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Development and Challenges of Berlin Brandenburg Airport (Willy Brandt)

  • 16 Pages
  • Published On: 06-12-2023
Executive Summary

The international airport of Berlin Brandenburg also known Willy Brandt; after the former mayor of West Germany, is located in the South of Germany in the capital city of Berlin and in Brandenburg state. The airport was to be developed to replace Tegel and Tempelhof and evolve into the only pecuniary center for transportation by air meant to serve the city of Berlin and its surroundings. However, various forms of its management scopes that were interconnected were mismanaged as a project of large magnitude. The approach of the airline program entailed the following representatives; the client who was the Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg (FBB) made up of the management board as well as the supervising board. The program was developed by the appointment of the general contractor in regards to the offers acquired from tender, but they were perceived to be uneconomical leading to failure by the FBB that had appointed a general contractor. The tender was divided into several sectors totaling to thirty-five of them that had equal amount of contractors’ biddings.

The stakeholders involved in the program included; Brandenburg state, the German federal administration, the then Berlin city mayor, carriers, travelers, workers in the airport, citizens of Berlin City, and the Tegel and Tempelhof air terminals that partnered to develop the project and benefits from it at the long run. As the partners increased, to a greater extent perplexing it became for the engage in the project and the more effort was required in analogy and adjustment the executives’ concerns. Likewise, in the ultimate important endeavors, there exist intermittent ones or a number of associates that will be contented if the project collapses. It was expected that a fraction of the critical stakeholders at Schonefeld and Tegel air terminuses would not fret the astounding suspension. It took at least fifteen years of planning the construction of the airport having the construction started in the year 2006 officially by Hochtief and IVG companies that had won the bid.

Several instances after that occurred with changes in the managerial system, failure in the standards of construction as reviewed and analyzed by Technical Inspection Association (TUV). The cause of the issues that were facing the Berlin Brandenburg Program were in most of the project management areas. These areas entail the changes in ownership, bankruptcy of contractors in the stakeholder’s management, the scope management that involved the adjustment of the requirements as well as the absence of identity needs, resource management of unqualified fire systems designers, and the quality management like the failed fire systems. There also involved the cost management leading to bankruptcy of some contractors, the schedule management that accounted for several postponement of launching of the airport, the charter failed to be implemented well by the stakeholders leading to lose of change control, inability of the client to rectify the risks identified and analyzed by TUV, the inadequacy of communication with some stakeholders sch as the Deutsche Bahn, and finally lack of accountability b in the procurement management by the architects. Among all these management issues that arose it is clear that the FBB board did not have adequate professional knowledge to lead the program, and also lacked adequate representation of the flexible board of management.


As a result, the BER airport was not exempted from investigation and having estimated to cost at least two and a half billion euros. The initial endeavors to privatize the airport were unsuccessful, subjecting the FBB management committee, the FBB supervisory board, the contractor, and a section of politicians to be in charge of the program that failed tremendously. It is to conclude that the FFB projects have committed a wide range of errors with partners. No trust in each other. Helpless correspondence, various leveled structure and even pay off claims. All of these elements subvert the achievement of a venture. As there was no trust between the partners in the venture, there was likewise an absence of soundness. The institutional impacts influencing the BER air terminal venture was exceptionally identified with the social construction what's more, conduct in the undertaking set-up all along. The customary undertaking set-up including an overall worker for hire was disregarded and the modelers got the duty regarding both the plan and oversight, implying that the legitimate necessities between the gatherings (the ordinary standards and rules) and inside the task were unexpectedly not existing, which probably created turmoil in how to draw in the middle of the elaborate gatherings.


Back in the year 1982, Germany government declared a program to privatize air terminals because of its experience in spending limitations, bringing about the first arranged privatization project back in the month of May the year 1996, the Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER Airport). The air terminus wrote directions for delivery vital anticipations for Berlin and Germany's managers as it would assist place the country in an elevated position in the world, present considerable length organizations and give higher traveler limit. One major principal goals of the particular task were meant for BBI to emerge as the bustling air terminus in the country, with a projected forty-five million travelers every year. The interest for air freight has grown drastically since the year 2012, and the increment is as yet continuing, considering the verity that the capital city of Germany; Berlin is an appealing, plus the city and its current circumstance are growing annually. This case examination expects to dive further into the issues and issues identified with project the board that happened during the task arranging, have charge of and carrying out of the tasks of the BER air terminal. Besides, to delineate on potential preparations of what could have been done another way.

