Berlin’s Brandenburg Airport welcomes first flight after nine-year delay

The first flight has taken off from Berlin’s Brandenburg Airport, nine years after the expected opening in 2011, and 14 years after construction began in 2006.

The direct flight to London Gatwick was followed by two arrivals at Terminal 1 by aircraft from EasyJet and Lufthansa (pictured), which were welcomed by a water cannon ceremony.

International Flight Network reports that the two planes were due to perform a parallel landing, although this was called off owing to visibility concerns.

The airport is estimated to have an outturn cost of €6.5bn, compared with an original estimate of €2.5bn.

The delays were caused by a series of design errors that centred on the terminal’s sprinkler system.

In 2014, the saga took a farcical turn after it was discovered that Alfredo di Mauro, the man in charge of fire protection, was not a qualified engineer.

Di Mauro told the DPA News Agency at the time: "Everyone thought I was an engineer. I just didn’t contradict them". He was in fact an apprentice draftsman.

A train station for the airport was opened on 25 October.

Berlin’s Schönefeld Airport will be renamed as Brandenburg Airport terminal 5.

The airport is named after Willy Brandt, winner of the 1971 Nobel Peace Prize, who led the Social Democratic Party of Germany, and the Federal Republic of Germany.

Image courtesy of Thomas Köhler

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