Berlin campaign against the opening of Berlin Brandenberg airport next year

John Stewart, Chair of AirportWatch and of HACAN, was in Berlin on Sunday 3rd June. He was speaking at a rally of over 1,000 people who demonstrated outside the town hall in Central Berlin against the new Berlin Brandenberg near Berlin, which is due to open next year.  The airport was due to open this year, but this has been delayed for many months, due to safety issues.  This delay has given the protesters against the airport in Berlin time to mobilise and really oppose the opening of the airport. With active protest taking place in Frankfurt against the noise from the new runway, and active opposition in Munich against a proposed 3rd runway at the airport, it is likely that a German AirportWatch will be set up, bringing together all the campaigns, and making them all more forceful in their concerted action.



John Stewart, Chair of AirportWatch and of HACAN, was in Berlin on Sunday 3rd June. He was speaking at a rally of over 1,000 people who demonstrated outside the town hall in Central Berlin against the new airport in Berlin which is due to open next year.  I

The photo is of John being introduced by Florian Sperk, who leads the Munich anti-third runway campaign, and who was also speaking at the rally.

It looks at if there are plans for a German AirportWatch to be set up bringing together all the campaigns.

 

Florian Sperk and John Stewart, in Berlin

 


 

Here’s the link to a short news report which gives a good flavour of the Berlin protest on Sunday, from the daily TV-news of RBB (Radio Berlin-Brandenburg):

http://www.dfld.de/MMhtml/120603i.wmv


 

04.06.2012

 

Protest statt Party...Bildvergrößerung

“The (?) disaster costs us all the last shirt”

Learning from London

The new airport is slow in coming, the protests of the opponents go further noise

4.6.2012 (Berlin – Markische Allgemeine)

John Stewart is the man they are looking at in front of the Red Town Hall. He stands on a small stage, in the drizzle, on Sunday afternoon and speaks to at least a thousand people, aircraft noise opponents as he does.

John Stewart has achieved something that many in the region can only dream of.  Through years of work and protest, he has defeated a seemingly invincible enemy, a powerful coalition of politics and economics: John Stewart is the man who has prevented the third runway of London’s Heathrow Airport.

If anyone in the local audience today wants to protest, they would be a few miles south, to demonstrate in Schönefeld (Dahme-Spreewald) against the opening of the new main airport there. But the launch of “Willy Brandt” airport is known to be delayed.  [Delayed till March 2013, from  June 2012. See below].  This was not caused by John Stewart or protests, but the mismanagement of the owners and builders, and the Supervisory Board.

Stewart’s message that he gives as an invited speaker at the civil society rally in Berlin-Brandenburg is: Now more than ever. “With each demonstration, it will become harder for the government,” he shouts into the thunderous applause.

The Demonstrators wave their banners, some examples of which say: “Wowi in the approach path” or “Platzeck on the departure route.”

On clotheslines worn shirts and blouses  flutter. The demo is themed, “The BER disaster will cost us all our last shirt.”

The airport delay has given the residents a “summer of grace,” as some activists have expressed sarcastically.  But that could now be the major upcoming project challenge of the protest movement. Because today in Brandenburg, the petition was started for a continuous ban on night flights 22pm to 6 am.

The combined aircraft noise that was supposed to have started yesterday (when the airport was meant to have opened) from the new airport is delayed, giving time to mobilise the people.   Or, as fellow campaigner Christine Dorn puts. “The burden is still theoretical.” Christine Dorn of South East Alliance is aware of the changed circumstances  of the petition, now the airport opening is delayed.  She is optimistic that the necessary 80 000 voices will come together in Brandenburg. The noise gives opponents until the beginning of the year, with the chance to (?) reform national legislation (? translation).

So far, Brandenburg has not been a good place for direct democracy, and all eight referenda have failed. But the  period is now extended from four to six months, and people can sign by mail. In addition, the municipalities have more opportunities to set up polling stations.

The airport delay in opening has also increased awareness of the impending threat of aircraft noise for Berlin, because there are more (?) night flights at Tegel airport (in Berlin) says Dorn. “Berlin and Brandenburg have not divided.” This is also the “message of hope” that John Stewart presented the Brandenburg and Berlin airport opponents.  “Ten years ago, we were confronted with the plan of a third runway and today we have managed the impossible”

Cooperation is the order of the day, says the 62-year-old: “With every delay for the airport, the opponents have the chance to win, and the government loses. “(By Torsten Gellner)

 

http://www.maerkischeallgemeine.de/cms/beitrag/12338190/62249/Der-neue-Flughafen-laesst-auf-sich-warten-die.html

 

 


From the origninal German

Von London lernen

Der neue Flughafen lässt auf sich warten, die Proteste der Lärmgegner gehen weiter

Protest statt Party...BildvergrößerungProtest statt Party…

 4.6.2012 Markische Allgemeine

BERLIN – John Stewart ist der Mann, zu dem sie aufschauen vor dem Roten Rathaus. Er steht am Sonntagnachmittag im Nieselregen auf einer kleinen Bühne und spricht zu gut Tausend Leuten, Fluglärmgegner wie er. Stewart hat etwas geschafft, von dem viele in der Region träumen. Er hat in jahrelanger Protestarbeit einen scheinbar unbesiegbaren Gegner bezwungen, eine mächtige Koalition aus Politik und Wirtschaft: John Stewart ist der Mann, der die dritte Bahn des Londoner Flughafen Heathrow verhindert hat.

