New BER airport about to take off | Free Press


There must be millions, nothing works below that in BER. Anyone who enters the airport of the new capital pulls their suitcase on limestone from the Jura that is millions of years old. Coins from around the world are embedded in the noble floor. 5000 coins reproduce the starry sky, art in architecture. The BER: a heavenly treasure chest? Or is it a billion dollar grave? In any case, the third largest airport in Germany has become expensive, at least six billion euros, three times more than expected. It remains to be seen if he will ever earn his expenses. Because BER is really starting – if nothing comes up, it goes without saying in Schönefeld. Engelbert Lütke Daldrup has set the date: “We will open on October 31”, says the airport director these days, he takes a short break and smiles and continues: “2020”. After nine years of delay and six canceled dates, the seventh could become the glorious one. Nobody wants to talk about Gloria anymore. “We will just open,” says Lütke Daldrup, without a party.

On October 31, around 2 pm, two Lufthansa and Easyjet planes land in Schönefeld. Your passengers will be the first to enter the new terminal through the gates, exploring the corridors, which are lined with a fine walnut veneer. Construction workers have scrawled some derogatory comments on the concrete behind. Through the grille, passengers can see the traces of years of renovation in the pipe network above. All non-black cables arrived after 2012. Thousands of meters were redrawn for fire protection, the “monster,” the biggest of many flaws to work. The politically responsible screwed up BER in high spirits: no general contractor, gigantic rescheduling, deadlines too tight, ousting the general planner after the failed opening in 2012.

Then years of intrigue, cockfighting, and lamentation. With contracts that allow construction companies to earn money from delays. The years were a senseless waste, the well-known Berlin Mayor Michael Müller (SPD). Germany shook her head at too-short escalators, improperly planted trees, untraceable rooms and lights that couldn’t be turned off. “It was laborious and very detailed work,” says Lütke Daldrup. Three years ago, the urban engineer from the Berlin Senate Chancellery took over as director of the airport. In addition to construction, the administrator also completed files, provided evidence and documentation, and obtained special permits for creative construction solutions. Unlike his predecessors, such as Manager-Raubein Hartmut Mehdorn, he did not turn the policy against the airport company, but kept them at a distance.

Berlin already has hopes in Hamburg. The new concert hall in the Hanseatic city can compete with BER with nine years of construction and ten times the costs. But today amazement prevails at the impressive building. “If people experience the operation of the airport, the history of suffering during the construction phase will be forgotten very quickly,” said Mayor Müller. (dpa)