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jreuschl
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BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:17 pm

http://www.usatoday.com/story/todayi...embarrassment-for-germans/2062533/

Interesting article from USA today about the sometime opening BER airport in Berlin. I was just in Europe and TXL is looking a bit dated..  

I assume AB would like it when they receive their 787s. Would LH offer any longhaul flights from here?

[Edited 2013-04-23 10:17:50]
 
tonystan
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:35 pm

They shouldn't beat themselves up. Look at Doha and BKK as recent examples not to mention Terminal 5 in LHR.

Besides far worse has happened in Germany in the past. This is a mere bump in the road.
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Goldenshield
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:41 pm

Technically, Schonefeld has been open for a very, VERY long time. This is the new terminal complex that is being talked about here.
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LH526
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:54 pm

It's all about politics being involved! Terminal 3 in FRA is well ahead without any political interference.
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Birdwatching
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:43 pm

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 2):
Technically, Schonefeld has been open for a very, VERY long time. This is the new terminal complex that is being talked about here.

Not really. It's a new airport that happens to be near the site of an old airport. Once completed, none of the original runways and other buildings will be in the new layout, and the whole thing will have moved south.

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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:07 pm

This has been a horridly mismanaged project.

Quoting tonystan (Reply 1):

They shouldn't beat themselves up

When they had planned an airport closure?!?

Quoting tonystan (Reply 1):
Look at Doha and BKK as recent examples not to mention Terminal 5 in LHR.

T5 was a breeze compared to the others. Doha is un-excusable. How do you fail to open an airport the day of? If not for the new-DOH, BER would be the worst embarrassment. Its not just being late, it is scheduling so poorly that they didn't broadcast and adapt to the delayed work!

But for cost over-run, BER beats the new-DOH. Running at 220% of budget... ooops (see OP link).

But at least they weren't operating the three Carnival ships that had trouble (recall that Costa is a brand of Carnival).

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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:44 pm

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 4):
Not really. It's a new airport that happens to be near the site of an old airport. Once completed, none of the original runways and other buildings will be in the new layout, and the whole thing will have moved south.

Not correct. BER is exactly on the site of Schoenefeld.

There is one new runway, the southern. The northern runway is the old runway at SXFand one of the original SXF runways has been scrapped.

The new terminal is situated between the 2 runways, the old one and the new one. Aircraft could taxi on existing taxiways from the old to the new terminal. If they start to open the new terminal in several phases, it might well be that the old SXF terminal stay for a while until the LCCs move to the new one.

It is embarassing indeed but they have a qualified management now and as long as the 2 head honchos in the supervisory board keep their sticky fingers out of it it'll work.

May be they can even keep TXL open for GA and Gov flying.

Not perfect but there's light at the end of the tunnel and it's not the locomotive that vents the rail tunnel three times a day.
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flyingalex
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:54 am

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 4):
Not really. It's a new airport that happens to be near the site of an old airport. Once completed, none of the original runways and other buildings will be in the new layout, and the whole thing will have moved south.

To add to what PanHAM said, Wikipedia's article on SXF has a good map showing the layout of the project:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d3/Map_Berlin-Schoenefeld_Airport_SFX_with_planed_BBI.png/771px-Map_Berlin-Schoenefeld_Airport_SFX_with_planed_BBI.png
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Horstroad
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:42 am

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 4):
It's a new airport that happens to be near the site of an old airport. Once completed, none of the original runways and other buildings will be in the new layout, and the whole thing will have moved south.
Quoting PanHAM (Reply 6):
Not correct. BER is exactly on the site of Schoenefeld.

There is one new runway, the southern. The northern runway is the old runway at SXFand one of the original SXF runways has been scrapped.

The new terminal is situated between the 2 runways, the old one and the new one. Aircraft could taxi on existing taxiways from the old to the new terminal. If they start to open the new terminal in several phases, it might well be that the old SXF terminal stay for a while until the LCCs move to the new one.

