When Will Berlin’s Brandenburg Airport Finally Open?

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The seemingly doomed Brandenburg Airport may finally be ready to open, following a meeting of its management company. The Supervisory Board of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH, tasked with overseeing construction of the hugely delayed airport, held a meeting on September 27, during which they asserted that the stated goal of opening Brandenburg by October of next year is achievable.

Brandenburg Airport has suffered from continual delays. Photo: Jon Worth via Flickr.

September meeting

Airports International reports that the findings of the September meeting indicated that positive results had been achieved during the testing process on the airport. The supervisory board commented that even if its “final report is not available until the end of October, the result is not likely to change.”

There has been considerable speculation over the opening date of the Brandenburg airport after its opening date has been continually pushed back by delays and construction issues. But Professor Dr. -Ing. Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, the CEO of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH, told Airports International that the assiduous work that has been done at the airport has finally resulted in some positive news.

“The results of the operating principle test show that the meticulous work we performed with extensive upstream functional tests has paid off. The fact that the interaction of the fire protection systems works at this level of quality is an essential step on the road to commissioning in October 2020. In particular, I extend our thanks to the staff of the construction and operating section for their commitment. They have achieved a level of success that seemed unattainable to many just a year ago,” Daldrup commented.

The site of Brandenburg Airport from above. Photo: Olaf Tausch via Wikimedia.

Frequent delays

Although the situation finally seems promising for Brandenburg, considering that the management company will meet again in October, and given the delays that have already occurred, the final date of October next year cannot be penciled in with too much confidence. The airport was originally expected to open the way back in 2011, while construction costs have already exceeded €7 billion ($7.6 billion), compared to the original budget of €2.4 billion ($2.6 billion).

The delays that Brandenburg has suffered could be considered somewhat surprising given Germany’s reputation for efficiency and engineering excellence. The long-awaited airport has become something of a white elephant and a laughing stock among Berlin residents, and something of an embarrassment for politicians, planners, and business leaders.

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A major raft of errors has contributed to the delays, with the BBC reporting last year that over 550,000 faults had been noted during construction assessments. While some of these problems were small and cosmetic, more deep-rooted engineering issues have also arisen, which has led to the almost unbelievable scenario of the airport being delayed for the best part of a decade.

Lufthansa has already been assigned a terminal at the long-awaited airport. Photo: Maarten Visser via Flickr.

Lufthansa terminal

However, October 2020 has been set aside as a possible opening date for some months now, and it seems feasible that this target will finally be met. Lufthansa has already been awarded a terminal assignment at the airport when it does finally open, along with easyJet, Eurowings and Ryanair.

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