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Is the BER already finished?

BER is ready! EJU 3110 and LH 2020 landed

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More than 14 years after the groundbreaking and nine years after the first failed opening, the capital city airport BER was actually officially opened on Saturday - but without a lavish celebration. At 2 p.m. the first plane - an Easyjet plane with the number EJU 3110 - landed on the northern runway of the new airport. A Lufthansa plane with flight number LH 2020 followed four minutes later on the same runway. The planned double landing did not work because of the bad weather. The numbers of the two special flights add up to the date of the opening day. BER is now ready for regular flight operations.

The airport company wanted to avoid a big opening party, not just because of Corona. “Just open it” is the motto of airport manager Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, who also celebrated his 64th birthday with the opening. “Today is not a historic day. But it is an extremely important day for Berlin and Brandenburg, ”he said. “It was a long way, it wasn't an easy way. That's why we're not celebrating a party here today. "

In the evening BER should open the gates for passengers. The landing of the first regular aircraft was planned for 8:05 p.m. - the Easyjet flight EJU 5924 from Fuerteventura. From this moment on, the British airline will only fly to BER and no longer to Tegel. The first flights from the new airport are planned for Sunday, and on Wednesday the "Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt Airport", as BER is officially called, will then be fully operational.

A series of demonstrations, rallies and vigils were announced for the opening of BER. A good 1,000 taxi drivers took part in a taxi rally from Tegel Airport to BER alone. 50 taxis were allowed to drive up directly in front of Terminal 1 and used the opportunity for a horn concert. In addition, dozens of environmental activists were already at BER in the morning. Some of them climbed the buildings in penguin costumes.

S-Bahn trains already go to BER

BER can now be reached directly from Berlin by S-Bahn. During the rush hour in the morning and in the late afternoon, the S-Bahn line S9 initially runs every 20 minutes to Terminals 1 and 2, according to a S-Bahn spokeswoman. From Thursday, the line will run at the same rhythm throughout the day.

At the same time, the S45 will also take up traffic to BER. Both lines are to connect the capital directly to the new airport alternately every ten minutes. The previous Schönefeld Airport will also remain as a station as Terminal 5 of BER.

From October 31, long-distance and regional trains will also stop at the station just below the main terminal. In addition, the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe announced on Monday that it would be setting up two new express bus routes to BER on November 8th - the day Tegel Airport was closed: the X71 line from Alt Mariendorf underground station and the new N7X night bus line from the Zoo station.

Government terminal put into operation

With the arrival of Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner from Luxembourg, the government terminal at BER went into operation. From now on, all flights of the Federal President, the Chancellor and their ministers will be handled there with the Bundeswehr's readiness to fly, and guests of the Federal Government from abroad will also be received.

For 26 years, the Luftwaffe's white VIP planes with the black, red and gold stripes landed in Tegel to pick up members of the government and their delegations or to bring them back to Berlin. From now on only the helicopters of the Bundeswehr air readiness will fly from there.

The home airport of the aircraft will initially remain Cologne / Bonn. The move to Berlin is not expected to take place until the end of the 2020s. The flight readiness has 19 aircraft of different types and three helicopters for the transport of people.

BER boss expects around 5000 passengers on the first day of departure

At the start of BER, the airport company expects low passenger numbers due to the corona pandemic. BER boss Engelbert Lütke Daldrup expects around 5000 passengers for the first full day of operation on November 1st at the main terminal T1.

If Tegel Airport closes a week later, around 16,000 passengers would be handled at T1, said Lütke Daldrup. Another 8,000 passengers would then travel via Schönefeld Airport, which serves as Terminal 5 of BER.

Overall, the load factor at the start of flight operations at BER is only around 20 percent of the usual level in October and November, and somewhat higher on the weekends at around a third.

“This of course gives us sufficient capacity to be able to react to any malfunctions. We have prepared ourselves intensively for this, including in special processes, ”said the airport manager.

Trial operation completed: almost 10,000 extras tested BER

According to the airport company, BER is ready for commissioning. This is the result of a trial run that has been organized since April, as airport boss Engelbert Lütke Daldrup explained. "Our main goal of the trial operation was achieved: We have turned the completed building into a functioning airport," said Lütke Daldrup.

Since the beginning of 2020, employees of the airport company and the various partners have been prepared for the opening, explained the airport company. In addition, around 400 extras have been guests on the airport grounds every Tuesday and Thursday since April to rehearse work processes.

Almost 10,000 extras were able to get to know BER in this way, around 179,000 pieces of luggage were checked in on a trial basis, and 54,000 bookings were made for 2,350 fictitious flights. The processes at the train station directly below the main terminal were also tested.

As a consequence of the exercises, signs were redesigned or replaced to provide better orientation. Additional rubbish bins were also set up at the airport because the previous ones would not have been enough.

Update: October 19, 2020

Schönefeld Airport is now called "BER Terminal 5"

A good two weeks before the new BER airport opens, the old Schönefeld terminal building has been given its new name. Instead of “Schönefeld Airport”, the letters “BER Terminal 5” are now on the building. Because this part of the former GDR central airport becomes part of BER. Its newly built Terminals 1 and 2 are about 2.5 kilometers away on the other side of the runway.

The terminal codes 3 and 4 are not yet used. They stand for possible new buildings that will one day also replace the old Terminal 5.

After years of delays, the new airport in the capital is due to go into operation on October 31. SXF, the previous international abbreviation for Schönefeld Airport, will disappear with the change to the winter flight schedule. From October 25th BER will be on the tickets.

Aviation authority gives the green light for BER

Around 14 years after the groundbreaking ceremony for the new BER airport in the capital, there is now the last official stamp required for the opening. The Joint Upper Aviation Authority Berlin-Brandenburg has now approved the start of operations and handed over the operator's certificate, as announced by the Brandenburg Ministry of Transport and the airport company.

The authority has put BER through its paces and has now set the last important milestone, noted Minister Guido Beermann (CDU). Airport manager Engelbert Lütke Daldrup said: "As far as we can judge, there is nothing to prevent BER opening on October 31, 2020."

According to FBB, BER commissioning will begin on October 31, 2020 with the opening of Terminal 1. On this day, a plane from the British airline Easyjet and a plane from Lufthansa will arrive at the same time.

On the morning of November 4th, the southern runway is due to go into operation with the landing of a Qatar Airways aircraft. From this day, according to FBB, the new BER night flight restrictions will also apply. The move from Berlin Tegel Airport to BER ends with the last Air France flight from Berlin-Tegel to Paris on November 8, 2020.

