HANDELSBLATT EXCLUSIVE

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Air-Traffic Controllers Warn of Berlin Airport Delays

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Picture Source: Reuters

In an interview with Handelsblatt, Klaus-Dieter Scheurle, the head of the German air-traffic control group DFS, warned that he would not be able to guarantee a quick opening of the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport if there are further delays.

Since 2012, when the airport was originally set to open, the DFS has been in a holding pattern, saying it can get flight routes and personnel safely organized within 13 months of getting a new opening date.

However, we will not be able to ensure that after 2018. With a later start of operations at BER, the minimum advance-warning time period will be significantly longer than the previously-advised 13 months,” he said, using the BER acronym by which the Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport is known.

Mr. Scheurle did not say exactly how much longer his group would need to get things ready, but sources in the industry said it could take up to 30 months. An opening in 2019 would certainly be off the cards, the sources said.

The scandal-plagued Berlin airport has been repeatedly delayed since 2012 and suffered billions in cost overruns. Its chief executive, Karsten Mühlenfeld, resigned this week – the fourth CEO to leave in as many years.

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