New Berlin Airport on course to open in 2017

€5.1 billion Berlin airport delayed many times since 2012
Berlin’s new international airport will finally open in 2017, six years behind schedule, an official has told Reuters news agency. The €5.1 billion Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt Airport, the opening of which was delayed many times due to technical problems and red tape, will not become a white elephant, he promised.
The airport’s costly setbacks damaged Germany’s reputation for strong engineering and organisational skills. But now Ralf Kunkel, a spokesman for Berlin’s airport authority, has spoken out against a report in the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that it may never be finished because its building permit expires in November 2016.
Kunkel said that extending the permit would not be necessary as construction work will be completed in March 2016.
“There’s been no change in the schedule – we want to be finished with construction by March 2016,” he said. “After that the airport will be tested. The opening is planned for the second half of 2017. So why should it end up being an abandoned building?”
In June 2012, the opening was delayed at the last minute when a local authority in charge of the fire-safety system refused to give approval. Plans to close the city’s Tegel airport were stopped, and rescheduled opening dates passed unsuccessfully in 2012 and 2013, one after the other.