BER Terminal 2 finished on time

Terminal 2 (T2) was also completed just in time for the planned opening of the capital city airport BER on October 31st - but due to the low passenger numbers in the Corona crisis, it is not needed at first. "The FBB will therefore probably not put the T2 into operation until the summer flight schedule 2021," said the head of the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport Company (FBB), Engelbert Lütke Daldrup.

In contrast to the breakdown of the main T1 terminal, the construction of the T2 was not carried out by the airport company itself, but by a general contractor, the Zech Bau company. If the airport had opened at full capacity and without the T2, it would have been tight. But in the Corona crisis, the number of passengers fell drastically.

Berlin and Brandenburg taxis are permitted at BER

Passengers can board taxis from Berlin and Brandenburg at the future BER airport. 300 taxis each from the capital and from the district of Dahme-Spreewald will be allowed to approach the airport from the planned commissioning on October 31, as the Senate Traffic Administration announced.

Both sides had struggled for a settlement for years. Because actually taxi drivers are only allowed to pick up passengers in the districts or municipalities where they have their license. Berlin taxis should therefore bring customers to Schönefeld, but not take new people with them from there.

Now the market at the airport is divided. Should further taxes be necessary, the licenses should continue to be awarded in equal parts. Renegotiations are planned for 1100 vehicles or more.

A uniform taxi tariff for the airport is still to be agreed. Until then, the fare can vary depending on whether passengers at BER get into a taxi with a B or an LDS on the license plate.

There is still a lack of noise protection for many BER residents

Shortly before the planned opening of the new BER airport in the capital, the houses of thousands of residents are still lacking sound insulation. According to the airport, of the 26,000 authorized persons in the so-called day protection area, only 377 have completely completed the planned renovation and had the costs reimbursed by the airport. In a further 1168 parts of the construction measures were implemented.

So far, some residents have doubted that the BER will actually open, "said the head of the noise protection program, Ralf Wagner. Commissioning of the airport had been delayed by nine years due to construction defects, technical problems and rescheduling. The operators also had to provide noise protection for the residents According to court rulings, the cost of the program quintupled to up to 755 million euros.

However, by the end of July, applications for noise protection had only been received for 13,654 residential units. Almost every second resident is still hesitant. "The requirements for noise protection mean very extensive structural interventions, which is why many affected people probably shy away from it," said Wagner.

Office building of the Federal Police goes into operation

The new office building of the Federal Police at BER was completed on time. Even before the start of flight operations, around 400 employees of the Federal Police are to be active there, as the authority announced at the presentation of the construction on Friday. The office, which is said to have cost around fourteen million euros to build, is located near terminals T1 and T2.

According to the information, the officials will move into the new offices in August to familiarize themselves with the area. "The Federal Police and their security service providers are essential for safe flight operations," said BER boss Engelbert Lütke Daldrup. This is another important step on the way to commissioning the airport.

Now extras are rehearsing the processes at BER

Around 400 volunteers tried out the future processes at the planned BER airport. For the first time, it was almost exclusively participants who did not belong to the company, announced the airport.

The operators said they were "on the whole" satisfied with the process. "One or the other extra had to wait longer at the security controls today." Among other things, tests were carried out there to find out how the processes could be designed more quickly under Corona conditions.

There had already been extra tests in the days and weeks before, but these had mainly been mastered with employees. Only a few other volunteers were there.

By the time the BER opens, a total of around 9,000 extras should put all processes to the test. Among other things, they test check-in, baggage drop-off, security checks and arrivals.

Corona: Trial operation has to be reorganized

The trial operation at the capital city airport BER has to be reorganized due to the corona pandemic. The Berlin-Brandenburg Airport Company (FBB) announced that instead of the previously planned deployment, a procedure would be carried out with significantly fewer voluntary testers. Instead of 20,000, only 9,000 extra slots could then be offered. This would invalidate all previous bookings made by the helpers.

"The corona pandemic not only poses new challenges for flight operations, but also for trial operations at BER," said airport manager Engelbert Lütke Daldrup. Due to the new distance and hygiene rules, only about half of the previously planned voluntary extras can be given the opportunity to get to know BER before it goes into operation.

The background to the changes is a requirement of the health department within the framework of the current hygiene regulations. Afterwards, significantly fewer people than originally planned are allowed to be present during the individual test runs. In order to ensure that all employees get to know their new workplace, more trial operation dates would be carried out exclusively with participants from the airport company and partner companies, the FBB announced.

First trial operation: 250 employees test the BER

Trial operations have started at the future BER airport. Around 250 employees of the airport, the federal police, the ground handling service and the Berlin-Brandenburg transport company had tested the processes at the airport for the first time, said a spokeswoman for the airport company. Among other things, the security controls, check-in and baggage handling were simulated.

In addition, the employees studied the way to work and tried out their ID cards for access. "We are very satisfied with the good start to the test run," said the spokeswoman. There were no major problems. The hygiene regulations during the Corona crisis were strictly adhered to.

However, the journey to BER was not rehearsed. Voluntary extras were actually supposed to test the processes at the airport train station for the first time at the end of April. However, the date had been postponed due to the Corona crisis.

Building authority approves the BER start

Milestone for the opening of BER: After several failures, the capital's airport has received approval for use from the authorities. The lower building supervisory authority of the district of Dahme-Spreewald confirmed the completion of the passenger terminal at BER after the completion of the construction work, as the district announced on Tuesday evening. After months of checking the documents for the completion of the building, "nothing more stands in the way" of the building authorities using it as a flight terminal on the planned BER opening date on October 31.

Airport manager Engelbert Lütke Daldrup sees the release for use of Terminal Building 1 as one of the most important steps on the way to reliable commissioning of BER. “It was a long, difficult road until the final approval by the building authorities. The hard work of the last three years was successful in the end, ”he said, according to the announcement. In these times, the opening of BER could be a signal that “things are looking up again in the capital region and that the economy is getting back on its feet”.

According to the district, the operating company FBB can now begin the preparations for the operational sequence tests, which would be carried out in parallel to some of the remaining construction work that is still ongoing. Meanwhile, interior fittings for shops, restaurants and a lounge would be carried out for the tenants in the passenger terminal in the next few months and the elimination of “minor structural defects” would be completed, explained the building regulations department.

Apart from that, “aviation law permits” are still required for the opening of BER. This is not the responsibility of the lower building authority, but the joint upper aviation authority Berlin-Brandenburg.The airport was originally supposed to start operating in 2011, but the opening date has been postponed again and again.

