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Aviation

Berlin airport board sees reshuffle over delay

The opening of Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport, planned for October, has been postponed once again. In a first political reaction to the dilemma, the chairman of the supervisory board has thrown in the towel.

Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit on Monday stepped down as chairman of the supervisory board for the German capital's new airport after it became known that its opening would be have to be delayed for a fourth time. The chairmanship was to be handed over to the premier of the neighboring state of Brandenburg, Matthias Platzeck.

Video: Another setback for Berlin airport

Germany's mass-selling tabloid Bild had reported that Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport would not open as planned on October 27 this year after an inspection in December discovered massive construction mistakes in the airport's fire protection system.

The newspaper cited internal documents presented by a construction company in which airport-operating firm FBB announced that the opening had to be delayed at least until 2014.

Originally, Berlin-Brandenburg was to be opened in October 2011 but was held up because of construction delays. A second opening date, scheduled for June 2012, was cancelled. Building authorities at the time criticized the airport's fire protection system as insufficient and faulty.

An inspection carried out December 18 had found the system at the airport still not in line with regulations, Bild wrote, quoting an inspector as saying in his report that he was not willing to give his approval to the "botch."

The delay will cause building costs of the new airport, which have already risen from 2.8 billion euros ($3.6 billion) to 4.3 billion euros, to go up further.

uhe,hg/msh (Reuters, dapd, dpa)

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