Berlin's New Airport Opening Delayed Over Fire Safety Issues

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Berlin Brandenberg airport
Berlin Brandenberg had been due to open on June 3. But earlier this month airport authorities announced a temporary delay of a few months.

The opening of Berlin's new airport has been delayed by nine months after problems with the fire safety system.

The embarrassing delay at the €2.5 billion Berlin Brandenberg airport ($3.17 billion) has angered airlines and the German capital's authorities, who reacted by firing the airport's managing director for technical issues, Manfred Koertgen.

He had trouble recognizing when things were going wrong, Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit said, according to Reuters.

The city has subsequently terminated its contract of the company responsible for planning.

Berlin Brandenberg had been due to open on June 3.

But earlier this month airport authorities announced a temporary delay of a few months.

It has since emerged that authorities did not want to use a temporary solution to solve the fire safety issue, instead opting to wait until a full system could be installed in December.

It was later decided that opening the airport in winter would pose further safety issues, so an opening date of March 2013 was chosen instead.

Three of the firms supplying the fire safety system - Siemens, Bosch and Imtech - said new planning documents had to be submitted by June if the proposed timetable is to be realized.

When it is completed, Brandenberg will be Germany's third largest airport after Frankfurt and Munich.

It will replace the capital's cold war era Tegel and Schoenefeld airports.

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