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Transportation

Berlin Will Have to Wait Another Year for Its New Airport

Eight years late, and the scandal of Berlin’s messed-up new airport only gets worse.
The unfinished interior of Berlin Brandenburg Airport, as seen in 2015.
The unfinished interior of Berlin Brandenburg Airport, as seen in 2015.Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Will Berlin’s new airport ever be finished? Last week the German capital announced for the fifth time that its long-awaited Willy Brandt Airport—more commonly known as Berlin Brandenburg—will be delayed once again. It will be at least 2018 by the time the airport comes into service, and it will arrive at a cost that, by the time of completion, will likely have tripled to more than €6 billion.

It’s been hard to keep track of exactly what’s going wrong at the construction site. First it was the fire safety system that was poorly designed and needed replanning. Then it turned out there weren’t enough check-in desks. Cooling systems weren’t strong enough, and the luggage handling capacity was too low. The current hold-up is down to the automatic doors: They simply won’t open, and now up to 1,200 of them may need to be entirely rewired.