Analysis of the Program Approach

Huge comprehensiveness schema ventures are described by significant degrees of intricacy that can be made clear "as a bunch of managerial problems that consist of of multifarious sections with a huge emblem of aptitude correlations as well as the greater part of them being of high result within the compelling interaction that attains the end-product as identified by PMBOK (2017). This complexity does not just incorporate errand intricacy, still besides civil and communal complications, considering the volume of individuals and organizations involved and their unique verifiable encounters. To comprehend the multidisciplinary complexity of huge programs, there are attributes that are involved for it to materialize, these are according to Gottlieb, Jensen (2012); high cost of capital, long period of program urgency, the demand of technology and logistics, multi-disciplinary contributions from several different companies and it results to virtual enterprise for the administration of the project.

According to Fiedler and Wendler (2015), the program approach was first developed by a project manager for the technical solutions as well as finances by the name Thomas. The approach of the airline program entailed the following representatives; the client who was the Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg (FBB) made up of the management board as well as the supervising board. The initial was to take care of the operations of other German airports then report directly to FBB supervisory board, made up of the gastronomy consultants as well as political leaders. Below is the program approach represented in form of a diagram in the figure below;


The program was developed by the appointment of the general contractor in regards to the offers acquired from tender, but they were perceived to be uneconomical leading to failure by the FBB that had appointed a general contractor. The tender was divided into several sectors totaling to thirty-five of them that had equal amount of contractors’ biddings as reviewed by Neumann (2003). Below is the diagrammatic representation of how the program approach set up was developed to resemble general contractor;

Organizations Involved in the BBF Program

It was hoped that the contemporary airfield would be inherent and governed by an exclusive venture capitalist. As a result, there were proposals set forth for biddings, where the earnestness of the bidders was led by ABB, Bankengesellschaft Berlin, Hochtief via its Hochtief Airport and Fraport who partnered. The other organizations that partnered included Flughafen Wien AG, Caisse des Depots, Dorsch-Consul, IVG and Commerzbank according to FBB (2008). However, the successful organization of companies that won the tender was the Hochtief that won the bid and were given the absolute jurisdiction to conciliate the stipulations and requirements for the procurement of the BBF ownership as well as its development and governance of the contemporary air terminus once it was completed for at a period of fifty years.

On tenth of November the year 2000, Hochtief and IVG that had won the bid had to develop a joint bid in efforts to acquire the contract so as to develop and govern the new airport. It was anticipated that the development of the airport would be complete come the year 2002, with the tentative launch would be five year later. The efforts to privatize the airport by the two companies were done away with by the BBF board that was made up of the current Federal Minister of Transportation in Germany; Manfred Stolpe, the current Mayor of Berlin; Klaus Wowereit and who was the chair of BBF board, voted out and termed the efforts to privatize the airport were impractical as reviewed by Gottlieb, Jensen (2012). However, they chose to compensate the companies with fifty million Euros for the efforts they had invested in the planning of the airport.

Stakeholders involved in the Berlin Brandenburg Airport Program

Bowlby (2019) outlines that the Brandenburg state, the Germany administration, the major of Berlin City, the carriers, travelers, the airport staff, the Berlin inhabitants, Tegel and Tempelhof air terminals were all associates. The more accomplices, the more difficult to understand the project and the more effort required in coherence and adjustment the management be substantive. Likewise, in several important projects, there are frequently single or several stakeholders that will be happy if the task came to nothing. It was expected that a section of the critical associates at Schonefeld and Tegel air terminals in Berlin would not be bothered by the colossal.

Timelines of Events in the Program

It took at least fifteen years of devising the development of the air terminal, but in the year 2006 November fifth, actual construction of the Berlin Brandenburg Airport started, and it was expected and announced by BBF that it the airport would be read to open by thirtieth of October 2011 according to a review by Fabricius (2019). A year later after the project commenced, BER-Infotower that was thirty-two meters high was opened as the observation tower as well as data center. The tower also served as an airport’s visitor facilities, and attached a webcam to monitor the construction progress, but it was also regarded temporal o be removed in the year 2016. In July 2008, Fülling (2010) identified that the terminal building construction began. By the year 2010 0n eight of May, the first terminal was completed and celebrated, but in the month of June, BBF announced that the deadline that was anticipated to be met on November 2011, would not be actualized, and was postponed to the following year of 2012 June. The underlying issues were that one of the companies involved; IK-IGR was bankrupt.

By thirtieth of October 2011, the terminal station and the railway line serving the airport was announced to be ready, but lacked scheduled trains till the entire airport was ready. However, due to anticipation of completion of the project by the following year of 2012, operational tests and simulations were conducted on 24th of November 2011 as noted by Spiegel (2013). The BBF had to postpone again the opening dates of the airport in the year 2012, leading to cancellations of moving plans and in some cases reversing actions already done. In the following year of 2013, Bild (2015) identify that there saw resignation of the chairperson of Supervisory board; Klaus Wowereit and replaced by Matthias Plazeck who was his deputy. There was also a dismissal of Rainer Schwarz the Chief Executive Officer of FBB, and replaced by the former CEO of Deutsche Bahn; Hartmut Mehdorn.

