Brandenburg airport delayed to 2013

With less than a month to go before its inauguration the opening of Berlin’s new Brandenburg airport had been postponed from 3 June until March 2013. Regulators are not satisfied with the partially-automated fire safety systems. According to a report in the Financial Times the airport must now install a full-automated system instead.

The airport, which is to the south of the city on the old Schönefeld airport site, is to replace Tegel and Schönefeld airports. New flight schedules had already been drawn up for the change over. Lufthansa, Air Berlin and Easyjet will be most affected by the delays and Air Berlin has said that it may ask compensation.

Brandenburg airport, which will be called Willy Brandt airport when it opens, has been built at the cost of about €2.5 billion and will become the new air hub for central and eastern Europe. The airport is designed to take about 30 million passengers a year when it opens, with a top capacity of 50 million passengers a year.

The Financial Times reports that the manager in charge of operations and construction of the airport is leaving his job and that the contract with the construction management consortium has been terminated. A report on the Air Transport World website estimates that the delay is costing €15 million a month.