The CEO of the much-delayed Berlin Brandenburg airport (BER) has said that the start of a new testing phase “confirms that opening BER in October 2020 is on schedule”.

The new airport for the German capital was initially scheduled to open in 2011 but has been hit by numerous delays. The project has run more than three times over budget to an estimated €7.3 billion.

In May the facility said it had begun to allocate space to airlines ahead of the targeted October 2020 opening, and the airport now says that it has completed “the necessary preparations for the start of the comprehensive operating principle tests… for BER Terminal T1”.

In a statement Prof. Dr.-Ing. Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, CEO of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg, said:

“The start of the higher-level operative principle tests in July confirms that opening BER in October 2020 is on schedule. My special thanks go to the Terminal 1 project managers and the team of experts who have done everything they can in recent weeks to complete the necessary preparations for the final tests to begin”.

The airport also recently held a topping out ceremony for Terminal 2 at BER, which is also set to open in October 2020.

The building will accommodate six million passengers, and will be connected to the Pier Nord departure lounges by two bridges.

Announcing the news Daldrup said:

“The topping out ceremony marks an important first milestone for Terminal T2. It is now crucial that the conditions for the installation of the baggage handling system are accomplished by autumn. When T2 starts operations, we will be increasing the capacity at BER to between 28 to 30 million passengers.

“Together with Schönefeld Airport, which will become a part of Berlin Brandenburg Airport next year as Terminal 5, more than 40 million passengers will be able to be handled at this location every year. My thanks go to all of the companies, construction workers and authorities involved as well as our employees”.