Grounded: delays continue to dog Berlin Brandenburg
By Erica Gingerich, Munich
Almost two months after announcing the fourth and latest delay for Berlin Brandenburg International Airport, due to continuing technical problems, airport operator Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH (FBB) remains tight-lipped about a new potential opening date.
FBB announced on 7 January that the plan to open on 27 October 2013 "is no longer viable".
According to an airport spokesperson, the numerous delays, construction, and other costs, including additional noise abatement measures, have already increased the total cost of the project from the original EUR2.5 billion (USD3.4 billion) to around EUR4.3 billion. Any additional costs that may result from the latest delay cannot be quantified at this time, he added.
Berlin Brandenburg was originally planned to begin operations in 2011 this was subsequently moved back to 3 June 2012 and then 17 March 2013. The airport once it does open will have capacity for 27 million passengers per annum initially, and a total of 45 million at full build-out. The new airport is intended to provide Berlin with a trophy hub fit for the capital of Europe's economic powerhouse and to replace Berlin's existing airports, Tegel and Schoenefeld.189 of 756 words
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