Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Berlin's New Airport Faces a Financial Debacle

First, planning errors and problems with the fire safety system pushed back the opening of Berlin's new international airport by nine months. Now, the project faces significant financial problems. The planned opening date in March 2013 could be in jeopardy. 

The lettering on the eye-level, flat-screen monitors is razor-sharp, with nothing flickering at all as the lines scroll down displaying departing flights: 3:00 p.m., Air Berlin 8308 to Helsinki; 3:05 p.m., Lufthansa 2737 to Düsseldorf; 3:10 p.m., Air Baltic 218 to Riga. According to the monitors, there are 30 departures within an hour, and every flight is on time.

Air traffic is running very smoothly at the new Berlin Brandenburg International Airport, at least according to the monitors in the brand-new terminal. They show fictitious departures and arrivals, but they are about the only thing that works at the airport. Cables are dangling from the ceiling in the check-in areas, construction debris is piled up in front of the Air Berlin lounge, and in the restrooms, pipes are protruding from the tiled walls where sinks and toilets have yet to be installed.


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