The opening of Berlin’s new airport, originally scheduled for late 2011, has been delayed for the fourth time, from, October 27, 2013, to sometime in 2014 at the earliest.
The management of the airport blamed “major problems” with the airport’s fire safety system and other technical issues for the latest postponement.
The successive postponements have raised the cost of the Berlin-Brandenburg airport from 2.4 billion euros ($3.25 billion) to 4.3 billion euros ($5.8 billion), and the latest delay is expected to further inflate the final bill.
The new airport, majority owned by the federal states of Berlin and Brandenburg, is designed to replace Tegel and (now-closed) Tempelhof airports in the west of the city and Schonefeld in its eastern part.
The airport originally received approval to handle 45 million passengers a year, but this has been scaled back to 27 million, equal to the current traffic at Tegel and Schonefeld.
The opening might be delayed until 2015, according to German media reports citing internal documents. There are also concerns the airport may not be big enough to keep pace with the growth of traffic to the German capital.
The opening of Germany’s first deep-sea container port at Wilhelmshaven was also delayed several times; it began operations in September 2012.