Airport boss: BER opening has never been so certain

According to the operator, nothing stands in the way of the planned opening of the new BER airport in October 2020. Commissioning has never been as safe as it is today, said airport manager Engelbert Lütke Daldrup. All necessary documents have been handed over to the building supervisory authority, including certificates from the Tüv and documents from the general planner. “We do not see any risks when it comes to commissioning in October 2020,” emphasized Lütke Daldrup in the BER special committee of the Brandenburg state parliament.

The opening of the third largest German airport has been a long time coming since 2011. Six commissioning dates have been missed because construction defects, technical problems and planning errors prevented the start.

According to Lütke Daldrups, the slump in traffic as a result of the coronavirus crisis is making trial operation and commissioning easier. “We still have one to two percent of the traffic,” Lütke Daldrup compared with the usual business at the existing Tegel and Schönefeld airports. A total of around 1000 passengers per day would be counted at both locations.

BER postpones test run due to corona crisis

Due to the corona crisis, a test run planned for the end of April at the capital airport BER has been postponed. The fire protection and evacuation drill was postponed from April 29 to summer, said the airport company FBB. The voluntary testers have been informed. The postponement was "no problem" for the preparations for commissioning, assured airport boss Engelbert Lütke Daldrup.

"Despite the current restrictions, we will be able to adequately test the BER and ensure safe commissioning," emphasized Lütke Daldrup. According to him, the corona crisis is making the airport's opening easier: "Since we expect significantly less traffic in autumn 2020 than originally assumed, the opening of BER will be easier because it will no longer take place under full load."

In January the FBB was looking for 20,000 volunteers for the BER trial run. The first exercise with them would have taken place at the end of April. Further tests are scheduled to take place from June 23rd and end on October 15th.

Chairman of the supervisory board: Only the cabling is still missing the TÜV

The chairman of the supervisory board of the Berlin-Brandenburg airport company, Rainer Bretschneider, has confirmed the planned opening date despite ongoing tasks in the cable renovation. “We will start opening on October 31,” said Bretschneider at a business breakfast at the Berlin Business Talks in the Capital Club.

On this day, the first aircraft would operate at BER. The official opening date will be three days later, according to the chairman of the supervisory board. This is due to the night flight ban, which comes into force immediately upon the official opening. In order to transfer jets from Tegel to BER beforehand, you still need flights at night.

“But there is still a lot of work ahead of us,” said Bretschneider. There are 15 individual approvals from TÜV. But the last and 16th for the wiring is still missing. A large number of small deficiencies still have to be corrected. The airport company expects the construction work to be completed by the end of March. The TÜV goes out from the end of April. Then the last documents went to the building regulations office of the district.

20,000 BER testers wanted

There is still a lot to do before the planned opening in October. Among other things, the operational sequence must be tested. The Berlin Brandenburg Airport Company is now looking for 20,000 volunteer testers for this trial run of BER.

Registration for testers is scheduled to start in the last week of January. Before that, airport boss Engelbert Lütke Daldrup wants to present how the trial operation will look like and how the registration will take place.

Even before the planned opening in 2012, 10,000 people had tested the processes on the ground. The extras gave up their suitcases at the check-in counter and started a fictitious journey - in vain, as it turned out.

Further approvals for systems at BER granted

Further obstacles have been removed for the planned opening of the new BER airport in Schönefeld in October. As an airport spokesman said, the TÜV has completed its tests in other parts of the terminal.

After years of work on fire protection at the transition from the terminal to the underground train station, the inspectors no longer have any complaints for the area. There are also approvals for systems for smoke extraction, fire alarms and alarms. In addition, there were official approvals for two types of dowels installed, for which the standards had changed in the course of the long BER construction period. Further special permits are still pending.

The airport was supposed to go into operation in 2011. Several opening dates have since been canceled because planning errors, construction defects and technical problems had to be dealt with in the terminal. Commissioning is now planned for October 31.

Federal police want to occupy new BER office from summer

The shell for the new service building of the Federal Police at BER Airport was completed on time, this has now been celebrated with a topping-out ceremony. "With the service building, an essential project for the airport and the federal police will be brought to a close," said President Karl-Heinz-Weidner. "In addition to the building for security services completed in 2011, it is already the second service building of the Federal Police at BER."

The office is to be filled as early as the summer. The building with 2,600 square meters of floor space spread over three floors will be used by 400 employees in shifts after opening. A reception with a security office and processing rooms for searches and interrogations is planned on the ground floor.

In addition, 40 office workplaces as well as changing, social and training rooms will be set up. According to the Federal Police and the Berlin Brandenburg Airport Company (FBB), the costs are around eight million euros.

BER gets long-distance rail connection

After the planned opening, the new BER airport in the capital will also have a long-distance train connection. Every two hours the Intercity between Rostock and Dresden also stops at the train station directly under the main terminal of the airport, said airport boss Engelbert Lütke Daldrup and the managing director of the Berlin-Brandenburg transport association, Susanne Henckel, on Friday at the airport in Schönefeld.

"We will of course attach great importance to the fact that other long-distance trains are also on the way," said Henckel. The route negotiations with Deutsche Bahn are not yet very far.

In future, a total of 14 trains per hour will stop there, including six S-Bahn trains, seven regional trains and the IC. Little changes in the travel times. The airport express is supposed to travel from Berlin main train station via the train stations Gesundbrunnen and Ostkreuz to the airport within half an hour. Express buses run from the Rudow underground station. As before, regional train line 22 runs from Potsdam with a journey time of just under an hour.

It will be a little more cumbersome for Ryanair customers. The airline does not fly from the new terminal, but from the previous Schönefeld Airport. Regional trains will no longer stop there in the future. The so-called Terminal 5 can only be reached by buses and suburban trains, which will run from the main terminal 1 every 5 or 10 minutes.

Official: BER is scheduled to open on October 31, 2020

The start date has been set: for the first time since the failed opening in June 2012, there is again a specific date for the start of BER. The first passengers are to be processed at the new terminal on October 31, 2020 - officially.

The airport company's supervisory boards, which will meet until the afternoon, agreed on this day on Friday. This means that for the first time since the opening on June 3, 2012, which was canceled three weeks before the date, an exact start date has been set. Since then, Lütke Daldrup's predecessors have never made such precise commitments, but only given the dates and seasons for the opening of BER.

