Berlin Brandenburg International Airport BER
is intended to be Germany's capital city's sole Airport, serving its Metropolitan area and outlying suburbs with over 6 million people. Its official name will include the name of former Berlin mayor, then German Chancellor and Nobel Peace Laureate Willy Brandt. Once in full service, the Airport is expected to the Germany's third largest airport (after Munich and Frankfurt).
Berlin Brandenburg Airport is located in the town of Schoenefeld, County of Brandenburg, and is 18 km southeast of Berlin's city center. It is situated to the south of the current Berlin Schoenefeld Airport and will use its southern runway along with some of its infrastructure. Autobahn A113 and the B96a trunk road will have direct access to the new airport. Furthermore connecting trains from/to Berlin's Hauptbahnhof (major train depot) and the subway lead right into the the new passenger terminal's underground level.
With 2 long runways, Berlin Brandenburg Airport is intended to be hub for Air Berlin, Germania, Easyjet, Germanwings and Lufthansa, and will be served by a multitude of domestic and international carriers offering direct and connecting flights to all points of the globe.
While BER has been completed many months ago, repeated problems have arisen and the opening has been postponed several times. As a consequence, both Tegel TXL and Schoenefeld SXF airports are still in operation - indeed, Berlin Airports' operator had invested 10-20 million Euros for upgrades to both airports.
Once Brandenburg Airport (BER) had been completed in Fall 2011; the lengthy trial period of checking and approving started thereafter - resulting in the discovery of serious fire hazards, which were downplayed while official opening was set for June 2012. A month before opening, an independent expert assessment found over 150,000 defects (incl. 85 serious ones), which dictated postponement of opening day. Thereafter, more and more projects were requested to be added, and opening day was again and again moved forward. (A Tour Bus runs to the site, while its tour leader revels in itemizing BER's setbacks). Many carreers ended as a result of mismanagement. However, the new Man-in-Charge (Mr. Muhlenfeld) started basically from scretch in 2014, and insisted on a 6-day work week with two shifts, in order to reach official opening by 'second half of 2017' . Meanwhile Schonefeld Airport Terminal B's check-in and security control space is being extended between 2016 /2017. A monkey wrench was thrown into the projected 2017 opening, with the disclosure that commuter trains get simulated up to a speed of 100 km/h when entering or leaving the station. Thus it will take more time to simulate the exact solution for the underground railway station. Also an EU request for more money may fall on death ears. Wiki reports that opening now would not be before late 2018, if not early 2019!
On March 29, 2017 it was reported that constuction is presently 89 percent completed. So far, 150,000 defects have been remedied. As current air & passenger traffic had increased exponentialy since the start of construction in 2006, the terminal also needed expansion work. An expert in the engineering field estimates that BER will not open before 2021 - if at all! Over the past years a myriad of lawsuits have been adding to the cost, which is now estimated to exceed EUR 5 Billion.