August 31, 2017 / 1:03 PM / a year ago

Construction of Berlin's delayed new airport to finish in August 2018

FRANKFURT, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Construction of Berlin’s long-delayed new airport will be completed by the end of August 2018, the operator of the German capital’s airports said on Thursday, without saying when flights could start taking off there.

Berlin Brandenburg airport was originally due to open in 2011 after construction began in 2006 but a series of delays ensued due to various technical problems.

Earlier this year plans to open the airport at the end of 2017 were scrapped.

The new airport’s Chief Executive Engelbert Luetke Daldrup said a series of tests would need to be completed after construction was completed.

The airport operator “will provide a new opening date this year,” he said in Thursday’s statement.

The new international airport is due to replace Berlin’s former Cold War era airports of Tegel and Schoenefeld, but after the years of delays there are concerns that it will be too small when it opens.

Tegel, in the northwest, and Berlin’s other airport, Schoenefeld in the southeast, served 33 million passengers last year. The capacity of the new airport will be 27 million.

Schoenefeld may continue operating for a few years after the Brandenberg airport opens.

Berlin residents are due to vote in a referendum on Sept. 24 on whether Tegel should be kept open. (Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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