Berlin airport: head of engineering amann must vacate post

berlin airport: head of engineering amann must vacate post

After months of leadership dispute at berlin’s new capital airport, head of engineering horst amann loses his executive position. This was announced by berlin’s mayor klaus wowereit (SPD) on wednesday evening. He spoke of a decision "by mutual agreement". At the same time, wowereit announced that no start date would be set this year for the airport, the opening of which had already been postponed several times. "We will only set a time when it is really clear that things are on track so that nothing can really go wrong anymore."

The chairman of the grunen faction in the bundestag, anton hofreiter, sharply criticized the dismissal and demanded consequences. "The conditions at BER have reached a level that you can hardly imagine", said hofreiter "handelsblatt online". The incumbent federal minister of transport, peter ramsauer (CSU), must "finally take responsibility and not continue to act as if he had nothing to do with all this.

At the same time, hofreiter called for wowereit’s withdrawal from the BER supervisory board. "Wowereit should leave the supervisory board completely instead of continuing to solve the problems", said the grunen faction leader.
Four opening dates have already been cancelled due to planning errors and construction problems. The airport was supposed to start operations two years ago, but observers no longer expect it to start before 2015. "We still see many obstacles, said wowereit. However, solutions have been found to the problems in essential areas, such as the complex fire protection system.

The civil engineer horst amann came to berlin in august 2012 as a great hopeful from frankfurt airport to lead the multi-billion project out of the crisis. Shortly after the new airport boss hartmut mehdorn took office in march, a dispute arose over the strategy for the multi-billion euro project. Mehdorn repeatedly called for amann to be kicked out.

Now amann leads from 1. November the airport energy and water gmbh. It operates the electricity, water, wastewater, heating and cooling networks of the existing tegel and schonefeld airports and the new berlin airport. Amann’s comments retain the current high. "We want this area to be developed", wowereit replied to the question of whether amann had merely received a supply post.

"Of course there were highs and lows", wowereit said about the manager’s balance sheet. He emphasized that amann had come to the airport at a difficult time and that his inventory of the more than 60.000 lack created a basis for further decisions. At the same time, wowereit was disappointed that an opening date mentioned by amann had been overturned. The supervisory board also mentioned the public dispute with mehdorn.

The latter had accused amann of having caused a year of standstill on the construction site. Mehdorn was critical of the stocktaking because he preferred to look to the future. Amann, on the other hand, does not think much of mehdorn’s plan to start a test operation with a maximum of ten flights a day in a side wing of the terminal as early as next year.

According to wowereit, there will be no new technical director at the airport berlin brandenburg gmbh for the time being. It is expected that mehdorn will take over a large part of amann’s responsibilities. The executive board also includes chief financial officer heike folster.

On wednesday, the state of berlin renewed wowereit’s mandate on the supervisory board, and the board also reelected him as deputy chairman. The mayor has been acting head of the supervisory board since the then head of government of brandenburg, matthias platzeck (SPD), withdrew in august. Wowereit is said to have ambitions of resuming the post he was forced to relinquish in january under the impact of the airport debacle.

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