27. April 2012     Print Print 

Government airport in Schönefeld is delayed until 2016

The inauguration date for the Government airport on the new Capitol Airport BER in Schönefeld has been moved for the second time. As announced by the spokesperson of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Marianne Kothe, that it is now planned to open in 2016, two years later than originally planned. The original date was November 2011. The parties concerned realised from very early on that besides an enormous cost explosion there would be delays. The construction costs had doubled to €310million and the opening date put back to 2014. The spokesperson acknowledged a report from the “Bild”. According to Kothe the problem lies with the local government of Brandenburg, as the planning procedure was delayed by a year. Furthermore an EU wide regulation for the release of the area was needed.

The spokesperson for the new airport BER, Ralf Kunkel, says that the responsibility lies with the government, which is responsible for building and planning. They should have planned from the onset the possible length of time required for the authorisation process. The spokesperson from the Ministry of Infrastructure rebuked the claim that the delay was caused by the Brandenburg planning process.

“We do not feel responsible, but we don’t want to take part in open accusations.”
In September 2011 the Brandenburg Ministry of Transport as the authority responsible for the plan approved with constraints the Government airport in the north of the airport with an area of 223.080m², within the area of the aircraft handling area of the Schönefeld airport.

A special feature is the “Generalshotel.” The authority responsible also had to decide over the proposed demolition of the architectural monument. The permission sort by the FBS for demolition was granted with constraints for the recovery and the documentation of the valuable historical elements of the hotel. The building is of historical, artful and scientifically important. The interest of the Federal Republic of Germany has a particularly momentous public interest towards the protection of historical monuments and the implementation of the recording and party political parliamentary air traffic of the commercial airport Berlin Brandenburg.

With the closing of the Tegels airport in June the fleet of the Federal Government will lose its position in the Capital, in the mean time terminal A of the old Schönefeld airport will be rented for the recorded air traffic. The so called “White Fleet” will apparently stay at the tax payer’s expense for a further two years at Cologne-Bonn airport, until it can be moved to the capitol. The constant empty flights to pick up politicians cost the taxpayers millions. A fact already challenged by the Federal Audit Office. The empty flights from Cologne-Bonn to Berlin amount to about 300.000 kilometres a year. A decision that is neither efficient nor sustainable.