handled using the old infrastructure at Tegel Airport, in the summer season, of all times. We must apologise to our passengers for this temporary arrangement; we ourselves are finding it difficult to live with.’