The authorities promise that Berlin Brandenburg Airport will go into operation on 17 March 2013. The previous opening date was scheduled for 3 June 2012. However, due to technical difficulties the opening has been delayed till 17 March 2013.
On last Tuesday the mayor of Berlin has confirmed that the city's new international airport will not open until March 17, 2013, more than nine months after its previously planned June opening. The operators need an unspecified amount of time to complete a fire safety system and smoke exhaust systems. The delay is the second for the airport, which had previously been scheduled to open in November 2011.
Wowereit said the delay until next spring is the result of several factors including the refusal of inspectors to approve interim fire safety measures planned at the aiport until problems with the planned permanent system can be fixed. He also said risks associated with winter would make it difficult to open the facility in winter. "We will do everything to lead the airport to success," Wowereit said.
Wowereit also stated that the airport's main planner, Manfred Körtgen, would be released from his position as a result of the delays. The mayor said that Körtgen, as the official responsible for the construction problem, should have "recognized things in a timely manner." The mayor said the working relationship with general planning consortium PGBBI, which includes the renowned airport architect Meinhard von Gerkan, would also be terminated.
Officials with the city of Berlin, as the airport's operator, have also been forced to answer to criticism. Many companies and people had been disappointed by the developments and the politician apologized to the affected airlines.
Wowereit said that airlines including Lufthansa, Air Berlin and Easyjet had informed the city that they still want to carry out the new flights that had been planned for the new BER Berlin-Brandenburg International Aiport at the city's existing airports, Tegel and Schönefeld, which had been slated for closure after the opening of BER.