In the year 2014, minor designs were made on the famous main hall known as the ‘Monster’ for a single exhaust system, and it was discovered that Siemens had not designed wiring harnesses in a ninety kilometers multiple system control, leading to heightening the construction budget. In the same year, Bowlby (2019) researches that Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BBI) wanted to unfasten north landing to be used by at least decagon planes in a bright as an assessment, but the rest of the air terminus remained unfunctional. However, it was identified that through a review by Technical Inspection Association (TUV) on the invulnerability and acquiescence to codes of building in Brandenburg that the pier was unfit for operations.

The former head of Rolls Royce based in Germany; Karsten Muhlenfeld replaced the former CEO as the airport CEO in March of 2015 according to FBB (2008). Later in September the same year, the construction of the airport was stopped because of the breakdown of the major roof was menacing, as of the supervision done by the Dahne-Speewald district’s construction, but lasted for a fortnight only.

In the following year of 2016, the fire exhaustion system underwent a lapse, leading to delay of contemporary issues of redo authorization for the fire annihilation framework. The same period, the train station that was underground the airport needed a remodeling of the fire exhaustion system, since there were speculations that the train could be engulf exhaust into the station, therefore, air flow guidance was required to mitigate this consequence. Court cases were on the same year where the former FBB department head was accused of taking a hundred and fifty thousand euros bribe from Imtech back in 2012.

In 2017, Muhlenfeld was replaced by Luke-Daldrup as the leader of the development venture as well as Rainer Breitschneider was assigned responsibilities as the manager of the Supervisory board. The bankruptcy of Air Berlin in the same year delayed the opening of airport as the major hub, leading to reduction of the several contacts a person would catch as noted by Fabricius (2019). It also led to a total audit by TUV in the end of the year uncovering more critical lapses in the fire and emergency framework of the airport, farther driving back the mensuration.

Mapping of Project Management Issues

The cause of the issues that were facing the Berlin Brandenburg Program were in most of the project management areas. In summary, Wedekind (2016) argue that the issues that affected the program included the stakeholder management changing over the ownership of the project such as the dismissal of Rainer Schwarz the Chief Executive Officer of FBB, and replaced by the former CEO of Deutsche Bahn; Hartmut Mehdorn, and later replaced by Karsten Muhlenfeld. In addition, there was lack of identification of stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities as it was noted by Spiegel, on Berlin Airport Opening Delayed Yet Again (2013). Also, some of the contracted in the program such as Air Berlin and IK-IGR were bankrupt.

In the process of construction of the airport, the scope of management was faced with the adjustment of requirements as well as lack of identifying needs, such as technical requirements that delayed the opening of the north pier, the lack of fire alarm systems affirms (Spiegel (2012). There was absence of scope statement identified as requirements document were no where to be seen such as the codes of design, the standards and regulations of building. In addition, there was absence of Work breakdown Structure, leading to huge work packages with inherent cost risks in the tender process.

In addition, Rooks (2020) identifies that there were unqualified fire system designers like the Siemens Company in the resource management sector, also leading to delays in the schedule management such as completion of the project and launching that has been postponed since the year 2011 to date. According to a study conducted by Lopez (2019), the program also faced issues in the risk management, whereby there was lack of adequate preparation. For example, the clients or rather the stakeholders failed to rectify the risks that were identified in the project such as failed electronic systems, roofing as they were identified and analyzed by the TUV. In addition, the stakeholders identified in the project failed to take part once the project commenced in the year 2006.

The project was affected by communication management where there was inadequate communication with some of the stakeholders such as the Deutsche Bahn headed by Hartmut Mehdorn for failing to outline the roles and responsibilities as noted down in Project Management Institute Inc. (2017). The channels of communication among the stakeholders were not effectively established, whereby the FBB supervisory board made up of the Mayor were regarded as politicians as well as unapproachable. Finally, according to Fiedler and Wendler (2015) the procurement management was unattended as the companies that had won tenders to supply equipment and materials supervised themselves such as the architects responsible for the design documents and particularly Siemens had not designed wiring harnesses in a ninety kilometers multiple system control, leading to heightening the construction budget.

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The development of the Berlin Brandenburg Program was characterized by a myriad of issues in at least ten of its project management awareness fields. Since its commencement, the initiation was not well undertaken since the charter development was not clear, and the stakeholders were inadequately identified. Thereafter, all the processes of planning of the program were not undertaken such as communication and stakeholder management resulting to bad purview baseline development, which jeopardized the management of schedules as well as the cost in the coming time. Failed planning of resource and risk management led to potential interruption in the execution of the project issues, particularly the issues linked to quality management with the fire, electrical systems. These issues were further aggravated by the absence of control function within the integration scopes, raising the question of costs were arriving to the resources needed for the project led to more expenditure due to all issues and delays that were developed.


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