Must read 200th post: Berlin-Brandenburg’s Terminal 2 to remain closed at airport’s opening

Only 5 weeks away from Berlin-Brandenburg Airport’s opening, the airport’s operator, Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH (FBB), has announced that Berlin-Brandenburg’s Terminal 2 will remain closed until Summer 2021. This is due to the major decrease in number of passengers flying in and out of Germany. The airport will be inaugurated on the 31st of October this year and will carry the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) designation BER, announced Lütke Daldrop, CE (Chief Executive) of FBB last Friday. From the delay of Terminal 2’s opening, FBB has said that a sum of €500’000 ($581’000) can be saved in operating costs. Terminal 2 is worth $200 million and has a capacity of 6 million passengers per year. Berlin Brandenburg Airport is comprised of 3 terminals, branded Terminals 1,2 and 5 and has the capacity to hold 40 million passengers annually, in its entirety.

Originally, the idea for the construction of a new airport that would serve Berlin (Germany’s capital), was thought up in May 1991, a few months after Germany’s reunification. The construction of a new airport would mean the closure of Berlin Tegel Airport, which had been in service since 1948. A holding company is created for the new airport’s construction. In January of 1992, the planning for the airport’s (designated as Berlin Brandenburg Airport) construction and development begins. 4 years later, a site is selected for the location of the new airport. It will be situated just to the south of Berlin Schönefeld Airport (the 2nd biggest airport in Berlin, after Berlin Tegel), which can hardly be considered as being “in” Berlin. Then, in November of the year 2000, several disputes and legal proceedings over which private construction consortium would develop the airport erupted, and a plan was approved by Berlin Brandenburg Airport’s holding company, which would see the airport’s opening take place in 2007. After 3 years of non-progressive discussions and dithering, the Berlin Brandenburg Airport board decides that the privatisation process approved 3 years before is invalid, and agrees to give over the construction and planning of the airport to the City of Berlin, the State of Brandenburg and the German Federal Government. Everything there onwards in downhill. In September 2006, disputes occur between the airport’s planners and the residents living in the area and major issues to do with construction cost calculations are dealt with. Work on the airport officially starts, 15 years after its conception. The airport’s opening date is delayed to the 30th of October 2011. On the 11th of December 2009, it is decided that the airport will be named after Willy Brandt, a politician who was once the leader of the SPD (German Socialist Party). In June 2010, it is announced that the deadline will not be able to be met due to construction delays and complications, further delaying the airport’s opening to the 3rd of June 2012. Less than a month before the airport’s opening date in 2012, it is announced that 600 improperly placed fire-resistant walls will be the cause of yet another delay, this time to to the 17th of March 2013. Later on in 2012, amid repeatedly occurring construction problems, the opening date is pushed back to the 27th of October 2013. With the coming of the new year, it is decided that there will be no definite date for the airport’s opening and that it will not open until 2014 at the earliest. Klaus Wowereit, who at the time was the mayor of Berlin, steps down as chairman of the supervisory board and Rainer Schwarz is dismissed as CEO of Berlin Brandenburg Airport. The number of delays to the project that occur in the following years and months would be unnecessary for me to tell you about, as there are so many. In January of this year, union strikes of the people working in the construction of the airport took place for a general working payment, to eliminate competition between workers. Finally, after a safety check and a thorough inspection of the site by a TUV (German and Austrian businesses which provide inspection and product certification services), construction ended on the 15th of May this year. A total of 11 delays were made to the airport’s opening date. So, actually, the 31st of October is a big moment, as it signifies the end of 29 years of delays, construction problems, and changing of hands. It also marks the end of Berlin Tegel Airport’s long life, which will have operated for 72 years. On that date, I will definitely write an article (maybe with a video attached to it) to do with the inauguration ceremony.

This is officially my 200th post on this website, and it definitely fells strange that after 1 year and 3/4, I have only written this much, plus the few articles on my News Jan- 16 Dec 2019 page. What really counts in this business, is to continue writing, which I can assure you that I will do. The aim is that everybody contributes to the site by commenting and expressing themselves as they wish (without the conversation turning into a full-flowed argument) and that you enjoy reading articles about aviation. I repeat that if you wish me to write a certain article about a subject in aviation that you like, all you need to do is write a comment, and I will gladly do so. If you’re keen to follow Aeronews24, you may, but I’m not the type to go around yelling about how many followers I have, like it’s the biggest event in my life. 30th of September 2020.

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