View from the empty main hall of BER Berlin Brandenburg Airport at one of their test runs before opening
View from the empty main entrance of BER Berlin Brandenburg Airport at one of their test runs before opening
View from the BER airport waiting hall onto the tarmac with the silhouette of a person waiting and looking outside
Still empty advertising window at the entrance of Berlin's BER Airport before opening,
Details of wildly interwoven wooden panels at the construction site inside the building of Berlin Brandenburg Airport before it's official opening.
View from inside the airport building of baggage carts on the tarmac with test baggage on an airport trial day
Inside the elevator still covered with wooden pannels and plastic foil on an airport test run day at Berlin Airport BER
Airport workers standing in front of the Berlin Brandenburg Airport BER on a sunny day
The waiting hall at BER airport with a scene of people waiting is reflected in the opposite window.

Building BER

For many Berliners, the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport – code name BER – construction project had long been nothing more than a running gag, albeit a very sad one. The airport was in the planning stage for almost 30 years, with a total of seven planned openings that repeatedly failed, the first as early as 2007. The problems were manifold and ranged from planning errors and fire safety issues to allegations of corruption.

In 2011, for example, there was already a train station at the airport with a train arriving at the abandoned station four times a day and ticket machines that had to be torn down again because they would have been obsolete by the time the airport actually opened. Likewise with hundreds of screens for passenger information. They had been in operation since 2012 and were already disfunctional before the opening in 2020.

In the summer before the last and actually final opening date – October 31, 2020 – the airport was extensively tested with legions of volunteers. That's how I flew as a certain Oliver Gerakoulakos from Berlin to Grenoble and returned to Berlin from Kittilä in Finland in the middle of the pandemic, at least on paper. I wouldn't have wanted to miss out on the chance to witness the inner workings of the new airport first-hand and I took it as an opportunity to document the never-ending story in a state of in-between, in which it is running but not officially open, maybe best reflecting it's eternal becoming.

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