The seemingly never-ending story about the construction of the new BER airport in the capital city could come to a conclusion after all. On tuesday, the construction authorities approved the main terminal for use.
The opening of the airport is now a big step closer. It is current for the 31. Planned for october – then nine years behind schedule.
"I would like to thank everyone who has not given up on BER," said airport boss engelbert lutke daldrup. He wants to draw a line under years of rising costs and six missed opening dates. Lutke daldrup emphasized that the terminal had been turned into a safe building, piece by piece, with a high level of personal commitment and a great deal of perseverance.
The numerous planning errors, construction defects and technical problems in the new building in schonefeld on the southeastern outskirts of berlin had repeatedly caused a stir: escalators that were too short, lights that didn’t go out, room chaos due to incorrect numbering – these were some of the reports.
The biggest problems, however, were with fire protection. Years of rebuilding and unraveling a cable tangle. It was only last week that the tuv issued the final test certificates for the project.
The proofs for an operationally safe use were available, said the building code commissioner of the district of dahme-spreewald. She is very pleased that the rough construction site is finally being brought to a conclusion. Nothing now stands in the way of use from the point of view of building regulations. Approvals from the aviation authority are still required. Brandenburg’s minister president dietmar woidke (SPD) spoke of excellent news.
In the terminal, the airport company is now preparing for trial operations. At the same time, the remaining construction work is to be carried out. In june and july, volunteers are to test the processes in the terminal: from arrival to check-in to the gate – that’s where it ends. Because flights will not start until 31. October. On 8. According to the plan, tegel airport will close in november.
Due to the corona crisis, however, tegel may be temporarily taken off the grid before then – in order to concentrate the few flights that are still available in schonefeld and thus save costs. This wednesday, the airport owners – berlin, brandenburg and the federal government – will discuss the issue.
A few weeks ago, the federal government had still managed to ensure that tegel would remain open. The infrastructure should remain flexibly available precisely because of the corona crisis. According to the transport ministry on tuesday, the situation is now to be reassessed.
Most recently, only about 1,000 passengers a day flew into berlin’s tegel and schonefeld airports. This will also make the BER start easier, because the new building will probably not have to go into operation under full load. Last year, there were 35.6 million passengers in berlin – an average of almost 100,000 per day.000 per day.
The slump also pushes the operating company further into the red. A cash injection of up to 300 million euros from the owners is therefore being prepared. Irrespective of this, the company has a financial gap of 792 million euros in its business plan from 2021 to 2024, which the owners also want to fill in half of the time.
According to a study published by rbb24.De and the "tagesspiegel" has it, the additional demand could even be as high as 1.8 billion euros by 2023. So far, the budget for BER is 6.5 billion euros, of which at least 2.7 billion euros is taxpayers’ money. The federal government and the states are also pledging billions of euros in loans for the. The cost of the project has more than tripled since ground was first broken in 2006.