"A German consortium is poised to sign up to build a 1.7bn euro (£1.09bn euro; $1.67bn) new airport in Berlin, ending a long-running saga.
A building consortium and city authorities are expected to clinch the deal on Friday.
Hochtief, Germany's largest building group, and property firm IVG Holding will bear the building costs of the airport, and pay Berlin and the state of Brandenburg 290m euros for the right to run it.
"The airport is a gateway to a better economic future in our region"
Hartmann Kleiner, managing director, UVB
In return, the firms will gain a 99-year lease on an airport big enough to replace the three smaller hubs serving Berlin, and which is expected to serve at least 20 million passengers a year by 2011.
News of the contract signing, which will kick off one of the largest infrastructure projects in Europe, was welcomed by Berlin business leaders.
"Industry expects that Berlin, Brandenburg, the federal government, as well as the consortium will do everything to make sure a final contract is signed successfully," said Hartmann Kleiner, managing director of the UVB business association.
Experience showed that every extra 1 million passengers carried led to the creation of 2,500 jobs, Mr Kleiner added.
Three in one
German unification in 1990 left Berlin with three airports - Tegel and Tempelhof, which was famous for its role during the 1948 blockade, and Schoenefeld, which served the former communist East Berlin.
But while there has long been agreement on the need to rationalise operations at a single site, progress has snagged over project details.
The new airport, named Berlin-Brandenburg, will be built on the Schoenefeld site, and will be served by infrastructure for which the state is putting up 600m euros in support. "
Rationalising operations at one airport sounds a go idea, do our german friends support this plan and do people think that other european states could learn from this?
It is amazing what can be accomplised when nobody takes the credit