About nine years late and billions of dollars over budget, Berlin’s “cursed” airport is scheduled to finally open.
And even the opening date is spooky: October 31, 2020, CNN reported.
Construction for Berlin’s Brandenburg Airport began in 2006 although the first plans date back to Germany’s reunification following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 — as the country’s leaders believed that a new international airport would help Berlin become a new global capital.
At the time, Berlin had three airports. Two of those airports are still operational, although many aspects of the terminals are outdated. And although Berlin is the German capital, it is not the center of the country’s flight activity. (The busiest airport in Germany is Frankfurt, which welcomes more than 60 million passengers every year and provides most of Germany’s long-haul flight connections.)
For the past seven years, the opening of Brandenburg has been continually delayed by failed fire and safety inspections, a management shuffle, a construction partner’s bankruptcy, accusations of fraud and corruption and ballooning costs. Originally, the airport had a predicted budget of about $1.1 billion (€1 billion) and ended up being at least $6 billion (€5.4 billion). Because of its continual delays and scandals, some locals joke that there is a curse looming over Brandenburg.
The airport was supposed to become an impressive and central Germany transportation hub back in June 2012. But that did not happen. At the end of 2011, large structural issues at the airport became apparent and it was clear that it would not be ready in time for the scheduled opening.
The move to the new airport is expected to be completed in phases. Flights to Berlin’s Tegel airport are scheduled to end on November 8, 2020. The city’s Schoenefeld airport will continue to operate alongside Brandenberg.
Officials say the October 2020 opening date will stay.
“Since 2017, we rigorously pursue a process of completion without any further changes,” an airport spokesperson told CNN. He said that airport staff has “a very precise timetable and we have detected all errors on construction site.”