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Business

Supervisors confirm renewed delay of Berlin airport

Authorities have confirmed that the opening of Berlin's new international airport will be postponed for another time. It will only be operational in October of next year, casting doubts over policymakers and planners.

Berlin's new international airport will take until October 27, 2013, to be ready for operation, its supervisory board told reporters after an extraordinary meeting on Friday. That confirmation of earlier media reports meant the inauguration of what is to become a major European aviation hub was postponed for a third time.

Supervisors said the airport would need more time to readjust planning and construction. The hub was originally scheduled to open on October 30, 2011, but then that date was pushed forward to June of this year and later to March 2013.

Who's to foot the bill?

The string of postponements had been attributed to planning and building blunders involving severe problems with the airport's fire safety installations. The continued trouble surrounding the new airport has long become a nationwide embarrassment with more and more questions being asked about the prudence of responsible policymakers and the state of German engineering skills.

The city state of Berlin, Brandenburg as the state surrounding it and the federal government have already been facing huge cost overruns. The airport was originally expected to cost 2.4 billion euros ($3.0 billion).

But spending has already soared to 4.3 billion euros, with some of the extra funds now being used for extended soundproofing measures and compensation for airlines affected by the delays.

hg/dr   (dapd, dpa)