The airport manager is certain that he will be able to keep the appointment, despite all the adversities. They are still feverishly in the process of eliminating the last flaws on the construction site. It was not until November that a report by TÜV from September became known in which the inspectors listed numerous deficiencies in the cable routes and promised a longer test. Cables are not laid correctly, high-voltage currents are next to normal lines, and in many cases the necessary designation for the cables is missing.

TÜV representatives were also in the supervisory board meeting on Friday to explain the situation to the inspectors. The situation has improved in the past weeks and months. There is progress everywhere, it said from the airport company, but it is "not yet through". Nevertheless, the date can be created.

Which airline should fly where at BER

The BER breakdown airport is scheduled to open in autumn 2020 - and the preparations are becoming more concrete. The airport company has now published a list of which airline should fly from which terminal. You can choose from the terminals T1, T2 and T5, which are located at the old Schönefeld Airport. "The places are taken," announced the airport company.

    Terminal 1:
  • Easyjet
  • Lufthansa
  • Swiss
  • BritishAirways
  • Air France
  • KLM
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Austrian Airlines
  • Aeroflot
  • Finnair
    Terminal 2:
  • Eurowings
  • Aer Lingus
  • Air Baltic
  • Norwegian
  • Vueling Airlines
  • Wizz Air
    Terminal 5 (Schönefeld):
  • Sun Express
  • Pegasus Airlines
  • Onur Air
  • TUIfly
  • Sundair
  • Freebird Airlines
  • Bulgarian Air Charter
  • Corendon Airlines
  • Pobeda

BER boss: Thousands of extras should test the airport

Around 20,000 volunteers are to test the operational processes at the problem airport BER in the coming year - airport boss Engelbert Lütke Daldrup wants to be finished with the construction work by then. "The extras won't come until summer 2020," he said. The last construction work and deficiencies should already be finished and processed in the course of the first quarter. Lütke Daldrup said 85 percent of the remaining deficiencies in cable routes have now been remedied. "The search for extras will begin at the beginning of the new year."

Despite the many mishaps and errors, there is great interest in the airport. There are already many questions about where and when potential extras can apply. "Whenever we lead groups of visitors, we receive a lot of positive feedback," said Lütke Daldrup. He did not mention a specific opening date. But the opening will not be celebrated in a big way anyway. "There won't be a big party," said the BER boss.

The federal government does without its new government terminal at BER

The federal government is apparently considering not building a new government terminal for the handling of state guests and ministers at BER Airport in Schönefeld. According to information from the Berliner Morgenpost, there has been a rethinking of this issue in the federal ministries. This could mean that the already completed interim terminal on the edge of the airport site will be used as a government airport in the long term.

Planners involved report a decision-making vacuum. One is waiting for the order from the Federal Agency for Real Estate Tasks (Bima) so that the airport company can examine the new considerations in two feasibility studies. The first study aims to clarify where areas of the Department of Defense can be accommodated.

Topping-out ceremony for the low-cost airline terminal

Appointments can also be held at the breakdown-plagued BER Airport. The shell of Terminal T2 has been completed, and the topping-out ceremony was celebrated in Schönefeld on Tuesday. Airport boss Engelbert Lütke Daldrup firmly assumes that the extension to the existing main terminal will be completed and ready for use as planned by autumn 2020.

With the additional terminal, the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport Company (FBB) wants to prevent impending bottlenecks in passenger handling at the new capital airport in advance. Because over the many years of its non-completion - the original opening date was October 2011 - the BER has become too small for the actual needs in the capital region.

Around 34.7 million passengers took off and landed at the two existing Berlin airports in Tegel (TXL) and Schönefeld (SXF) in 2018. Despite all the “flight shame” debates, the above-average growth in the region continues unabated. In the first half of this year, the previous year's figure was already exceeded by two million passengers. The problem: The new passenger terminal at BER can initially only handle 22 million passengers a year.

BER committee is now also examining current problems

The committee of inquiry into the breakdown airport BER is expanding its mandate and is now also examining the current problems. The government groups SPD, Greens and Left as well as the CDU and the FDP have agreed on this. "The background for this is provided by current developments," said the airport expert for the Greens, Harald Moritz.

Parliament is also reacting to the airport company's hesitant information policy. Several of the committee's inquiries about current problems on the construction site have recently remained unanswered with the information that these are trade and business secrets. "

The CDU and FDP had long been calling for the investigation to be expanded. Now the government factions have given in and, for their part, have made a proposal to investigate current events. The extension of the investigation is to be decided on May 22nd in the Legal Affairs Committee and one day later in the House of Representatives.

BER tames the "monster" smoke extraction system

Work on the new BER airport in the capital has made a step forward. The smoke control system, which is important for fire protection in the passenger terminal, has been finally checked by TÜV Rheinland and approved without defects, the airport company announced on Tuesday. This means that “an important milestone has been reached in the completion of BER Terminal 1”, explained airport manager Engelbert Lütke Daldrup. Siemens completed the complex system on schedule.

The "higher-level, safety-related programmable logic system" (ÜSSPS) - also referred to as "the monster" within the airport - is technically highly complex and demanding. Among other things, it regulates that in the event of a fire the ventilation in the building works, emergency doors open and there are automatic warning announcements for passengers.

Around 120 different smoke extraction systems are to be coordinated according to specified scenarios in such a way that a smoke-free view of 2.50 meters is ensured for at least 15 minutes in the terminal building at the location of the fire so that people can safely leave the building in the event of a fire. The trigger for the building regulation, which does not only apply at BER, was the severe fire in April 1996 at Düsseldorf Airport, in which 17 people died mainly from inhaling highly toxic gases.

Airport boss Lütke Daldrup must have waited desperately for the TÜV certificate for the system. Because even seven years after the originally planned opening date, construction companies are still working on deficiencies in the still unused terminal in Schönefeld near Berlin. Two areas have not yet been approved and work is still ongoing: the fire alarm system and the cable works in the terminal. The airport company is still sticking to the opening date of the third largest German airport in October 2020.

The costs for BER Terminal 2 will double

At the additional terminal 2, the construction costs got massively out of hand. Instead of the estimated 100 million euros, they will double to at least 200 million. A previously confidential report by the auditing firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) on behalf of the airport company's supervisory board now lists the reasons for this.

The new mistakes are part of the never-ending breakdown history of airport construction. The frightening conclusion of the investigation: The plan was without reliable parameters. According to information from the Berliner Morgenpost, the external appraiser stated that at the beginning of the award procedure “there was still no calculation maturity”.

