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Berlin's new airport: closer and farther from opening


Berlin's Brandenburg/Willy Brandt airport has just taken one step forward in its long road to completion, The new airport, originally supposed to open in 2012, will now not likely open before 2018, or very late in 2017.

The positive step is the successful completion of the first part of the smoke extraction control system, which is designed to clear the air for 15 minutes to allow people to escape an area on fire. The original system was designed backwards (pulling smoke down rather than up) and had to be completely redone. This new installation will now have to be extended to the rest of the terminal.

For the airport, which has had a troubled history of missed schedules, bad construction, backwards smoke control design and a roof too heavy for its piers, as well as charges of massive corruption,  even one positive step has to be good news, as there have been so many negative ones.

In fact, after the last two in September (when workers had to stop for a time because of the roof danger, and inspectors ordered 600 defective firewalls torn out and replaced) a number of local politicians called for demolition of the entire project and a complete startover.

Photo of terminal under construction: Denis Apel / Wikimedia

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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