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Jan 10, 2020,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Germany: Berlin’s new airport could open in 2020

Initially slated for 2011, Willy Brandt Airport in Berlin will finally be opening on 31 October 2020. The project has endured a number of setbacks over the years, with the grand opening being postponed no fewer than six times.

Pixabay / Kai_Vogel

 

FBR (Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg), the company in charge of design and construction, announced on Friday 29 November that the opening of Willy Brandt Airport in Berlin-Brandenburg has now been set for 31 October 2020. Provided that they keep to this deadline, the site will finally have become operational some nine years after the date originally given when the project was launched in 1992, French website Les Echos reports.

 

More than three times over-budget

 

Problems have multiplied over the years for a programme that aimed to give Berlin an airport worthy of the capital city of Germany. The budget that was originally set at two billion euros will ultimately have swollen to 6.5 billion euros, while the opening has been put back six times due to a whole host of reasons, including technical defects in the material used and the design, planning errors, suppliers declaring bankruptcy or pulling out, and even a financial scandal.

Most of the obstacles were eventually overcome but optimism is still not the order of the say among those directly involved with the progress of construction. "The deadline now needs to be met," said Lufthansa in a press release, while Dietmar Woidke, minister president of Brandenburg, said that a grand unveiling "would seem out of place for a project that has frustrated everyone".

 

Station ready and waiting for passengers

 

Construction of the building has been completed since 2015 but hundreds of workers are currently trying to iron out all remaining problems by the end of October 2020. The rail station located underneath the airport was finished in 2011, and has been waiting to take its first passengers to Berlin city centre from the airport in a journey time that should eventually be as short as 35 minutes. The building and the new rails have already cost Deutsche Bahn 675 million euros.

Once Willy Brandt Airport has been inaugurated, flights taking off from and landing in Berlin will all go via these new facilities south of the city – a change that will be more than welcome for travellers currently putting up with the two ageing airports in the capital, Schönefeld and Tegel, which are ill-equipped to handle the 33 million passengers a year that use them.

 

Allianz Partners

Cover image : Pixabay / Free-Photos

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