At the start, it was not stipulated how many passengers would be handled in Terminal 2, nor was the number of security checks to be carried out there. In addition, there were a lack of specifications for the interior construction: According to the expert opinion, not even how many storeys should be in the new building was defined.

It is planned that the new Terminal 2 can be operated independently of the main terminal. In the new building, an additional six million passengers will be handled annually, mainly by low-cost airlines. Without the capacities created in this way, the airport would already be too small for the opening planned for October 2020.

The airport company FBB of the two states of Berlin and Brandenburg and the federal government has now admitted errors.There were "various inadequacies in all previous project phases," it says in their statement. FBB also attributes failures to deadline pressure.

Tüv has concerns about the construction schedule

The airport company's supervisory board and construction workers continue to set the BER opening date in October 2020. The completion notice is expected in autumn 2019, announced the airport company after the first meeting of the supervisory board in 2019. "We are moving forward. Even if not every step of the work is still a punctual landing, we are making good progress at BER," said Supervisory Board Chairman Rainer Bretschneider.

However, from the point of view of the TÜV, the next steps in the completion will not be as quick as the operators would like. "I don't see that we are congruent on the part of the TÜV and the airport company, but we are moving towards each other," admitted Bretschneider. Representatives of the Tüv Rheinland also took part in the supervisory board meeting.

Airport boss Engelbert Lütke Daldrup wants to start comprehensive tests of the systems in the new terminal in early summer. The Tüv had made it clear in the autumn that it might not start until a few months later. The biggest problems still included incorrectly routed cables for emergency power and safety lighting. Lütke Daldrup sees noticeable progress, however: "Some of our service providers have stepped up a gear in the last few weeks."

Meanwhile, the former airport boss Karsten Mühlenfeld spoke out in favor of leaving Tegel airport in operation parallel to the future capital airport BER. "The two runways at BER never give the capacity that is necessary in Berlin," said Mühlenfeld in the House of Representatives. "You also need a third runway in Berlin and what could be more useful than keeping a runway open in Tegel?"

It has been decided that Tegel will close at the latest six months after the opening of the new airport in Schönefeld, which is planned for October 2020. Only recently, Lufthansa boss Carsten Spohr had suggested that Tegel should be kept open.

"BER is a growing airport"

Another year of truth has begun at the Berlin breakdown airport BER. So that the first passengers can check-in in 2020 as last planned, the decisive steps must be taken in 2019. Work is still going on in the main terminal, for example on the fire alarm systems and cables for emergency power and safety lighting.

Unpleasant surprises are no longer to be expected, Lütke Daldrup recently assured. But it can only be certain when all systems are tested together in the summer. In autumn, the construction supervision should then be notified of the completion. If the office approves the use, the six-month trial operation can begin next year. Thousands of volunteers will then test the building - as they did in 2011 and 2012.

But even after it opens, the airport will remain a construction site. BER is a growing airport, ”said Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, head of the airport. "By 2040 we will gradually create capacities for 55 million passengers a year."

Volunteers should test the BER in 2020

Before the planned opening of BER 2020, the airport company wants to hire Berliners and Brandenburgers as test subjects again. "Numerous people are interested in the airport, we will give them the opportunity to take part as extras," said airport boss Engelbert Lütke Daldrup of the "Berliner Zeitung". "There will certainly be a lot of people again who want to test BER and have fun doing it."

Even before the planned opening in 2012, 10,000 people had tested the processes on the ground - for free, as it turned out. Due to construction defects, planning errors and technical problems, the opening of the new capital city airport has been postponed again and again.

Now Lütke Daldrup wants to announce the completion of the terminal in autumn 2019 and put it into operation a year later in autumn 2020 - after several months of tests, including by volunteers. "This phase will not begin until 2020," said the airport boss. "The application process has not yet started.

Further problems with the fire alarm system and emergency power supply

According to airport boss Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, BER can be completed in summer 2019. Then the so-called active principle tests to test the systems could begin, said Lütke Daldrup on Tuesday in Potsdam in the special committee of the Brandenburg state parliament. However, there is still a disagreement with the TÜV experts as to whether the tests can start at the beginning of summer or at the end of summer.

The TÜV expects a longer period than the management, said Lütke Daldrup. In any case, the exams could be completed in autumn 2019. This is necessary in order to be able to open BER as planned in autumn 2020. "This appointment is in no way endangered," it said.

The fire alarm system with 30,000 fire detectors and four control panels as well as the cabling for the emergency power and the safety lighting are still critical, admitted Lütke Daldrup. In contrast, the sprinkler system and the smoke extraction control system are largely complete in the event of a fire. The cables for lighting the southern runway also have to be replaced after having been under water for years.

Noise protection for BER residents will become even more expensive

The noise protection for the residents of the new capital airport BER will become even more expensive. According to a court ruling from the summer, the airport company must also finance noise protection for eat-in kitchens, low rooms and winter gardens. Managing director Engelbert Lütke Daldrup put the additional costs at around 25 million euros. "You can only say exactly when those affected contact us and we have checked their claims again," he told the "Märkische Allgemeine".

Noise protection is one of the topics on the Supervisory Board that has been meeting at Tegel Airport since Friday morning. This also includes the overall financing of the project and the situation on the construction site. Lütke Daldrup wants to report progress to the control committee. The new capital airport in Schönefeld is due to go into operation in October 2020 after several canceled appointments.

The airport had to repeatedly improve the noise protection for around 26,000 households around the airport because a court forced it to do so. The costs for the noise protection program have increased fivefold and are now expected to reach around 755 million euros.

Cable in water - replacement costs 10 million euros

The cables continue to cause problems on the construction site of the capital city airport BER. Airport boss Engelbert Lütke Daldrup has asked the Brandenburg building authorities to change the tests for the cable harnesses inside the terminal building. At the same time, the lines next to the southern runway have to be renewed because the canals are under water and the cables could be damaged in the long term.

Airport spokesman Hannes Hönemann confirmed the plans to renew the cables laid in 2011 to the lights on the southern runway. The problem is by no means new. The supervisory board decided on the repair, which cost almost ten million euros, in August, and the work would be done in 2019. "This is a precautionary measure that ensures the safety and functionality of the cables well beyond the commissioning of BER in October 2020," said Hönemann.

Addendum on November 23: The cable ducts with electrical lines on the southern runway of the future capital city airport BER were already under water six years ago. "Yes," said Horst Amann, then head of technology, in the BER investigation committee of the Berlin House of Representatives when asked whether he knew about this problem. It was already clear in 2012 that these shafts would have to be rehabilitated and sealed.

