In 1989 David Hasselhof stood atop the Berlin Wall belting out “Looking for Freedom.” Less than a year later East Germans were finally free.
Thirty one years after David Hasselhof stood between East and West Berlin the East’s old airport finally became Berlin Brandenburg airport, replacing Berlin Tegel. It’s a costly reminder of East German-style planning. Requests for proposals to build the new Berlin airport on the site of the old East German Schönefeld went out in 1997. It took 23 three years and more than tripled its budget to over $8 billion.
Credit, Muns, via Wikimedia Commons
As the airport was developed the construction punch list ballooned to 550,000 items. When the airport finally opened, it still wasn’t right, staff were getting electric shocks and called for the airport to be shut back down over safety concerns. It’s also suffered from “overflowing rubbish bins, already broken floor tiles, frequently dirty toilets as well as defective escalators and lifts”
The old East Berlin airport still has huge problems. First of all the airport is on the brink of bankruptcy and expects to run out of money at the start of next year.
“We need money quickly, we need cash,” Aletta von Massenbach told the Saturday edition of the Tagesspiegel newspaper.
…Her main task will be to lead FBB out of the crisis: in 2020, the state-owned company made a loss of some 1 billion euros (1.16 billion dollars). FBB also expects high losses in the coming years.
Wherever the money has gone, it clearly hasn’t been invested in clean water, which brings us to the second recent problem: the water isn’t safe to drink in terminal 1 which is host to Lufthansa Group carriers, Air France, British Airways, easyJet, United and others.
Passengers can buy water for 50 cents in the duty-free area of BER from 2.11.21.
— BER – Berlin Brandenburg Airport (@berlinairport) November 2, 2021
Am I too much of a conspiracist to see these two issues as linked, since the airport will be taking a portion of bottled water sales? Stop water at security checkpoint, sell more water, and address the fiscal deficit. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’…