Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Berlin Airport Story

When the Berlin Wall came down....it only took a few weeks for political figures around Berlin to suggest that a huge significant airport would one rise from the divided city.  Well....here we are in 2012, on the verge of that.  In fact, it was to be in some type of open status this summer....but indications this week show that it just isn't ready for full operations.  Naturally, some air transport companies had been planning and calculating on some flight operations.  They are a bit upset.

The Berlin Airport?  All total....around three billion dollars have been tossed into the purchase of the property, and the construction of the airport.  I'm assuming that another billion was quietly funneled into road construction around the area, and some railway operations leading into the basement of the Airport.

The anticipation?  It's hard to say.  Folks around Berlin have huge expectations.  Germany has one four-star airport in Frankfurt.  It's rated one of the top three in Europe, and probably one of the top seven airports in the world....for both cargo and people movement.  If you got a horse that needs to move to Dubai.....then Frankfurt has the experts to do the job.  If you've got four truckloads of Italian-made shoes that need to move to South Korea....then Frankfurt has the cargo centers to do the job.

After Frankfurt?  Well....it's a mighty big step down.  Munich, Koln, Stuttgart, and Hamburg all have decent airports....but they just aren't in the same league as Frankfurt.

Berlin?  My humble guess is that Berlin will eventually have around 150 flights a day, to forty destinations.  Frankurt?  It handles around 275 destinations through a normal week, and 480k flights for an entire year.  I just don't see Berlin going into that type of statistics.

From the US....I would imagine four flights a day (probably New York, LA, Chicago, and Orlando).  There might be twelve flights a day to some destination in Russia, and maybe two or three flights to somewhere in China.  

The three billion?  It gives them a world-class airport....just not all the traffic that Frankfurt would take.

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