Much-delayed new Berlin airport won't open in 2014: mayor

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The "Willy Brandt" Berlin Brandenburg International (BER) Airport under construction on September 4, 2012 in Schoenefeld near Berlin (AFP PHOTO / BERND SETTNIK)

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, Last Updated: 10:59 AM ET

Berlin's much-delayed new main airport will not open this year, the city's mayor said Tuesday, dispelling hopes the troubled venture could at least partially begin flights.

"It will, de facto, be such that the airport no longer can be opened in 2014," Klaus Wowereit, also head of the airport's supervisory board, was quoted by the German DPA news agency as saying.

Airport chief Hartmut Mehdorn had hoped for part of the new airport's infrastructure to have swung into use in March this year, with the aim of allowing the arrival and departure of 10 planes a day.

Berlin Brandenburg Airport was set for a big fanfare opening in June 2012 but multiple delays due to difficulties concerning fire safety, the smoke exhaust systems and construction errors have proven a blow to the capital's image.

As one of Germany's biggest construction projects, it has also dented Wowereit's popularity amid claims of incompetence and having underestimated the problems linked to the plan.

The new airport is designed to cater for air passengers currently using Berlin's two airports, Schoenefeld and Tegel.

elr-kjm/dlc/gk


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