Berlin’s new airport gets speed-up plan

A programme to speed up the opening of Berlin’s long-delayed Brandenburg airport has been released by its present managing director, Hartmut Mehdorn. SPRINT will coordinate all aspects of work on the airport, from final infrastructure construction, through safety trials to the opening itself.

The inauguration was originally planned for June 2012 but was postponed at the last moment for what were explained as safety reasons. It was then set for March 2013, but postponed again until the end of October, with more delays almost certain.

A special management team will now coordinate all remaining issues. New financing has also been agreed by the supervisory board, approximately another €650 million, €192 million of which was released in January 2013. Financing, which has bugged the airport as much as management and technical issues, is divided between Berlin city, the surrounding Brandenburg region and by the federal government.

When it opens, Willy Brandt airport, as it will be called, will take over all flights from the overstretched Tegel airport on the other side of the city.

Mehdorn has been the chief executive officer since January 2013 after the sudden dismissal of the former CEO because of the continuing disorganisation.

Mehdorn was the CEO of Air Berlin and Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s largest railway company, before becoming head of the new Brandenburg airport.

Air Berlin, Germany’s troubled budget airline, will be one of the main users of the airport when it finally opens, although Lufthansa also has plans to increase services from Berlin once Willy Brandt airport becomes operational.

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