I think both is correct, it just depends on your point of view whether it is a new airport using some facilities and one runway of the old airport, or it's still the old airport receiving a new runway and terminal and being renamed

anyways, this mismanagement is a shame -.-

[Edited 2013-04-24 01:43:28]
 
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:08 am

Quoting horstroad (Reply 8):
I think both is correct, it just depends on your point of view whether it is a new airport using some facilities and one runway of the old airport, or it's still the old airport receiving a new runway and terminal and being renamed

But it's like saying that Pittsburgh and Atlanta's central terminals and new runways were a completely new airport when they were built, which is technically incorrect.
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PanHAM
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:23 am

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 9):
But it's like saying that Pittsburgh and Atlanta's central terminals and new runways were a completely new airport when they were built, which is technically incorrect.

     

technically it is a new terminal and runway on an existing site. MUC was an all new airport, BER is not.
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Tobias2702
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:00 am

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 9):
But it's like saying that Pittsburgh and Atlanta's central terminals and new runways were a completely new airport when they were built, which is technically incorrect.

But the whole SXF terminal and tarmac infrastructure will close once BER opens. BER has completely different access routes via road and rail. Therefore, from both passenger experience and airline operational point of view, BER is a new airport. There is nearly no overlap (except its northern runway) with SXF.

But then again, this is-BER-a-new-airport-or-only-an-extension discussion is useless. The fiasco stands as it is. As always with disasters, there are multiple contributing factors. The extent to which "politics" can be blamed is a matter of debate, but obviously, there also were engineering and management flaws.

Worst of all is this eerie silence in the recent months. There are zero news about when construction work will be recommenced. Since nearly one year, the construction zone has come to a near-complete standstill. True, last year's pseudo-bustling atmosphere of announcing a series of new opening dates was not favorable, either.

But this year, BER has gone into resignation. All Mehdorn did so far was a (failed) distraction effort, when he launced that unspeakable "Hey, why not just keep TXL open?" discussion on his first day in office. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but to my knowledge no significant steps towards "cleaning up" the BER mess have been taken since then.
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Horstroad
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:13 am

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 10):

technically it is a new terminal and runway on an existing site. MUC was an all new airport, BER is not.
technically it is a new airport using parts of the old airport. SXF will shut down, BER will open
 
brilondon
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:34 am

Quoting horstroad (Reply 12):
technically it is a new airport using parts of the old airport. SXF will shut down, BER will open

My question is when?
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PanHAM
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:54 am

[quote=horstroad,reply=12]technically it is a new airport using parts of the old airport. SXF will shut down, BER will open


But the location is the same. Like ATL and PIT. I know both these airports from the time before the new construction. The old terminal complex was on the side of ATL which houses some air cargo facilities now. The mid field terminal was completely new, runways re_aligned parallel, interstate highways, access route and a new MARTA line relocated resp. added.

The same happens at SXF. It is the same place with a new runway and a new terminal. And some old infrastructure demolished, of whoich the runway is another scandal. They should have kept that runway for growth, it'll be badly needed after 2030, especially if the also demolish TXL.

I especially love when the mayor speaks on TV and mentiones "Der BER". I am sure he does not know what a 3 letter code is. Call it Willy Brandt Flughafen or whatever. Der BER ist los" (the Bear is loose) which is true, looking at the history of this project.

Anyhow, with the present management and hopefully the supervisory board finally shutting up to talk about things they do not udnerstand, an opening date for at least part of the airport is possible. But I would not bet on it.
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SKAirbus
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:26 pm

Quoting tonystan (Reply 1):
Terminal 5 in LHR

To be fair to T5, it opened on time and was pretty much on budget so cannot be compared to BER or DOH at all.

It just had a few teething problems with the baggage system on the first day, which although an embarrassment, were overcome relatively quickly. Unfortunately because Heathrow is so congested it was magnified quite a lot!

HKG airport had some quite spectacular problems when it first opened, most notably with the cargo system so no new facility is immune but BER is completely unforgivable if you ask me... Having lived in Germany, I am aware of how the political system works and unfortunately Berlin is not really the shining example of an efficiently run state. They should have got the Bavarians to build it     
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PanHAM
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:39 pm

Quoting SKAirbus (Reply 15):
Berlin is not really the shining example of an efficiently run state.

