The BER (the new Berlin Airport) was supposed to have been finished in 2010. Right now, with all the problems....the new anticipated date for opening is 2017. Some journalists have spoken up and have doubts about 2017, and even question the idea of a 2018 opening. Thousands of issues popped up with the BER construction project and it's one of the biggest screw-ups in German history.
Well, this week....BER got back into the news. Remember.....it's just a non-operational airport and has never done a single day of operations or flights.
The supervisory board for BER stood up and said things look so good....that they are now approving three more construction projects (two connected to BER and one to Schonefeld....the old airport in the region which is still operating).
What the board says is that business at BER will go quickly into escalation when they finally do open the airport....so presently, it barely meets the needs of the public (remember, no one single flight has occurred there yet). The present BER design is for roughly twenty-seven million passengers a year.
The Schonefeld project involves roughly sixty million Euro and tends to keep Schonefeld operational up until 2022 (five more years after BER opens). The general plan back in 2010 was that Schonefeld would absolutely shut down by now and wasn't worth enhancing or fixing.
At least two hundred million Euro will be thrown into another terminal building or two at the BER facility.
When you bring up the BER project now.....most Germans grin and admit....it's pretty much a screwed-up project and they all have doubts that it'll ever open. Last week, they had to stop a HVAC project because they suddenly realized that the weight on the roof of the building might bring safety into question. So an expert or two are evaluating the roof, the load and what options exist. You can figure this will add at least six months onto the repair job to bring the whole airport to operating spec's.
Why such a failure? The general belief is that this got into a corrupted management scheme, with various sub-contractors trying to get a piece of the pie, and they all shifted the original plan in some way.....around....and built a Lego-like airport which doesn't fit together. Some reports indicate major safety issues which require modification before the airport can ever open. Some reports indicate major problems with heating and cooling.
Behind all of this....is Schonefeld, an old airport dating back to 1934. Coming behind Tegal....it's the second airport in the Berlin region. Tegal....just for historical purposes....actually dates back to 1906 (when airships still ruled). Both airports were supposed to be closed by now because they simply can't handle the amount of air traffic in Berlin. Because of this odd situation....Frankfurt continues to get a lot of people desiring to travel via airlines. And it might continue to be this way for years to come.