German authorities postpone opening of new Berlin airport

Photo: Dirk Laubner/Berlin Brandenburg Airport

The opening of the new Berlin Brandenburg airport, planned for early next month, has been postponed for safety reasons.

Berlin Brandenburg, due to open on June 3, is set to become the sole airport for the German capital – replacing existing airports Tegel and Schoneberg.

The Berlin airport operator, the FBB, announced the postponement yesterday just 27 days ahead of the opening. The airport will now begin operating on an unspecified date “after the summer holiday period”.

The FBB said the postponement was “to prevent potential shortcomings in the area of safety“ after it became clear “acceptance tests of certain safety-relevant installations were no longer possible by the planned date”. It did not give further details.

All air traffic was due to switch from Tegel and Schonefeld to Berlin Brandenburg on June 3. The new airport is sited next to Schonefeld, developed primarily as a base for budget carriers, on the outskirts of former East Berlin.

Tegel is close to the city centre in former West Berlin and was the scene of the Berlin Airlift in 1948-49 at the height of the Cold War between the West and the former USSR. British Airways and Lufthansa are among the airlines which operate to Tegel. EasyJet, Ryanair and Air Berlin are among those at Schonefeld.

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