On ber, a (further) year of truth begins

on ber, a (further) year of truth begins

Next year, passengers will finally be able to check in at the scandalous BER airport. With a delay of nine years, the airport on the outskirts of berlin, which is worth billions, will open in october – according to the current schedule. But he will remain a construction site.

"BER is a growing airport," airport boss engelbert lutke daldrup told the german press agency. "By 2040, we will gradually create capacity for 55 million passengers a year."But the decisive steps towards the 2020 open must be taken this year.

Work is still going on in the main terminal, for example on the fire alarm systems and cables for emergency power and security lighting. Unpleasant surprises are no longer to be expected, lutke daldrup had recently assured. But he can only be sure when all the plants in the network are tested in summer. In the fall, the construction supervisor is to be notified of the completion of the project.

If the authorities approve the use of the facility, the six-month trial operation can begin next year. Thousands of volunteers will then test the construction – as they did once before in 2011 and 2012. But due to construction problems, planning errors and technical problems, the opening was postponed again and again. Since construction began in 2006, the budget has grown from 2 billion euros to 6.5 billion euros.

Meanwhile, berlin’s tegel airport is working at its capacity limit. It’s too small and outdated, which is why passengers and their luggage regularly jam it. With 22 million passengers last year, the previous record year of 2016 was surpassed by a good 700.000 exceeded, as the operators told dpa.

The growth trend of the capital airport is unbroken, said lutke daldrup. He refuted assumptions that the BER is not enough. "At BER, we will start with a capacity for 22 to 27 million passengers in the main terminal and another 6 million in terminal 2."

More passengers fit into the airport than had been assumed for years. In 2014, under the then boss of the airport, hartmut mehdorn, the operators had corrected the take-off capacity of the main terminal from 27 million passengers per year to 22 million. At the time, there was talk of a safety buffer.

That is why it was decided to build the T2 for up to 200 million euros, which has been underway since october. Today, lutke daldrup says: "we don’t necessarily need it, but it would be nice to have it."

Lutke daldrup justifies the fact that the main terminal will now be able to handle 27 million passengers with improved processes. Further packing bands are expected to increase capacity to as much as 30 million passengers later on. In addition, the former GDR central airport in schonefeld, with 12.7 million passengers at last count, will remain in operation until the end of 2025, when another new terminal is to be completed.

Meanwhile, according to lutke daldrup, investor interest in flat areas at BER is growing. The site will also be promoted at real estate fairs this year. The airport boss assures: "we will see a lot of construction cranes even before the start of operations."

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