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CEO of Berlin's troubled new airport to step down, cites speculation over his position

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BERLIN — The chief executive of Berlin's troubled new airport has announced that he will step down, ending a two-year stint in charge of the project days after officials said it will begin operating in the second half of 2017.

PHOTO: Airport CEO Hartmut Mehdorn answers journalists' questions in Motzen, Germany,  Friday Dec. 12, 2014. Berlin’s new airport should be open within three years - barring further unforeseen problems. German news agency dpa quoted Rainer Bretschneider, the deputy chairman of the airport’s supervisory board, saying that it will begin operating in the second half of 2017. The airport was first scheduled to be ready late 2011 but that and three other opening dates were canceled due to technical problems. Costs, meanwhile, have more than doubled to some 5.4 billion euros (US $7.1 billion).  (AP Photo/dpa,Wolfgang Kumm)
Airport CEO Hartmut Mehdorn answers journalists' questions in Motzen, Germany, Friday Dec. 12, 2014. Berlin’s new airport should be open within three years - barring further unforeseen problems. German news agency dpa quoted Rainer Bretschneider, the deputy chairman of the airport’s supervisory board, saying that it will begin operating in the second half of 2017. The airport was first scheduled to be ready late 2011 but that and three other opening dates were canceled due to technical problems. Costs, meanwhile, have more than doubled to some 5.4 billion euros (US $7.1 billion). (AP Photo/dpa,Wolfgang Kumm)

An airport statement said Monday that Hartmut Mehdorn offered to stay on until a successor is found, but will step down by June 30.

Mehdorn says he found "chaos and standstill" when he took over in March 2013, but order has now been brought to the project. His decision followed recent reports of poor relations with airport directors and Mehdorn cited "speculation" about his position.

The airport was first scheduled to open in 2011, but that and three other opening dates were canceled because of technical problems.

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