Atlantic Cities

Berlin's New Airport Can't Turn Its Own Lights Off

Berlin's New Airport Can't Turn Its Own Lights Off
Tobias Schwarz/Reuters

Another day, another embarrassing story for officials working to complete construction of the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport. The latest in a string of recent problems for the project comes after locals complained that the airport's terminal lights appeared to be kept on 24 hours a day. Turns out, the lights are being left on because they can't be turned off.

"It has to do with the fact that we haven't progressed far enough with our lighting system that we can control it," Horst Amann, airport technical director, told Spiegel Online.

This is by no means the only technical snafu to have come up for Berlin's new airport. It had been scheduled to begin commercial flights last June (which was a delay in itself after an initial opening date of November 2011 was postponed), but a safety inspection revealed issues with fire procedures. Nine months later, a new opening date has yet to be set, with Amann acknowledging in February that it would be "several more months."

In the German press, the saga is being painted as a blow to national prestige. Another Spiegel Online article reports that an installation of digital artwork by Björn Melhus, one of six artists who created original work for the airport, may very well become technologically out-of-date by the time the airport opens.

Top image: A lock closes a fence at the entrance to the main terminal building at the construction site of the future Berlin International Airport. (Tobias Schwarz/Reuters)

Sara Johnson is a fellow at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

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