On October 31, 2020, BER Will Open

But don’t tell anyone, OK? It’s too embarrassing.

Airport

Berlin’s new international airport can open next month after an embarrassing nine-year delay despite the coronavirus pandemic taking a big bite out of air travel, its chief manager said Tuesday…

BER was set to open in 2011 but the date was repeatedly pushed back over a series of issues, including fire safety and corruption.

In the meantime, the cost of the facility exploded to 6.5 billon euros ($7.6 billion) from a 1.7-billion-euro budget initially.

“There won’t be a big party, just an opening.”

Your Flight From 2012 Is Now Ready For Boarding

What do you mean? Berlin’s party joke phantom airport may be opening after all?

Airport

Too bad I didn’t keep our plane tickets from 2012 as souvenirs. They showed us departing from Los Angeles (LAX) and arriving at Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), which was just about to open. But the launch, already delayed the previous year, was again called off at the last minute. So we landed instead at the charming but small Tegel airport (TXL) that dates back to the early Cold War…

To pessimists, BER symbolizes Germany’s bad developments. Its highly publicized bureaucratic and engineering fiascoes have dented the country’s former reputation — not always entirely flattering — of being relentlessly meticulous and punctual. The subtext is that Germany, whether it’s building airports or algorithms, is increasingly leaving economic dynamism to others, especially China.

To optimists, this too is part of Germany’s long historical arc to “normality.” Germans today are more relaxed about their national identity and place in the world than they’ve ever been. That explains why they’ve also been nonchalant about BER’s travails. The truth is, many Germans have secretly been savoring the airport headlines as a font of gossip. Many an awkward dinner party has been saved by boozy debates about whether humans would set foot on Mars before disembarking at BER, or whether it would be more cost-effective to rebuild the capital near a working airport.

Berlin Tegel Airport Closing June 1, 2020

And Berlin Brandenburg Airport opens October 31, 2020. Let’s do the math.

BER

So, Berlin is down to just one world-class horrible airport for like five months? Until the next world-class horrible one comes along, I mean? Sheesh. Although with all this Corona going on maybe nobody will even notice.

Personally, I will miss Tegel. Maybe because it was so small and in the middle of town like that. You could walk around the entire main terminal in five minutes. Adieu, Tegel. It was in what used to be called the French Sector, after all.

This comes as the airport has seen a huge drop in passenger numbers, with passengers currently amounting to 1% of normal amounts. The company running the airport is allegedly losing one million Euros per day, so closing the airport will save costs.

What A Spooky Thought

That Berlin’s ghost airport could finally, like, actually, you know, well, open? Sends shivers down my spine.

Airport

But I don’t believe in ghost airports. That eventually open, I mean. You can’t scare me with that nonsense. So don’t even try.

After a 13-year saga punctuated by scandals, bankruptcies and comical setbacks, Berlin’s new airport could finally open in 2020 – nine years behind schedule.

An exact opening date for Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) – October 31, 2020 – was announced last week, with Dietmar Woidke, Minister President of the German state of Brandenburg.

“This time it will happen.”

Boo!

Additional Terminal For Berlin Brandenburg Airport Also Not To Be Built On Time If Ever At All

Flushed with the success of not having been built yet but nobody really seeming to give a shit, Berlin’s hyper-delayed Berlin Brandenburg Airport will soon also not be getting an additional terminal for none of the additional millions of passengers that are almost certainly never going to land here.

Airport

Being that the airport was originally planned to open in 2011, Airport operators are playing it safe this time and have scheduled the new terminal to open in October 2074, provided, of course, no unforeseen delays get in the way of all the other unforeseen delays that are invariably going to pop up during non-construction so unforeseenly.

The new airport has defied all clichés of German efficiency: it was meant to open in 2011, but construction problems and technical delays saw the date pushed back repeatedly, leaving the German capital reliant on two small and aging Cold War-era airports.

Who Will Be Brave Enough?

To just get it over with and close down Berlin’s new non-existent airport before it ever not opens, I mean.

BER

Nobody will be brave enoug, of course.. Not even after this latest (coming) delay. Can you still call them delays when you get to the ten-year mark?

