Kevin Eagan - May 14, 2012

Germany now faces a precarious situation. The fact that a new airport situated in Berlin will once again be delayed. Reports show that the cause of the delay was due to constant airport safety concerns. Adjustments are purportedly to be made, thus bumping the opening schedule to a June startup.

This in turn inks a permanent mark on the government’s already failing reputation. Since plans on constructing the new airport was initiated for more than 20 years ago. Making this an embarrassing showing of the inability of the government to initiate and maintain large projects such as this.

With the constant nagging of media and the various protests of citizens in the capital area; the botched deal has indeed become infamous. History shows that the Berlin airport, named BBI, otherwise known as the Berlin Brandenburg International Airport has been the victim of various political agendas. Constant delays, political drama, budget overruns and construction concerns have all plagued the opening of the new airport. All of this issues amounting to 3.26 billion dollars worth of pain and counting.

The delay was due to growing concerns for its fire-prevention system, which are supposed to kick in during major fires. The system consists of smoke extractors, which during emergencies powers up to suck out all the hazardous fumes from the general public.

Despite this major embarrassment, the airport did promise to have an opening without major issues. Learning from other airports, most notably from London’s Heathrow, promised that these delays did serve a purpose. The Heathrow once constructed a new terminal. In the midst of its grand opening, unforeseen circumstances cropped up leading to huge losses. Numerous delayed flights coupled with thousands of lost airline baggage. This issue took Heathrow several weeks to resolve. A problem the Berlin Brandenburg does not want to have.

To counteract this, the BBI conducted various simulations with volunteer passengers as well as airline crew. The purpose was to determine the smoothness of flow of work and service should the airport open. The airport assigned about 30,000 passengers and employees if they knew the ins and outs of the new system.

In all cases, because of the constant delay in plans, the capital government did not shut down two minor airports that were scheduled to close when the new airport was to be opened. Because of this, dozens of flights were cancelled and various airlines had trouble determining their proper landing zones. This creates a problem which the government needs to calm public sentiment, protests of dissatisfaction need to be avoided. As much as possible, the earliest opening would have to be in June.

Amidst the growing pains because of the chronic delay, various airlines voiced out their displeasure. The reason stemmed out of the increase in costs and the issues on logistics because of the extended time. They would have to make do with what they have.

The German government has its work cut out for them, in order to avoid any more major embarrassment. Since tourism is a major sector in the growth of an economy, there should be no reason for the average citizen to miss his flight.

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