While London continues the long march towards aviation nirvana by steadily opening new airports, Berlin heads doggedly in the opposite direction.
When the Berlin Wall fell the city had four airports: the Nazi era Tempelhof airfield used by both Adolf Hitler and then the allies during the famous Berlin blockade; Schönefeld, the airport of the former communist east; Tegel for the capitalist west; and Gatow for the Royal Air Force.
Today Tempelhof is a public park and allotment garden, Gatow is a housing estate and there are plans to shut down Tegel and Schönefeld for commercial air traffic. Some time, and nobody is quite sure when, all flights to and from the German capital will take off and land at the prestigious new "Willy Brandt" airport on the south eastern fringes of the city. But the project has become a farce. Plans to open "Willy Brandt" in June were cancelled at the last minute because of inadequate fire precautions.
Now the planners say they cannot be certain that they can make the postponed opening date which had been scheduled for March.
The delay is causing the new airport to run up massive debts before a single aircraft has taken off. Costs have doubled and are still rising. Central government is to provide an additional cash injection of more than 1bn euros just to keep the project afloat.
The planners now hold their meetings in a bunker surrounded by a barbed wire fence to keep away a hostile press.
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for auction...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 Big Bang Theory to get special Star Wars episode with help from Lucasfilm
- 3 Pharrell Williams 'Happy': British Muslims dance to song in video
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Scientists warn we've hit 'peak beard': The more people grow facial hair, the less attractive it is
£26K-30k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...
£25K-28k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...
£50000 - £65000 Per Annum potentially flexible for the right candidate: Clearw...
£38000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have experience of ...