Ten years late, Berlin's Brandenburg Airport finally opens (during a pandemic)
October 30, 2020 at 09:50
Berlin (CNN) — It's 10 years behind schedule, 4 billion euros over budget and there's a global pandemic crippling the aviation industry.
Happy Halloween to Berlin's beleaguered Brandenburg Airport, which finally opens its doors this Saturday.
Reunification dreamPlans to build a central international airport in Berlin date back to the city's reunification era.
At the time, the city had three airports -- Tegel "Otto Lilienthal" Airport, Schönefeld Airport and Tempelhof Airport -- all of which played significant roles in Berlin's turbulent post-war history.
So why did the new airport -- officially called Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt -- take so long to build?
The endeavor came with a rough cost assessment of 2.83 billion euros ($3.1 billion at today's exchange rates) and serious ambition.
A Brandenburg State Audit completed in 2016 concluded that the usability of the airport was at less than 57%.
Finally, as spending cruised past the 7.3 billion euros mark, the date was pushed to 2020.l e v a r t'Ready for takeoff'"The most important thing for us is that we open the airport," airport boss Engelbert Luetke Daldrup tells CNN.
"We are probably the safest airport of the world because we are so strictly tested, after the disaster of 2012."
Arguing that the global economy is reliant on said connectivity, he adds "the airport industry, the airports, the airlines, are the backbone of our economic recovery."
Daldrup claims that the opening of the airport is "a sign of hope."
Lofty ambition has always been part of the Brandenburg Airport story, so it's perhaps safer to say that it's the close of what has been a very embarrassing chapter for a nation known for efficiency.Source