Airport boss complains about overregulation in construction

From the point of view of Berlin Airport Director Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, a growing jumble of standards makes large construction projects more and more difficult. “20 years ago we had only 25 percent of the standards that we have today,” said Lütke Daldrup of the architecture magazine “ARCH +”.

Construction standards are not the main cause, but one reason why the new airport with its 786 technical systems is not ready, said Lütke Daldrup. "We have been tested by the TÜV for a year and probably have another year ahead of us."

But it's not just about Berlin, assured Lütke Daldrup. "Almost all major projects in Germany have problems." Norms went beyond what was reasonable and became counterproductive.

Lütke Daldrup suspects that the growing number of standards is due to the self-interest of engineers in standardization committees who were hoping for expert assignments. He suggested that norms be limited and a moratorium on further rules imposed. "You should make the lowest building standard of all federal states the standard under federal law."

General contractor found for additional terminal at BER

The Bremen-based company Zechbau GmbH will act as general contractor to build the planned Terminal 2 at the future BER airport. As the airport company announced on Tuesday, the terminal building for six million passengers a year should be ready in 2020. It increases the take-off capacity of BER to 28 million passengers.

The Bremen building contractor Kurt Zech is already active on the BER construction site: The ROM company, which belongs to the family foundation, is renovating the cable routes in Terminal 1 as the successor to the insolvent Imtech go - then nine years late.

"We have learned from the experience and difficulties with the extremely complex T1 passenger terminal," said airport manager Engelbert Lütke Daldrup. That is why they decided on a general contractor. Terminal 2 is also designed to be highly functional. The Supervisory Board had approved up to 200 million euros for this.

Interim solution for government terminal at BER ready

According to the airport company, the federal government's interim terminal at BER Airport was completed on time and within budget. If the federal government wanted, it could have its government aircraft take off from Schönefeld / BER Airport from next year, instead of on the north side of Tegel Airport as before. But the Federal Ministry of the Interior has decided not to move until the BER opening, which is planned for autumn 2020.

"We have shown here that we can build on time and within budget," said airport manager Engelbert Lütke Daldrup. The building cost the airport company 30 million euros. The federal government contributed around 13 million euros as a grant because security elements were taken into account that do not apply to normal terminals.

Despite its dimensions of 105 meters in length, 22 meters in width and two floors, the house is only intended to serve as an interim solution. Because the federal government wants to pull up the permanent seat of the flight readiness, which is still based in Cologne / Bonn, next to the old SXF by 2025. There, among other things, a barracks for the 400 soldiers and space for the 14 government aircraft will be provided.

BER gets new site manager

There is a new head of construction and technology for the future BER airport. The civil engineer Carsten Wilmsen from Munich will take over from Jörg Marks in November. This was decided by the supervisory board of the Berlin Brandenburg airport company in Berlin, as the company announced. Wilmsen is to take care of the expansion of the airport in Schönefeld after its opening, which is planned for October 2020.

Airport boss Engelbert Lütke Daldrup continues to be responsible for the timely completion of the main BER building in Schönefeld. Wilmsen currently heads the Real Estate Management division at Munich Airport. The 50-year-old was also in discussion as the fourth managing director of the Berlin-Brandenburg airport company. However, the Supervisory Board did not comply with Lütke Daldrup's suggestion. The chief technology officer remains one level lower.

Wilmsen's predecessor Marks had already asked in April, according to the company's presentation, to terminate his contract at the end of the year. This was preceded by lengthy arguments in the leadership. As early as 2017, Marks had to give up the management of the crisis construction site.

VW uses BER as a parking lot for new cars

From the beginning of August, Volkswagen will park new vehicles on the grounds of the future BER airport in Schönefeld. According to an agreement that has now been reached, the car manufacturer will use around 8,000 parking spaces in three parking garages and three open spaces, as the Berlin Brandenburg Airport Company announced on Monday upon request.

The reason for renting the parking spaces is a lack of registrations for new vehicles when the new WLTP emissions test procedure is mandatory on September 1st. That is why VW is in the foreseeable problem of parking space problems. It is still unclear how long the cars will stay in Schönefeld.

Most of the VW vehicles will be transported to BER by car train, it said. Airport manager Engelbert Lütke Daldrup spoke of a "profitable business": "In 2018, FBB will earn more than one million euros from the previously unused parking spaces."

Building permit granted for an additional terminal at BER

The building regulations office of the Dahme-Spreewald district granted the Berlin Airport Company the building permit for the BER Terminal T2 on Tuesday. District Administrator Stephan Loge (SPD) handed the approval to airport boss Engelbert Lütke Daldrup.

The building will be erected directly in front of the North Pier and is an important part of the BER 2040 master plan. Terminal T2 is to have an annual capacity of six million passengers and thus increase the total capacity of BER to 28 million passengers when it opens.

Together with Schönefeld Airport (SXF), which is to remain in operation until the end of 2025, BER could handle up to 40 million passengers per year. Terminal T2 is intended to offer the growing low-cost airlines better conditions.

However, there was not applause from all sides. The surrounding municipalities have threatened to take legal action against the expansion of the airport.

Cable renovation is delayed

At the new BER airport, plagued by breakdowns and postponements, there are new problems - this time with the cable renovation. The report of a project management company found that it was eleven months behind schedule, writes the "Bild am Sonntag".

The internal status report of April 16 this year lists 863 "major deficiencies" for the main terminal, the processing takes too long. As early as February, the Tüv Rheinland informed the airport company that the operational safety and effectiveness of the defective systems could not be conclusively certified, the newspaper said.

Airport spokesman Hannes Stefan Hönemann confirmed the existence of the documents, but at the same time pointed out that the project management company's report reflected the status of mid-April, i.e. five weeks ago. Since then, countermeasures have been taken and successfully implemented. Defects have therefore been eliminated or are currently being eliminated.

Construction companies promise to meet their deadlines

According to the operator, other important construction companies at BER have agreed to fixed schedules. Bosch has promised to finish its work on the security technology in the terminal, including the expert examinations, by February 2019, said airport boss Engelbert Lütke Daldrup. In addition, Siemens will program the corresponding control by the end of the year.

Since the airport was not opened in 2012, a major problem on the construction site has been that the companies have been requested on an hourly basis - without deadlines and thus without great opportunities for contractual penalties.

Bosch has now agreed to a contract that provides for surcharges and deductions depending on the service, said Lütke Daldrup. In December, a schedule for rectifying defects in the sprinkler system was agreed with Caverion. There is also an appointment with T-Systems.

