Regular travellers to Berlin, Germany’s capital, must be wondering what happened to the promised wonderful new Brandenburg Airport that was planned to replace Berlin’s existing Tegel and Schonefeld Airports.
A year ago, passengers booked on flights in June to either Tegel or Schonefeld would have been told to expect last minute changes to their flights as Brandenburg was due to open on or around the third.
Construction of the stunning new terminal was complete, the railway station under the airport was ready to whisk passengers into the centre of the capital and the extended runway, the only part of nearby Schonefeld to be used in the new airport, was complete and ready to accept aircraft. Thousands of volunteers had passed through the airport to check the processes and the dignitaries had been booked to be there on its opening day when this icon of the efficient German economy would be unveiled to the world.
Then, on the 8th May 2012, only 26 days before the official opening, problems were discovered and the opening date was postponed for nearly a year until 17th March 2013.
The problems concerned the fire safety system and in particular, the rather bizarre way that tacking the fire would be dealt with. As everyone knows, heat and smoke rises, yet the system designers planned for smoke to be sucked down and carried away underground, trying to reverse the laws of physics. Additionally, the design for the controls of the alarm and sprinkler system was changed after being approved with the result that not only did it not meet the required planning regulations but it would also have been ineffective in warning passengers and operating fire controls.
Ten months were allowed for partial reconstruction so the airport could open but as is usual in such circumstances, once one error is discovered, people look for more and a whole host of further problems came to light, including dangerous wiring and wiring that was not compatible including phone lines that would have suffered strong interference from high voltage wiring adjacent to it.
Such are the problems that wholesale reconstruction of parts of the airport may be necessary.
The problems don’t stop with the fire system and wiring either. Ventilation shafts have been built so they let rainwater into the airport and reportedly nearly forty miles of cooling pipes lack insulation making them inefficient or ineffective, escalators down to the railway station are too short and the fire system there doesn’t synchronise with that of the airport.
As is usual in such cases, one of the important players in the development of the airport, the planners, pg bbi, have declared themselves insolvent, whilst the architects have been dismissed leading the airport’s owners to look for new partners. In turn they are about to be sued by Air Berlin and other companies who will lose money from the delays.
Whilst the mess rumbles on in the background, Brandenburg Airport resembles a ghost town. The occasional architect and works team wander around the silent halls or the railway station noting the problems to be resolved whilst in offices throughout the country civil engineers scratch their heads on how to get the airport ready for opening without starting all over again!And for the passengers, there's no indication of when the airport may open - all the owners are saying is that it won't be before 2014.
One thing is certain however, when it does open, you can be confident that Rhino will offer the best deals on car hire Brandenburg airport
has to offer, but until then you still take advatnage of our great deals at Berlin Tegel
and Schoenefeld Airports