Berlin's much-delayed Brandenburg International Airport is set to open in the first half of next year, but at a vastly reduced capacity of a mere 10 flights per day.
Airport CEO Hartmut Mehdorn has reportedly pegged "March or April" for the first commercial services, with an exact timetable to come later this year.
But whatever date is circled in his diary "it must be a date that we accomplish without risk (of delay)," Mehdorn said, although adding that "Quality is more important than speed" according to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
This is the fifth proposed opening date for the new airport, which was originally slated for a ribbon-cutting ceremony in October 2011.
The ceiling of ten flights – which includes both take-offs and landings – would see the airport handling a mere 1,500 passengers per day, a far cry from the 82,000 per day (30 million per day) for which it was designed.
The cost of the Brandenburg hub has reportedly almost doubled from an initial €2.4 billion (A$3.5m) to €4.3 billion, with a sub-standard fire safety system held responsible for the setbacks.
Built to replace three airports serving the German capital, including the existing Berlin Schönefeld Airport on which the new facility is based, Berlin Brandenburg Airport is handily located just 18 kilometres south of central Berlin.
It will be the new hub for oneworld partner airberlin as well as hosting Lufthansa.
The main pier, shown during construction below, is 715 meters long (that's almost five Aussie rules football fields, or six if you're a rugby fan) with 16 glass-walled gates.
One of the three piers will be be reserved exclusively for airberlin and its oneworld partners.
The front of the terminal is an impressive sight...
... especially at night, with a soaring brightly-lit roof reaching over the access road.
The airy spacious design continues inside, of course.
The transparent walkway for passengers in transit is an especially cool touch.
Now scope out the 'Infotower', a 32 metre high observation tower for visitors to the airport, with both covered and open-air platforms.
Basically triangular in shape, the tower has an interesting twist to it – quite literally so!
The outer shell of the building is made of a transparent light-sensitive membrane which shimmers blue and white during the day and according to the airport authority, can even be used 'as a backdrop for multimedia projections'.
Just hope the lift doesn't break down, leaving you to climb all those stairs...
Berlin Airport should cater for up to 30 million passengers per year, and will grow to 50 million when further terminals are added.
An underground railway station will link the airport to Berlin's S-Bahn metro, with a separate Airport Express running to Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Berlin central station) in 30 minutes as well as high-speed rail services to Hannover, Hamburg, Amsterdam and Prague.
Adjacent to the airport itself will be the Airport City park for shops, offices and restaurants...
... and a four-star hotel connected directly to the terminal.
Other eye-catching airport designs featured on Australian Business Traveller...
- New York's stunning TWA Terminal looks like something from The Jetsons, except it was built in the 1960s!
- Kuwait's amazing 'mega-hub' airport will challenge Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports for supremacy in the middle-east
- Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic Spaceport is ready for business, with the first Virgin Galactic sub-orbital flight due by year's end
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.