This week: Berlin disappoints with a 9 month delay and more

Well, of course it happens when I’m away without access to my computer: the site goes down. My sincere apologies for the disruption – it seems like one of the WordPress plugins has caused the crash. I’m still investigating which one, so please bear with me while I’m fixing this issue asap. Let’s move on and focus on some of the important and interesting, airport related news from the past few days. I’ve got a nice, mixed bag of goodies for you!

First up, the biggest news of the past 2 weeks was probably the hugely disappointing announcement that the new Berlin Airport won’t open until March 2013. As reported in many news stories, for example in the Aviation Week, airport operator Berliner Flughaefen told affected airlines that it will not keep the June 3 opening date for Berlin Brandenburg International (BER). Reuters wrote that the opening of Berlin’s new airport has been pushed back nine months to March 17 after problems with fire safety systems, dealing an embarrassing blow to the German capital and angering airlines.

Over on the other side of the planet, the ongoing debate about Sydney’s airport (SYD) is continuing: In a local newspaper, The Australian, Sydney Airport chief executive Kerrie Mather has moved to reassure investors the facility is not running out of space, telling them new plans would allow it to cope with expected demand until 2045. According to the article Ms Mather told the airport’s annual meeting in Sydney  that the master plan was approved by the federal government on the basis it could handle more than double the present passenger numbers through at least 2029.

In the US, Terminal Two at Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL) reopened Friday evening, about two hours after the contents of an aerosol can in a passenger’s luggage exploded, sending several people to area hospitals as reported by The Miami Herald. According to the news the incident occurred around 5 p.m. local time at a TSA security checkpoint. The can exploded near the Delta Airlines terminal in Concourse D and had a knock-on effect on at least 14 departing flights that were delayed as a result.

To finish it up, we found some lighter news coming from Denver: There we heard from The Denver Post that by year’s end, Denver International Airport (DEN) will be nearly smoke free with all but one of the four smoking lounges shut down. “Now is the time to clear the air,” said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock in the article, when announcing the move toward ending smoking within the airport. The lounges that will close later this year include the Aviator’s Lounge locations in the main terminal and on Concourse B.

That’s all for now – read you again in a few days!

[Photo from Berlin Airport: Günter Wicker / Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg]