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Berlin Airports

Cost of Berlin’s BER airport now €7.3bn

The operator confirms further costs of €770mn, prompting a politician to call it “a disaster in the making”.

An additional €770 million is needed to complete the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), raising the total cost of the project to €7.3 billon. The original cost was estimated at €2 billion.

As outlined in the airport operator’s new business plan, the extra money is needed to complete the airport by the planned opening date in 2020 and start operations.

A spokesman for the operator says it is in “constructive talks with the shareholders” about the details of the financing.

Half of the money, €385 million, will take the form of a commercial loan, 80% of which will be guaranteed by the shareholders. The other €385 million will be an interest-free loan from the shareholders, including €142 million from the city’s tax revenues and €100 million from the federal government.

Burning money
The airport operator is rapidly burning its way through a billion-euro credit line intended for essential airport extensions, according to press reports, and will need further financing soon, media reports say.

But the additional money may not become available until after the BER’s opening.

The governments in both Berlin and Brandenburg are reluctant to give more money than has already been made available, worried about overburdening taxpayers.

“My clear expectation is unchanged that the company must contribute to the finances through its own entrepreneurial efforts,” Christian Görke, Brandenburg’s finance minister warns.

“After the commissioning of BER, if any expansion is required then the operator FBB must secure its own independent sources of finance.”

Brandenburg’s CDU faction leader Ingo Senftleben was more damning: “First they shift the finish date, then they want more money. This is a disaster in the making.”

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