So jemand kommt an beim hiesigen Protestpublikum, das heute eigentlich ein paar Kilometer südlich aufmarschieren wollte, um in Schönefeld (Dahme-Spreewald) gegen die Eröffnung des neuen Großflughafens zu demonstrieren. Aber der Start des „Willy Brandt“-Flughafens ist bekanntlich gestoppt. Kein John Stewart hat das bewirkt, sondern das Missmanagement der Bauherren und des Aufsichtsrats.

Stewarts Signal, das er als Gastredner auf der Kundgebung des Bürgervereins Brandenburg-Berlin gibt, lautet: Jetzt erst recht. „Mit jeder Demonstration wird es für die Regierung schwieriger zu gewinnen“, ruft er in den tosenden Applaus. Die

Demonstranten schwenken ihre Banner, auf denen Sätze stehen wie: „Wowi in die Einflugschneise“ oder „Platzeck auf die Abflugroute“. Auf Wäscheleinen

flattern abgetragene Hemden und Blusen. Die Demo steht unter dem Motto: „Das BER-Desaster kostet uns alle das letzte Hemd.“ Die Flughafenverspätung hat den Anwohnern einen „letzten Sommer der Gnade“ beschert, wie es manche Aktivisten sarkastisch formuliert haben. Doch das könnte dem nun anstehenden Großprojekt der Protestbewegung gefährlich werden. Denn ab heute startet in Brandenburg das Volksbegehren für ein durchgehendes Nachtflugverbot von 22 bis 6 Uhr. Der gebündelte Fluglärm, der eigentlich seit gestern vom neuen Standort in Schönefeld ausgehen und die Massen mobilisieren sollte, lässt auf sich warten. Oder wie es Mitstreiterin Christine Dorn ausdrückt: „Die Belastung ist theoretisch geworden.“ Christine Dorn vom Bündnis Südost weiß um die veränderten Vorzeichen, unter denen die Unterschriftensammlung nun steht. Sie ist dennoch optimistisch, dass die nötigen 80 000 Stimmen in Brandenburg zusammenkommen. Den Lärmgegnern verschafft die Anfang des Jahres reformierte Volksgesetzgebung Rückenwind. Bislang war Brandenburg kein gutes Pflaster für die direkte Demokratie; alle acht Volksbegehren sind gescheitert. Nun aber wurde die Sammlungsfrist von vier auf sechs Monate verlängert, Unterschriften können auch per Post geleistet werden. Außerdem haben die Kommunen mehr Möglichkeiten, Abstimmungslokale einzurichten.

Die Flughafenverspätung habe auch das Bewusstsein der Berliner für drohenden Fluglärm erhöht, etwa weil in Tegel jetzt nachts länger geflogen wird, sagt Dorn. „Berlin und Brandenburg lassen sich nicht auseinanderdividieren.“ Das ist auch die „Botschaft der Hoffnung“, die John Stewart den märkischen und Berliner Flughafengegnern präsentiert. „Vor zehn Jahren hat man uns mit dem Plan einer dritten Bahn konfrontiert und heute haben wir das Unmögliche geschafft.“ Zusammenarbeit sei das Gebot der Stunde, meint der 62-Jährige: „Mit jedem Mal, da sich der Flughafen verspätet, gewinnt ihr und die Regierung verliert.“ (Von Torsten Gellner)

 


 

Berlin Brandenburg Airport opening date postponed – till March 2013

17.5.2012

The new Berlin Brandenburg (Willie Brandt) airport will not now open till March 2013.  It had been due to open in June 2012, and was postponed recently until August 2012.  The problem appears be the fire safety system. The airport can only commence operations with a fully automated fire safety and control system as originally planned, and the interim solution of a partly automated system will not be allowed. This will take until December 2012. In addition, the risk would be too high to move the airport in winter due to adverse weather leading to operational restrictions.  The Managing Director Operations, responsible for the construction of the airport, will have to leave the company. Keeping open the two older Berlin airports that this one will replace will cost about €15 million a month.  http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=1920

 

 

Fire safety problems delay new Berlin airport yet again – opening on 3rd June delayed to late August

May 9, 2012    The opening of Berlin’s new airport will be delayed by up to 3 months due to fire safety problems. This an embarrassing blow to the German capital’s flagship project less than a month before its planned launch, which had been due for 3rd June. Berlin-Brandenburg Airport, which will also be known as Willy Brandt Airport after West Germany’s Cold War chancellor, may now open in the 2nd half of August, after the school holidays in Berlin and Brandenburg. Flights were to have been transferred from Berlin’s Tegel airport, to the new one. The problem is that the fire safety installations – notably smoke extractors – were not ready, so a safe evacuation of passengers could not yet be acheived in the event of fire. The delay will cost the two existing airports, and some airlines, money. The opening of what will be Germany’s third largest airport after Frankfurt and Munich, has been postponed once already.    Click here to view full story…

 

More news and information at  Berlin Airports