You are herewith nominated for the best understatement of the year.

 
Quoting SKAirbus (Reply 15):
They should have got the Bavarians to build it

They actually had contracted Munich Airport to arrangte the move from TXL to SXF, pardon BER. The consultaqncy frm of MUC has been hired for a couple of such moves.
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papertec
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:51 pm

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 16):
Quoting SKAirbus (Reply 15):
They should have got the Bavarians to build it

They actually had contracted Munich Airport to arrangte the move from TXL to SXF, pardon BER. The consultaqncy frm of MUC has been hired for a couple of such moves.

The MUC move, when it happened OVERNIGHT, was a perfect example of great project management, with every detail handled. They had even provided for the passengers who had planned to sleep overnight at the old airport and continue their travel the next morning, with buses and meals arranged so that they could wake up in the new terminal and go on their way! It was perfect!
 
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:50 pm

Quoting papertec (Reply 17):
The MUC move, when it happened OVERNIGHT, was a perfect example of great project management, with every detail handled.

And yet MUC gave us the big disappointment with the Maglev rail that was supposed to be built but never was.

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psa188
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:38 pm

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 18):
And yet MUC gave us the big disappointment with the Maglev rail that was supposed to be built but never was.

That was a good thing considering how expensive maglev is:
http://www.spiegel.de/international/...nsive-munich-decides-a-543717.html

"The plans were spiked for reasons of expense. Financing for the project had been based on a 2002 feasibility study which concluded the maglev line could be completed for €1.85 billion ($2.9 billion). On Thursday, though, the companies involved in the project announced that it would cost over €3 billion to build. "

Also, what is the advantage of building a short-distance system that is technically incompatible with the rest of the rail network?
 
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:28 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 5):
T5 was a breeze compared to the others. Doha is un-excusable. How do you fail to open an airport the day of? If not for the new-DOH, BER would be the worst embarrassment. Its not just being late, it is scheduling so poorly that they didn't broadcast and adapt to the delayed work!

For those of us old enough to remember, let's not forget the delays at the opening of Denver International (baggage system IIRC).
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PanHAM
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:55 pm

Quoting psa188 (Reply 19):
Also, what is the advantage of building a short-distance system that is technically incompatible with the rest of the rail network?

None, the transrapid is outdated, obsolete and absolutely unpractical as a short haul transit system. Long haul even more.

But there is a funny speach by the former bavarian PM, where he said that you could check-in and board at the Central Station, or something like that.

Imagine, they had built the TR and found out that by the time it is finished people check in at their PC at home or use the smartphone in the cab.
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:03 pm

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 21):
For those of us old enough to remember, let's not forget the delays at the opening of Denver International (baggage system IIRC).

if i remember correctly, denver opened about a year late, and then it had huge baggage handling problems once it was open. they, of course, scrapped the system completely after years of trying to get it to work. last time i was there, the baggage belts at each ramp were still there, but have been essentially mothballed for almost ten years now.

amazing to me they haven't tried to restart it with new, better scanning technology.
 
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:17 pm

Quoting SKAirbus (Reply 15):
It just had a few teething problems with the baggage system on the first day
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0e10baH6cE


SCNR


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BostonBeau
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:49 pm

It sounds like the situation in Dallas/Fort Worth, where the new DFW airport included the site of the former Fort Worth airport. You can still see remnants of the old airport's runways on Google Maps. http://maps.google.com/maps?q=dallas...hnear=Dallas,+Texas&gl=us&t=h&z=14
 
AADC10
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:01 pm

Quoting BostonBeau (Reply 24):

It sounds like the situation in Dallas/Fort Worth, where the new DFW airport included the site of the former Fort Worth airport. You can still see remnants of the old airport's runways on Google Maps. http://maps.google.com/maps?q=dallas...&z=14

I think the old Greater Southwest International Airport (GSW) is different than SXF/BER. DFW is entirely north of the GSW site and none of it was incorporated. GSW was abandoned mostly over a political struggle between Dallas and Ft. Worth. The rebuilding of ATL and PIT are better analogies.
 
