Reuters: German efficiency in doubt with BER

Seemingly endless series of delays in arrival Berlin’s new airport

Germans’ world-renowned reputation for their engineering skills and efficiency has taken a knock by the seemingly endless series of delays in the construction of Berlin’s new international airport. The country’s bureaucracy, red tape and planning rules have contributed to the delays at Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) and at a number of other large-scale projects including Hamburg’s new opera house, Germany’s BND spy agency headquarters, Cologne’s underground rail system, Stuttgart’s train station and thousands of kilometres of overhead power lines. The damage to the country’s reputation could have a negative effect on its much-valued exports.
“We haven’t exactly covered ourselves in glory with the Berlin airport and these other big construction projects,” Michael Knipper, managing director of the Federation of the German Construction Industry tells Reuters. “The biggest problem in Germany is the bureaucracy. I don’t know of any other country in Europe that has anywhere near as complicated and expensive an approvals and building process as Germany.”

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