The latest setback is reportedly due to problems with fire protection. Other errors over the years include badly installed cables, escalators that were too short and a roof that was too heavy.

Corruption is also a factor – last year one former airport employee was sentenced to prison for taking bribes and dozens of others have been fined.

Collateral damage includes construction companies, retail outlets and taxi firms forced into bankruptcy and one former Berlin mayor (SPD) forced out of his job.

Zu Tagesspiegel-Erkenntnissen, denen zufolge eine BER-Eröffnung vor 2021 durch die neuen Informationen zunehmend unwahrscheinlich wird, äußert sich die Flughafengesellschaft nicht direkt.

PS: Happy Thanksgiving!

Berlin’s BER Airport Nonexistent And Too Small At The Same Time

Previously thought to be impossible within the realm of phenomenal reality, airport physisists were more than a little shocked today to discover that Berlin’s infamously nonexistent and still not new BER airport – latest takeoff delay soon to be announced for 2019 – is nevertheless much too small, despite its nothingness.

BER

Too small to ever be a grown-up, major hub-like airport, that is. If it ever were to see the light of day, of course. Which it might not. These are theoretical airport physisists we’re talking about here, in case you were wondering.

Ein Start des BER vor 2019 gilt als unwahrscheinlich. Flughafenchef Engelbert Lütke Daldrup will in diesem Jahr einen Eröffnungstermin nennen.

Next Delay For Berlin Airport Opening Postponed Until 2018

German newspapers are reporting that the latest delay announcement expected for the opening of Berlin’s troubled old new airport will now push the currently planned postponement back until the spring of 2018.

Airport

Disappointed Berliners had been hoping that the next delay announcement could have come as late as the spring of 2017 but this will now have to be moved forward as a new round of cost overruns and construction errors have caused yet another delay for that next planned delay.

Rumor has it that the Berlin Brandenburg Klaus Wowereit International Airport had originally been set to open in 2011 but no one can be located who can verify this with any certainty anymore.

The official announcement for the delay of the delay has been postponed until next year.

“Mir ist keine Entscheidung zwischen Weihnachten und Neujahr bekannt.”

Grand Opening For Klaus Wowereit International Airport Now Planned For 2018

Planning for the big party has run into a number of problems and cost-overruns that have made the postponement necessary, party planners announced today.

Wowereit

At least the party’s delay coincides with the latest delay for the completion of Berlin’s not-so-new-anymore-soon-to-be-new airport. The only problem here now is that the building permit runs out in 2016.

Party Klaus himself could not be reached for comment but is sure to attend the party if still alive, albeit no longer as mayor and El Architect Grande of Berlin.

“I leave voluntarily and I am proud of my contribution to the positive development of this city.”

Only In Berlin

Speaking of paying more for more of nothing

Wowereit

Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit (SPD), the guy personally responsible for the German capital’s world renown BER Berlin Brandenburg still-not-an-Airport project, will be chosen later today to become the new chairman of the board of the Berlin Brandenburg Airport Company and thus once again become personally responsible for the German capital’s world renown BER Berlin Brandenburg still-not-an-Airport project.

What part of that don’t you understand? I don’t understand any of it. All I know is that if this were a comedy project we were talking about here it would be a raving success.

Wowereit had already been chairman of the board for the Berlin Brandenburg Airport Company from 2008 to 2013 (not all that long ago), of course, until some trifling misunderstanding cropped up about the airport still not being completed after 10 or 20 years or something like that, I forget, but that is all now Schnee von gestern (long forgotten, “yesterday’s snow”) and everything will be OK again because if there is any one person in all of Germany who can possibly get this job done it is most definitely and certainly Klaus Wowereit himself.

By the way, he has to be reelected today because there is no other opposing candidate. Don’t be bothered by that, though. That kind of thing has a long tradition here in Berlin.

Ausgerechnet der vielgeschmähte Klaus Wowereit soll erneut den Aufsichtsrat der Flughafengesellschaft führen. Er erhält damit eine zweite Chance, das Projekt doch noch zum Erfolg zu führen.

PS: There’s more Klaus stuff here, if you like.