Karsten Muehlenfeld, CEO of Berlin’s unfinished airport project (BER), will be stepping down after just two years in the post.
The news broke a few hours ago in Berlin. This development threatens to delay the ill-fated project further still.
BER has been beset with technical and safety problems for years and its opening, originally scheduled for 2011, has been delayed many times.
Dw.de noted, “Whoever is able to keep up with the timeline of mishaps and management changes at the unfinished BER project deserves a medal for having an unshakeable attention span.”
In January we reported on the latest problems which would postpone the opening from this year to at least 2018.
According to Germany’s airliners.de, Muehlenfeld’s successor will be the fourth airport chief at BER since 2006 which is when construction started.
BER had become a political project, says airliners.de. The airlines had not wanted Muehlenfeld to leave because they fear further delays.
The news comes just as Berliners prepares to welcome the many thousands of delegates and visitors for this week’s ITB trade show which Business Traveller will be attending.
It means attendees will again have to endure the cramped facilities at Tegel and Schonefeld. Both the city’s airports were supposed to have closed years ago but have had to remain open.
And as we have reported, passenger numbers at Berlin’s airports continue to expand. Figures published by the airport authority revealed that the city’s two airports handled three million more passengers in 2016 compared with 2015.
That represents an increase of 11.4 per cent. Just under 33 million passengers were handled at Tegel and Schonefeld.
So if or when BER does open (and assuming the existing airports are then closed) it will be full from day one.