Berlin Brandenburg Airport Slated to Open October 2013
German officials announced that the new Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BER) will open on October 27, 2013. This follows announcements that the German capital’s new airport would open October 2011, June 2012, March 2013, and most recently June 2013.
The latest delay is being blamed on problems with the building’s fire safety systems and that the delays themselves are expected to cost 1.2 billion euros. Once opened, BER will serve as hub for Air Berlin, Lufthansa, Germanwings, and Germania. Both Air Berlin and Lufthansa have been hard hit by the delays, and have been forced to revise their flight schedules multiple times. They also had to obtain landing rights Berlin’s Tegel, which is scheduled to close when Berlin Brandenburg opens.
The process of consolidating Berlin’s three cold-war era airports has been underway since German reunification and will also allow Germany’s capital city to dramatically increase its accessibility to international destinations. BER replaces Tegel, which was originally opened by the French in the northwestern sector of Berlin, and the already-closed Tempelhof airport, which was the principal site of the Berlin airlift and served as an American Air Force Base in the city’s southern Schöneberg neighborhood.
Schönefeld airport, which was East Berlin’s only airport and East Germany’s primary airport, remains open at the present time and primarily serves low-cost carriers such as EasyJet and Lufthansa’s Germanwings. It is located adjacent to the new airport, and will be merged into Berlin Brandenburg upon that airport’s opening.
(Photo: Dan Collins)