Minister hints at further delay for Berlin airport

AP News
Posted: Dec 26, 2012 6:34 AM

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's transport minister says he can't rule out a further delay in opening Berlin's new airport given continuing technical problems with the fire safety system.

The capital airport is one of the nation's major infrastructure projects but has turned into a big embarrassment for city officials because costs have more than doubled to €4.4 billion ($5.8 billion) and the project is years behind schedule.

Peter Ramsauer told daily Die Welt in comments released Wednesday that there are "signs that the opening date on Oct. 27, 2013 maybe cannot be held to."

Willy Brandt airport will replace the small and aging Tegel and Schoenefeld airports, which served West and East Berlin respectively during Germany's Cold War division.

The opening had first been delayed from late 2011 to June 2012, then to October 2013.