SKAirbus
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:57 am

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 18):
And yet MUC gave us the big disappointment with the Maglev rail that was supposed to be built but never was.

I think if politicans had known how much the construction of BER would actually cost, it would never have been built, or at least the plans would been changed radically.
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ClueLessInFra
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:39 am

Quoting lh526 (Reply 3):
Terminal 3 in FRA is well ahead without any political interference.

I think this view doesn't count as an argument, because T3 hasn't been built yet. Quite on the contrary: It is postponed
http://www.faz.net/aktuell/rhein-mai...esst-auf-sich-warten-12116840.html

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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:52 am

Quoting flyingalex (Reply 7):
To add to what PanHAM said, Wikipedia's article on SXF has a good map showing the layout of the project:

Amazingly similar in concept to OSL, except OSL has decided not to build satelite terminals (which they future proofed the airport for when initially constructed) to increase layout but add a rather daft looking pier jutting out 90 degrees from the original terminal.
 
PanHAM
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:08 am

More bad news for BER. A court has ruled that the airport miust pay home / house owners an additional € 305 million for noise reducing material. That is in addition to the amount already included in the cost projection.

I cannot judge if that is excessive or not, but I can say for sure that many of the beneficiaries live in the region long enough to know what kind of noise a Il62 or Tu134 produces and they operated 24 hours a day.. protest in these days was a jail ticket.
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Tobias2702
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:09 am

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 29):
I cannot judge if that is excessive or not, but I can say for sure that many of the beneficiaries live in the region long enough to know what kind of noise a Il62 or Tu134 produces and they operated 24 hours a day.. protest in these days was a jail ticket.

Protest can also be suppressed in democracies. Take TXL as an example. Until today, residents near the airport have nearly no possibilites to satisfy claims for a better noise protection to their houses or flats. Special regulations imposed by the Allied powers were kept, which exclude the possibility to file a lawsuit over aircraft noise. So to speak, politics whiggled out of similar payments to TXL residents.

The court ruling means that BER will get the strictest (or best, depending on your point of view) noise protection requirements of any airport in Germany. It all comes down to fact that noise abatement is an inherent feature of the new airport, as the construction/operation permit has been granted only on the condition that once open, overall aircraft noise pollution in the Berlin/Brandenburg region would be lower than with TXL+SXF+THF [therefore, residents near other airports like FRA, CGN etc. can't take this verdict as a precedent]. The "light version" that had been pursued so far was deemed unsatisfactory.

edit: just found out that the BER opertional permit states that "a noise level of 55 db shall not be exceeded inside housings at any time". If so, this would mean that those responsible for (retro-)fitting houses with noise protection features should have known that the measures were unsatisfactory.

(But this is an overall problem, with politics as well as with big corporations: hoping that in the end, it will not be that bad, after all. Take LH as an example: They knew all the way that one the new runway at FRA opens, night flights would be banned. Still, they threw quite a tantrum).

[Edited 2013-04-26 04:16:16]
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PanHAM
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RE: BER Airport Fiasco An "embarrassment For Germans"

Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:03 pm

Quoting Tobias2702 (Reply 30):
Protest can also be suppressed in democracies

Simply no. You always can appeal whichever decision a state agency makes. It is our good right to go up to the highest courts. No comparison to a dictatorship, complainining was a short cut route to jail.

I did only bring the message to say that BER will cost an additional 300+ Mio €. We have lost many words about this fiasco.

Quoting Tobias2702 (Reply 30):
Take LH as an example: They knew all the way that one the new runway at FRA opens, night flights would be banned. Still, they threw quite a tantrum).

without opening this can of worms, but here, again No, LH did not know that until that day in October 2011 which came as a surprise.

There is no such thing, no requirement for rushing ahead with obedience. The curfew was, against public opinion, never discussed in detail. The passenger airline can live with it more or less, for Cargo it was a hard knock and for the economy it still is. But that's another story. If you want to open a thread I will be very active.
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