Story of an Airport debacle

In the early 1990s, it was decided that a new hub would be ideal. Nevertheless, big planning applications ranging from public transport links to tendering for construction led to fifteen years passing before construction began in 2006. It was decided to name the new project after a grand statesman and all seemed set for completion by 2014.

However, a combination of everything from utterly incompetent project management to political gameplaying to what most regard as low-level corruption saw the project stalled time after time. Project estimates proved hopelessly inadequate as time passed by, and chaos ensued. Even a start date of late 2017 (remembering this all started a full generation ago) has been delayed by a public transport planning dispute, with a possibility now that the whole farce will extend into the ’20s.

It is quite possibly the single most embarrassingly ridiculous example of project management in the post-War Western World.

Yet no, this is not Northern Ireland! The hub in question is Berlin Brandenburg Airport. It was supposed to replace two airports but will now only replace one because passenger estimates are now so hopelessly outdated.

Have a think about that the next time a Northern Irish person tells you that the Northern Irish are uniquely useless, or even that the Germans are efficient…

(The statesman was Willi Brandt. His foundation is currently considering withdrawing its permission to use his name, given the scale of the scandals around the airport’s construction.)

Dies habe ich vor dem schrecklichen Anschlag am 19./12. bei einem Berliner Weihnachtsmarkt geschrieben. Es ist wichtig, dass das freie und demokratische Leben so weitergeht, wie vor dem Horror. Berliner haben wie keine anderen Bürger für diese Freiheit und diese Demokratie gekämpft und gelitten. Dementsprechend sind meine Gedanken bei den Opfern und Angehörigen, und allen Berlinern möchte ich mein herzliches Beileid aussprechen und ein freies und friedliches Fest wünschen. 


One thought on “Story of an Airport debacle

  1. korhomme says:

    The best story I heard about this shambles was from a few years ago–best, that is, if you mean worst.

    The lights were turned on in the terminal. Then it was discovered that there was no way t turn them off, and on they remained.

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