Ground broken on new Berlin airport

Dec. 27, 2006 at 5:44 PM
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BERLIN, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- The groundbreaking ceremony for the Berlin Brandenburg International airport has taken place amid controversy and after years of delay.

Until now there has been three airports to choose from in Berlin, the two city airports -- Tegel and Tempelhof -- as well as the Schoenefeld airport, Deutsche Welle reported Wednesday.

The Berlin Brandenburg International will be the only airport left in the city by 2011. It will be constructed on a site next to the Schoenefeld airport.

The new airport is controversial because it will be costing German taxpayers about $3.3 billion because no private investors could be found.

But Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit said it will be money well spent.

"Berlin is an international metropolis, the capital of one of the biggest countries in Europe and of course it has to have something that stands out from the rest, and that is always an airport," Wowereit said. "It's not going to be a marble palace and it's not going to be a wooden shack. What we will build is a solid, functional airport which will also be very appealing architecturally."

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