Opening of new Berlin airport delayed

25th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

The opening of Berlin's new airport has been delayed by more than seven months to allow the building of larger security zones to comply with new EU safety regulations, authorities said Friday.

The Berlin-Brandenburg Airport, to replace the city's existing Schoenefeld and Tegel hubs, will welcome its first flights on June 3, 2012, rather than October 30, 2011 as planned, airport officials said in a statement.

From April 2013, passengers in the European Union will be permitted to carry drinks and other liquids in their hand luggage, requiring larger screening machines and therefore more space in security zones.

"The new opening date for the capital's airport is a good compromise between forward-looking planning and a rapid finishing of the airport," said Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit.

Berlin's airports are not the country's busiest, with Schoenefeld and Tegel combined having around 20 million visitors last year, much less than half the passengers using Frankfurt airport in western Germany.

The Berlin-Brandenburg construction project, on the site of the current Schoenefeld airport, has been dogged by repeated delays.

© 2010 AFP

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