According to Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, the CEO of Berlin Brandenburg Airport, the highly controversial airport will finally open on 31st October 2020 – 9 years since the initial planned opening date, March 2011, and 13 years since the construction started in 2006.
Intention For Berlin Brandenburg Airport
In view of expected traffic growth, Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) was planned to replace three aging airports, namely Schonefeld, Tegal and Tempelhof (now-closed). It was also supposed to be a new hub for Air Berlin, which folded in 2017.
Why The Delay?
Here is a brief timeline of what happened to BER in the past years:
Mid 2010: Construction company went bankrupt, just months before the initial opening date (March 2011)
Mid 2012: 4 weeks before the new opening date (June 2012), issues on the fire safety and smoke exhaust system were discovered. New opening date shifted to October 2013.
Early 2013: Further delay on the opening date to 2014 with no specific date. There was also a management reshuffling as well.
2015: One of the key construction companies went bankrupt.
2016: Failed to receive official certification for their new underground station. Opening date moved to 2017 (not specified).
2017: Air Berlin folded which gave rise to tenancy issues. The airport was supposed to be a hub for Air Berlin.
Will They Open in Time?
Although the CEO mentioned that he is certain about the timeline, the Supervisory Board Chairman pointed out that there are still some issues to resolve. It is currently planned that flights to Berlin Tegal will end on 8th November 2020. Whether the airport will open in time or not, let’s just hope for a smooth transition and operation.