TransportAirports

The never-ending construction of Berlin’s new airport is a puzzling study in inefficient planning

Skift Take

It’s shocking what a complete mess has been made of Germany’s new international airport with the most recent update being a last-minute, €1.2 billion capital injection needed to finalize the project.

— Samantha Shankman

Soon after the newly reunified Germany decided, in 1991, to move its capital back to Berlin from Bonn, the discussion about a suitable airport started. Nearly everyone agreed in principle that the new capital needed a modern and sparkling airport. Planning started in 1996, construction in 2006. The plan was to open [Berlin Bradenburg Airport] in 2011.

The airport is due to open on October 27th. But most Berliners view that date like a second marriage, as the triumph of hope over experience.

The new airport originally got approval for handling 45m passengers a year, but is now meant for only 27m, which is roughly as many as the existing airports handle already. The airport originally had a budget of €2.4 billion ($3.2 billion) but is now likely to cost twice as much. Air Berlin, the carrier most affected, has sued for damages.

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