Bad news from BER (and this one's really good
):The opening may be delayed beyond 2020.
And for once, it's not the planners or construction engineers.
German "Spiegel Online" reports that a severe lack of ATC staff might cause the new delay. Many air traffic controllers had agreed to postpone their retirement, in order to help establish airspace structures and approach procedures for the new airport, and to train fresh young controllers.
Alas, no airport = no traffic = no airspace structures = no approach procedures = no training = no new controllers.
And the retirement extension contract with the old timers terminates in 2018. Training new controllers will take 3 years, so if the operation procedures have not been established until the end of 2018, an opening would not be possible before 2020 earliest, because of the subsequent lack of air traffic controllers.
However, this would only be a problem if the airport was actually fit to be opened before 2021, so I guess it's not really an issue.
Still - Lucas, maybe there's an overseas career opportunity for you.
But there's also good news from BER: the new CEO has a masterplan!
Well, not a masterplan for opening the airport. But a masterplan for developing a schedule for a masterplan for opening the airport. "In summer", he wants to publish a definite schedule.
Journalists familiar with the project immediately noticed that he was not specific about a year, though. Also, given our notriously lousy weather, I fully expect a statement in October that no opening schedule could be determined because we had no real summer.
Yes, the new EU copyright directive is that stupid.