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!

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!

Maybe The Turks Could Build One Of These New-Fangled Airport Thingies In Berlin, Too

The construction of the world’s largest airport began on June 7 in Istanbul with a massive groundbreaking ceremony. When fully completed in 2018, the 10 billion-euro airport will be able to carry 150 million passengers a year, making it one of the world’s busiest airports.

Airport

Meanwhile, back in Germany…

Berlin’s disastrous airport project (groundbreaking so long ago nobody can remember anymore, at one time planned to open in June 2012 Anno Domini) was hit with another scandal after its technical director was suspended pending an investigation into alleged corruption. A “leading employee” responsible for awarding contracts during the on-going construction of the hopelessly-delayed Berlin Brandenburg airport (BER), is suspected of having demanded €500,000 bribes from a prospective contractor.

Berlin’s airport is already too small.

Axeman With Nothing To Axe

Hey, nobody else wanted the job.

Mehdorn

Hartmut Mehdorn, former Deutsche Bahn boss, will now be taking over the unbelievable mess some here refer to as Berlin’s international airport or BER. I mean, it’s not really an airport, of course. It’s an urban myth maybe, or a spooky ghost town place or a money-guzzling black hole or maybe even all three of those things, but it ain’t no airport.

Anyways, Mehdorn turned things around by being a tough restructurer at the Deutsche Bahn and Air Berlin. You know, he axed a lot of stuff, people included (that’s why nobody likes him in Germany – there can never be any “losers” here). But how can you be a tough restructurer for something that doesn’t have any structure? Chaos theory is chaos theory and what’s more chaotic than the non-existent Berlin Internatinal Airport? Or did I miss something again and is it in a parallel universe we just haven’t been able to reach yet?

Good luck or something.

“Sie haben mich geholt, jetzt müssen sie mich auch aushalten.”

“We’re going to prove that three public-sector owners can build a project like this,”

Wowereit said.

The investigation into the massive delays in opening Berlin’s new BER international airport have begun. Managers have been fired and architects have been sued — but what about the capital’s mayor, who has led the prestige project since 2001?

…Hochtief executives quickly learned that the project had changed since Wowereit had been put in charge. Now the walls were to be covered with expensive walnut veneer paneling. The roof was to be built in a futuristic, free-floating design. And the granite used for the floors at other major airports, like Hamburg and Düsseldorf, was no longer good enough. Berlin’s new terminal had to have expensive Jura limestone floors instead.

…Wowereit, a member of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), also recognized early on that the one person who doesn’t hold any share of the blame is Wowereit himself.

“I don’t see what concrete accusations should be leveled against the supervisory board,” says Wowereit.

Berlin Air Show To Be Held At Creepy Unfinished Ghost Airport

In a move meant to liven up the world’s oldest and perhaps stodgiest air and space trade fair, organizers of Germany’s ILA have decided to hold this year’s show on the grounds of Berlin’s infamous haunted Berlin-Brandenburg Ghost Airport.

Local legend has it that the abandoned ghost airport, originally planned to actually be completed one day and used as a real airport with real airplanes and passangers and the whole bit, fell under the curse of a group of disgruntled Brandenburg witches protesting potential Fluglärm (fly-over noise) and can never be completed until Berlin’s city government presents its first balanced budget or hell freezes over, whichever comes first.

A spotless new runway, so far unused for commercial flights, will finally feel the burn of rubber.

German Teflon

Or Berlin Teflon, if you prefer. Whatever you want to call it, it’s way more teflony or teflonodelic than other kinds of Teflon out there.

Just ask Berlin’s mayor Klaus Wowereit (SPD) after the opening of the city’s new airport has been postponed yet again (no joke) and now won’t be ready nearly two full years later than planned. It’s his baby, you see.

“Not to mince words, Klaus Wowereit can pack his bags as Berlin mayor. Anyone who recklessly gambles with the future of a whole region, wasting hundreds of millions of euros (…) and covers up instead of looking into mistakes is not qualified to be managing a metropolis. Wowereit is not the only one who has failed in relation to the BER project, but he is the main culprit. People are not going to forget that. No matter what he does, his time is up.”

But what do you think will happen, meine Damen und Herren? Not a damned thing. This is Germany. And worse still, some politicians are just never held accountable for what they do, no matter what what they do, or don’t. But not just here. I know of this one guy from another country, for instance (the president of the something or the other) who could get caught robbing a 7-Eleven at gunpoint and nobody would care. It just ain’t right, I tell ya. But it’s da way of da woild.

German commentators are outraged over the postponement, with one (the key word here is one) calling on Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit to resign.

Decision Delayed On Delayed Airport’s Latest Delay

Late for a delayed press conference, which was then delayed again, Berlin officials have now announced their decision to delay their decision to delay Berlin’s delayed Airport’s latest delay.

Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit, a Social Democrat who has made the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport his flagship project, wasted no time in delaying further comment for later, unless delayed.

“Wowereit is making the city look more and more ridiculous in international eyes.”