Berlin-Brandenburg Airport targets 2020 opening

Joerg Huettenhoelscher

Berlin-Brandenburg Airport (BER) passed an important milestone, as the airport completed a key pre-opening test before its planned launch in October 2020. The airport, which was delayed 11 times, completed an “operating principle test” for Terminal 1. A Supervisory Board meeting, accompanied by TÜV Rheinland representatives, confirmed that the launch of Berlin-Brandenburg in October 2020 “is still the goal”. However, the airport is still running into trouble and further delays to flight operations out of BER are not a far-fetched scenario.

The Chief Executive Officer of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, was happy about the progress, saying that the test showcases “the meticulous work” the airport’s staff has performed. They managed to “achieved a level of success that seemed unattainable to many just a year ago”, he added.

But a lot of work is left to do, according to the press release, which tried to sugar-coat the situation. 

Firstly, Terminal 2 is still under construction, as the Supervisory Board of the airport “received information about the progress” of the progress done at T2. The additional building, which is designed to handle 6 million passengers per year, was “topped out” on August 1, 2019. Daldrup noted that the airport planned the “installation of the baggage handling system” by autumn – yet no updates were provided so far on the progress on the second terminal of BER and its systems. AeroTime reached out to Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg representatives but has received no comment.

Secondly, the problems with the cable systems within the airport seem to be relevant to this day. In addition to the work progress in T1 and T2, the board “provided information” about the wires, where “intensive work must continue” if Berlin-Brandenburg airport plans to overcome its shortcomings and fit into the timeline of opening in October 2020, nine years after the initial opening date.

Daldrup himself is not positive on the October 2020 deadline. In April 2019, he reportedly told federal and state governors that ribbons won’t be cut in 2020, as the eleventh deadline “can no longer be fully guaranteed today”.


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