New airport in German city opens to criticism

New airport in central German city faces sharp criticism over costs, necessity

Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) -- Germany has a new 271 million-euro ($348 million) airport that critics are already calling a waste of money.

The Kassel-Calden Airport in central Germany currently has around a dozen scheduled flights a week. Regional officials opened the largely regional government-funded facility Thursday.

Hesse state Gov. Volker Bouffier argued that expanding the previously existing, smaller airfield would help attract more business to the region. But currently, most flights are to Mediterranean vacation spots.

Critics say Kassel-Calden is too close to airports such as Hannover and Paderborn. It's also less than two hours by train from Germany's main Frankfurt hub.

Joachim Papendick of the state branch of the Alliance of Taxpayers says it's a "questionable use of public money."

Germany has criticized wasteful state spending in other European countries.

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