Some reporters in Berlin this past week.....apparently stumbled across more required expenditures for BER (the new Berlin airport, which is now on year three of the delay, and may NOT be finished by 2016 as they publicly try to hint). BER is probably the most screwed-up German-designed project of the past hundred years. Upon completion in 2010....what came next was a shock. The authorities basically admitted that more than a 1,000 problems existed and required solutions before the airport could ever operate.
So, it's kinda sat there while the thousand issues were put into a solution phase. Along the way, they've now spoken that more things need to be added.
I read through a FOCUS article this morning which lays out the projects.
Another runway? Well, yeah.....they want a third runway in the mix. Expected cost? A billion Euro. They won't guess on the completion date, but there's no way it'll be in 2016 or 2017.
A new VIP staging area for Air Berlin? This got thrown into the mix. Cost was avoided in the article but you can figure it's at least five million for a small-sized building connected to the airport.
Expansion of the current baggage system? Well, yeah....they want roughly 120 million Euro to expand it. Take into consideration....the airport isn't even operating right now, and they talk expansion of the baggage system.
Finally, I come to an odd feature. Someone threw a new requirement into the mix.....a sixty-meter tall flag pole. Somewhere along the entry to the airport, while not listed in the original design....they've decided that a flagpole is necessary. Cost? 500,000 Euro. Yeah, it's a hefty amount.
You'd sit there and think about this. Roughly four years spent in the design phase, and not one single word about a flag-pole. Now in the fix-the-problem stage? They decide to add a flag-pole? And the cost is 500,000 Euro? Something is wrong here, but it's not their money....it's the public's money.
To be honest, I left out the Willy Brandt statue which got recently thrown into the mix recently, a new requirement as well. They found some guy who'd do it for roughly 500,000 Euro.....which is a lucky thing because the artist could have gone to a million Euro easily for the requirement.
From this whole thing....only one individual has gotten convicted on anything. That was mostly for accepting bribes and arranging kick-backs. No one else has gotten convicted.
The public in Germany are mostly amused by the whole episode. The Berlin mayor ended up resigning from his office recently. He can't be blamed to the ninth-degree, but he's one of the hundred people who really screwed this up and made it a national joke. As for opening in 2017 or 2018? I'd give it less than a fifty-fifty chance. It might actually be 2019 or 2020 before it accepts full-status and normal amounts of passengers.....ten years after the original completion date.