Head of Technology Jörg Marks leaves the BER construction site

Jörg Marks, who was once brought in to save the messed up building technology at BER Airport, will leave the airport company at the end of the year at his own request. The former Siemens manager came in 2014 to get the fire protection system up and running. In the meantime, Marks has lost its importance despite his title “Head of Technology and Construction”.

The airport manager Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, who took office a little more than a year ago, has personally subordinated himself to the construction organization and made civil engineer Peter Herrmann the terminal project manager. It is Hermann's job to open BER in autumn 2020. Marks remained responsible for the documentation of the construction works, additional demands of the construction companies and the building management.

"It was a creeping farewell," it says about his role. Lütke Daldrup's predecessor Karsten Mühlenfeld released Marks at the beginning of 2016 because new problems with sprinklers and doors had emerged at short notice, which threw the project back. Lütke Daldrup reinstated Mark with the support of Politicians.

Building authority grants final approval for BER

A significant hurdle has been cleared on the permanent construction site of the airport BER in Schönefeld: The building regulations office of the district of Dahme-Spreewald has issued the last building permit for the airport train station. "With the handover of this addendum, the last act of a long and complex approval process will be ended," said Vice District Administrator and Building Department Head Chris Halecker on Monday.

The most recently submitted documents have proven that passengers can also save themselves in the event of a fire if several trains are moving in the station at the same time. Before the terminal can be used, however, it must be proven with hot gas smoke tests and evacuation exercises that rescue works in practice, emphasized Halecker.

In 2016, the building supervisory authority reported concerns as to whether smoke could be ventilated at the transition between the train station and the terminal in the event of a fire. It was about the special turbulence in the air caused by incoming and outgoing trains.

Just tear off BER? Lufthansa manager causes a stir

Lufthansa board member Thorsten Dirks caused a stir with a statement about BER. At a conference in Bavaria, the head of the Lufthnsa low-cost airline Eurowings said to the Berlin airport breakdown: "My forecast: The thing will be demolished and rebuilt." The manager quoted the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung".

Reports based on this statement quickly turned it into an official assessment by Lufthansa. Group spokesman Andreas Bartels said, however, that the company had definitely not wanted to plead for the airport to be demolished.

"That was a pointed statement to point out the extent of the difficulties at the airport," added Eurowings spokesman Matthias Eberle. Lufthansa is faced with the problem that although its equipment has been installed in the capital's airport, after years of delay in opening it, it is now obsolete.

Berlin's politics reacted sniffly. "The three shareholders agree: the airport will be completed," said Senate spokeswoman Claudia Sünder. Instead of thinking about how the Lufthansa logo is exchanged from yellow to blue, “it would be good if the group strives for an appropriate and binding commitment in the capital”.

The airport boss even called Dirk's statement "nonsense". Lufthansa would be "well advised to take care of long-haul routes for the capital," said Engelbert Lütke Daldrup.

Already out of date: 750 monitors at BER are being replaced

In BER, 750 monitors for passenger information will be exchanged long before the airport opens. The screens in the main terminal had been running with the general power supply in the building for six years, most of them had reached the end of their lifespan, said airport spokesman Hannes Stefan Hönemann on Thursday.

In the future capital city airport (BER), 750 monitors for passenger information will be exchanged long before the airport opens. The screens in the main terminal had been running with the general power supply in the building for six years, most of them had reached the end of their lifespan, said airport spokesman Hannes Stefan Hönemann on Thursday.

Hönemann said they were industrial monitors. These are not suitable for private use even if they are still in order: "They have different connections on the back, work with different software and do not have their own power supply," explained the spokesman.

BER breaks cost mark of seven billion euros

A further 770 million euros will be required to complete the future BER airport. This emerges from the airport company's business plan, as a spokesman confirmed on Friday. This increases the total costs for BER to more than seven billion euros.

At the groundbreaking ceremony in 2006, those responsible were still assuming two billion euros. The additional costs result from the fact that the opening of the third largest German airport in December last year was postponed for another two years to 2020.

To what extent the BER owners Berlin, Brandenburg and the federal government are willing to inject more money is unclear, but the additional costs do not trigger a large approval anywhere. After all: a few weeks ago the additional costs were estimated at one billion euros.

BER Airport will be up to a billion euros more expensive

With the expansion of the capital city airport BER in Schönefeld, new financial gaps are always opening up. According to a report by "Bild am Sonntag", up to a billion euros are missing for the commissioning and expansion of the Berlin capital airport BER. The BER management had already informed the Supervisory Board of a corresponding financial requirement before Christmas. So far it is unclear where the money will come from.

The considerable increase in further financial requirements is essentially explained by the opening, which was again delayed by a good 30 months. The running costs on the construction site and the lost revenue from flight operations amount to around 25 million euros per month. This alone results in additional costs of 750 million euros up to the planned commissioning. In addition, according to "Bild am Sonntag", the airport needs additional millions for new orders to complete and accelerate expansion.

As reported, new extensions are planned up to the year 2035 in order to be able to handle 55 million passengers annually. As things stand, the airport will already be too small when it opens in 2020 to be able to accommodate all passengers who have previously been traveling via the other two airports, Tegel and Schönefeld.

A spokesman for Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH (FBB) initially did not want to comment on the report when asked by the Berliner Morgenpost. He referred to the statements made in December. At that time, the financing issues arising from the new opening date were also discussed. For this purpose, it was decided to determine the exact additional financing requirements on the basis of the opening date in October 2020. The next meeting of the supervisory board in March should then decide on further financing.

New date: BER Airport should open in October 2020

The new capital airport BER is scheduled to open in autumn 2020. On Friday, the supervisory board of the Berlin-Brandenburg airport company took note of the appointment proposal made by airport boss Engelbert Lütke Daldrup and approved. This means that BER would be launched eight and a half years after the short-term ruptured opening in June 2012 and 14 years after construction began in 2006.

Supervisory board chairman Rainer Bretschneider said the commissioning will take place in October 2020. There is consensus that a valid assessment is now available as a basis for further work. The decision was made unanimously. It was a "historic moment," said the Brandenburg State Secretary. Three years ago, he and Hartmut Mehdorn, the airport manager at the time, reported that they would "consider" an appointment at the end of 2017.

Bretschneider said the board had long discussed how to regain lost public trust. This time, however, it was important to include a wealth of external expertise, such as the TÜV and other construction supervisors. Therefore one believes that it is "resilient now". "I am confident that it will work," said the chairman of the supervisory board.

