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FBDplc buys out original partners to increase stake in Development Lands at the delayed Berlin Airport

( In doing so we have paid 10% more accordingly than for our original stake. Is this a wise move? - comments below from International sources on the ongoing, and new 7th delay, to an opening date for the Airport )

Wikipedia on Berlin_Brandenburg_Airport

Airport opening delayed to 2021 ?

Originally scheduled for 2011, Der Tagesspiel newspaper says the latest talk is of mid- to late-2020. It’s the seventh time the opening has been postponed since the project began in 2006. The airport is jointly owned by the city of Berlin, the state of Brandenburg and Germany’s federal government.

The delays have already inflated the budget by billions of euros and continue to cost the German taxpayer around one million euros a day.

The latest setback is reportedly due to problems with fire protection. Other errors over the years include badly installed cables, escalators that were too short and a roof that was too heavy.

Corruption is also a factor – last year one former airport employee was sentenced to prison for taking bribes and dozens of others have been fined.

Collateral damage includes construction companies, retail outlets and taxi firms forced into bankruptcy and one former Berlin mayor forced out of his job.

The new facility is expected to service some 34 million passengers a year and will replace the German capital’s ageing Tegel airport. Assuming, of course, it ever gets off the ground


Berlin’s new airport is to open almost a decade later than planned © Bloomberg

Berlin’s new international airport will open in October 2020, almost a decade later than originally planned, a development that marks the latest twist in a tale of engineering chaos that has captivated and embarrassed Germany in equal measure. The new Berlin Brandenburg airport, located in the south-east of the city, was supposed to usher in a new era of travel for the once-divided city. After reunification in 1990, the German capital initially made do with three smaller airports — Tegel and Tempelhof in the former West Berlin and Schönefeld in the former East — but eventually decided to build a modern international hub adjacent to Schönefeld. Tempelhof has since been closed, leaving Berlin with just two ageing airports that lack the scale and transport connections of other capital hubs.

Berlin Brandenburg airport, also known by its international code BER, was initially due to open in 2011. But a series of planning errors and construction faults caused severe delays as well as heavy cost overruns. Berlin Brandenburg was at first expected to cost the taxpayer €2bn. This estimate has been revised multiple times since and currently stands at €6.5bn In a country that prides itself on reliability and engineering excellence, the serial mishaps at the new airport have sparked anguished debate and intense media scrutiny.

Critics also point out that Berlin Brandenburg is no isolated case. In recent years, prestige building and infrastructure projects ranging from the Hamburg philharmonic concert hall to Stuttgart’s new train station have been beset by cost overruns and lengthy delays. Earlier this week, the inauguration of a new high-speed railway link between Berlin and Munich descended into farce after the maiden voyage arrived more than two hours late. Deutsche Bahn, the German railway operator, has been battling delays and technical problems on the new track ever since.

The Berlin airport fiasco has caused exasperation not least among business leaders in the German capital and the surrounding federal state of Brandenburg. “The airport project BER need a clear perspective at last,” Christian Amsinck, general manager of the federation of Berlin-Brandenburg businesses said on Friday. “Every day that BER is not up and running, Berlin and Brandenburg are losing opportunities, especially in terms of developing the areas around the airport.”

Analysts point out that the planning process for the new airport was faulty from the outset. Crucially, the regional governments of Berlin and Brandenburg decided not to award the building contract to a single construction group but parcelled out jobs in small batches to ensure that smaller local firms could also benefit from the works. Researchers at the Berlin-based Hertie School of Governance, who studied the recent history of German megaprojects in depth, found other errors. “The high cost overruns and missed deadlines go back to core deficits in the chosen governance approach. The supervisory board was predominantly filled with politicians and lacked substantive knowledge,” they noted in their study. There was also no external controlling, the Hertie report found.

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