Lütke Daldrup said the date was resilient and reliable, not a political date. Sufficient safety buffers are planned in the event of new difficulties. This creates security and orientation, now the final phase of the completion of the BER begins. At the beginning of this year, everyone assumed the end of 2018. But after taking office, he re-analyzed the risks and took a closer look. The final financing remains a challenge. All possibilities for equity and debt financing will be used. In March he will present a financing plan.

2000 days after non-opening: Airport company confirms "major deficiencies"

The new airport in the capital is due to be completed by the end of August 2018, as last planned, despite further deficiencies. When BER can then go into operation, airport boss Engelbert Lütke Daldrup wants to announce in mid-December, as the airport company confirmed on Thursday. At the same time, the company confirmed that there were still “major defects” in systems that the TÜV had checked. One cares intensely about "working up the mistakes of the past and resolving the remaining deficiencies in the technical systems consistently".

The "Tagesspiegel" reported serious deficits in the technical systems that would cause the framework schedule to slip again. "With the acute deficiencies, it could be tight even for a start in spring or autumn 2020," says a report. The "Tagesspiegel" bases this assessment on a situation report for the highest building supervisory authority in Brandenburg from mid-November and on a status report from the Tüv Rheinland. After that, there are "major defects" at the North Main Pier, which is still considered to be a comparatively simple building section in the main terminal.

Lütke Daldrup said: "The framework schedule presented in September for structural completion by August 31, 2018 is ambitious and was deliberately planned without a buffer." The fact remains that he will propose "an entrepreneurially responsible date for commissioning" on December 15. A start before the late summer of 2019 is not considered due to the necessary tests and approvals. According to the airport, there are still significant deficiencies in parts of the fire alarm system, the electro-acoustic emergency warning system, the safety lighting, the safety power supply, the smoke control and the sprinkler system.

30 "technical risks" left at the passenger terminal

For earlier status reports, please swipe right
pier

In the as yet unfinished passenger terminal of the new capital city airport BER in Schönefeld there are currently around 30 "technical risks" of the previous 3,000. This number is given by the Berlin Senate Department for Finance in its answer to a parliamentary question from the Green Senate MP Andreas Otto.

"Individual measures and remedies of defects" are currently being processed "by the companies and the property supervision". 80 percent of the doors in the terminal are now fully functional, the rest are "mostly put into operation by the end of the year".

The construction work on the entire BER is dragging on. Commissioning of BER before the late summer of 2019 is excluded. According to the tax authorities, the monthly maintenance costs for the construction are currently 10 to 13 million euros. This includes, among other things, costs for client services, project management, construction supervision, implementation planning and construction site safety.

The new opening date should be mid-December

A new opening date for the new airport in the capital is to be announced on December 15. The agreements with the construction companies had progressed so far that he could then give a detailed presentation of the deadline at a special meeting of the supervisory board, said airport boss Engelbert Lütke Daldrup after a meeting of the control committee.

Because of planning errors, construction defects and mismanagement, the start of Germany's third largest airport has been postponed six times since construction began in 2006. A start of BER before late summer 2019 is not considered.

Lütke Daldrup had already announced that the new building should be renovated at the end of August 2018. This is followed by tests, approvals and a trial run, for which around a year had been planned in the past. The managing director indicated that the schedule would also contain buffers for the unforeseen. A start in 2020 would therefore also be conceivable.

Lufthansa boss relies on BER and not on TXL

In the debate about the future of Berlin's Tegel Airport, Lufthansa is on the side of those in favor of a closure. "I fly here every week and I love Tegel," said Lufthansa boss Carsten Spohr in Berlin on Thursday.

Nevertheless, the Lufthansa boss spoke out against relying on Tegel for the future of Berlin air traffic. The legal implementation of the keeping open, which a referendum demands, could delay the commissioning of BER, warned Spohr. "Anyone who knows anything about it tell me: Forget this discussion," said Spohr.

For a good 20 years there have been plans to close Tegel when the new capital city airport is in operation. In a referendum in Berlin in September, however, a majority called on the Senate to keep Tegel open. He could understand that emotionally, said Spohr. His appeal, however, is to support those responsible for BER in "getting this airport, which is capital city level, online as quickly as possible".

Agreement at the government terminal at BER

The federal government and the airport company have overcome an important hurdle for the expansion of the new BER airport. They have found a way how the government terminal can be built very close to the existing Schönefeld handling building without losing the urgently needed capacities for BER.

"After a long phase of uncertainty and ambiguity," said the State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Construction, Gunther Adler. Airport boss Engelbert Lütke Daldrup said that the agreement will secure the "important capacities at Schönefeld Airport that support the gradual expansion of BER".

For a long time, the federal government's wish to accommodate its flight readiness, which is still based in Cologne / Bonn, and the terminal for state guests, was a serious problem. The federal construction site threatened to bring operations in the western terminals of the SXF to a standstill.

In the solution that has now been agreed, the federal government grants the airport a 25-meter-wide strip along the terminals until 2025. The buses, which transport passengers from the gates to a new asphalt runway south of the SXF, can drive over it. If the federal government had insisted on occupying the entire area during the construction phase, Terminals D 1 and 2 and C, which are mainly used by Ryanair, would not have been accessible from the air side.

BER can start in 2019 at the earliest

The opening of the capital city BER, which was last planned for 2018, has failed. It should not be finished until the end of August 2018 and can therefore open in summer or autumn 2019 at the earliest. Airport boss Engelbert Lütke Daldrup announced that he had agreed a corresponding schedule with the construction companies, inspectors and other parties involved.

Accordingly, the individual technical systems should be approved by experts next summer. This must be followed by the "effectiveness and principle test" prescribed by building law, in which the building supervision examines whether the whole system actually works together. The next step towards a start at BER are practical tests in which the operational processes are run through with extras, among other things.

Such reviews take several months, which is why the BER can be expected to go into operation one year later at the earliest. "The airport company will announce the opening date for BER this year," said Lütke Daldrup. The prerequisite is that "the input parameters are valid" and that "all service providers involved in the project kept to the schedule as agreed".

The airport had published the last schedule for the BER main terminal in the summer of 2016 under Lütke Daldrup's predecessor Karsten Mühlenfeld. The new plan is more than a year behind the specifications at the time. Technical director Jörg Marks, with whom Lütke Daldrup continues to work, was also involved. The consultants from Roland Berger were responsible for the planning and were still planning to start at the end of 2017.