A tour of the construction site of the new Capital Airport Berlin Brandenburg International BBI
No German aviation location is currently developing with a dynamism like that of Berlin: the urban airports Tegel and Tempelhof are shutting down. On the outskirts of Berlin, the new Capital Airport BBI has been under construction for one and a half years. The construction project boasts impressive dimensions: 2,000 football pitches large, two billion euros total investments, thousands of new jobs. No question about it: the BBI is the most important future project of the region of the German capital. From November 2011, the traffic will be combined at the BBI to overcome the artificial fragmentation of the capital’s air traffic.
The construction of the BBI at a glance:
Schoenefeld comes closer to the city: the A113neu motorway
The 700-metre final section of the airport motorway A113neu has been under construction since December 2007. Opening date: 23 May 2008. Then, the Berlin city motorways A111 and A113neu will merge at the Waltersdorf/Schoenefeld intersection. This will already bring the current Schoenefeld Airport closer to Berlin City. The travel time from the Kurfürstendamm to Schoenefeld will be shortened from 32 to 25 minutes. At the same time, by filling the gap, the BBI will be ideally connected to the motorway network from 2011.
Berlin’s biggest business park: the BBI Business Park Berlin
On the north-east outskirts of the Schoenefeld Airport, the capital’s biggest business park is currently under construction: the BBI Business Park Berlin. Over an area of 109 hectares, investors are provided with office, logistics, business and industry areas. In its marketing of the area, Berlin Airports already enjoyed success twice over. In January 2008, a 37.9 hectare area was sold to the British business park operator SEGRO. In addition, in February, Berlin Airports sold a 17,000 square-metre area to ANH Hausbesitz GmbH & Co.KG from the Sauerland region of Germany. In mid-2008, the first access section was realised. The preparatory work is already underway.
National highway and motorway: optimum traffic connections for the BBI
Via its own motorway and national highway connection, the BBI is ideally connected to Berlin, East and North Germany, as well as West Poland. The outlines of the future traffic connection of the BBI are already recognisable: the first bridge constructions of the distributor hub and the feeder road to the A113neu, the preparatory soil construction for further engineering constructions and work on the future road axes are currently being carried out. Furthermore, the foundation work and the production of supports for constructions of the approx. 470-metre long and approx. 50-metre wide terminal forecourt have begun.
Everything from one supplier: the central concrete mixing plant
Europe’s most modern concrete mixing plant is situated in the direct vicinity of the BBI construction site and has its own rail connection. Up until the opening of the BBI, 3.4 million tons of concrete will be produced here. At present, three plants with a total 660 cubic-metres mixing capacity per hour are installed – this corresponds to 75 percent of the planned maximum mixing capacity. Everyday, 1,500 cubic-metres of concrete are delivered. For this purpose, one train with cement and two trains with aggregates are required. For the planned peak time on the BBI construction site, a fourth mixer is being constructed, so that daily amounts of up to 6,000 cubic-metres concrete can be delivered.
Premium location at the BBI: Tempelhof GAT traffic moves to Schoenefeld
The shutting down of the Tempelhof Airport at the end of October 2008 marks the first step in the concentration of the capital’s air traffic at the Schoenefeld/BBI site. Whilst scheduled flights will move to Tegel, the General Aviation will in future be accommodated at Schoenefeld. Berlin Airports is investing 7.5 million euros in the expansion of the existing GAT systems. For this purpose, a two-storey office building (size: 63 x 13 m, usable area: 1,000 square-metres) is being built, the existing GAT terminal is being expanded and a new hangar (size: 90 x 32 m, usable area: 2,800 m²) is being erected.
Promising prospects for everyone: BBI Infotower accessible to the public from June
The BBI Infotower is located in the centre of the new Capital Airport, in the direct vicinity of the future terminal and thus in the midst of the construction events. Since November 2007, more than 25,000 visitors have taken the opportunity to climb the observation tower to take a look across the construction site, which is as large as 2,000 football pitches. From the end of May 2008, in addition to the BBI Infotower, the visitor pavilion will offer an exhibition with information on the BBI. After the ILA 2008, the observation tower will be accessible to the public – the admission will then be 2 euros, with a discount price of 1 euro.
The region is profiting: 742 million euros for the region
The SME concept of Berlin Airports for the awarding of BBI construction projects is proving to be a success: up until the end of March 2008, Berlin Airports had awarded 256 projects with a total volume of 866 million euros. 209 of these projects, with a volume of 742 million euros, were awarded to companies in Berlin and Brandenburg. This means: 86 percent of the project volume ended up in the Berlin-Brandenburg region.
Strict monitoring: active prevention of illicit employment
The BBI construction site is currently the largest airport construction site in Europe. With a complete bundle of measures, Berlin Airports is making active attempts to nip illicit employment at the construction site in the bud. The entire construction site is classed as a non-public area and is thus currently surrounded by an 11-kilometre long construction fence. The entrances are secured by gate and barrier systems. The surveillance is completely computer-controlled. Personalised construction site photograph identity cards are required for access to the construction site. Only employees with social insurance are granted access to the construction site. This regulation also applies to all construction companies and their subcontractors.
4,000 metres long: the new southern runway of the BBI
Even if the BBI site seems as smooth as a board: the precise modelling of the future BBI operating site is a decisive prerequisite for the further construction work. Up to five-metre high hills are currently being levelled and hollows in the ground are being evened out. Furthermore, pump stations, channels and pipes are being built for supplies to and disposal from the BBI. The route of the future new southern runway is already clearly recognisable today.
Hill on hill: managing the masses of earth at the BBI
Since September 2007, the BBI construction site has had two of its own soil interim storage facilities. The removed earth is distributed in so-called topsoil pits and mineral soil pits. Currently, the capacity utilisation of the soil interim storage facility is 44 percent for the topsoil and 50 percent for the mineral soil.
The ceiling is cast: the BBI Station is taking shape
The 470-metre long and 60-metre wide BBI Station is taking shape: it forms the foundation for the BBI terminal, is supported by 236 concrete piles of up to 20 metres in length and has two platforms for regional and long-distance traffic, as well as an urban railway track. The construction work on the shell of the underground station is fully underway. The levels, walls and supports of the six-platform station are complete. The work on the first 185 metre-long part-section of the shell will be already completed by the middle of the year so that the construction of the BBI terminal can begin on time. This Wednesday, the fourth of a total of nine ceiling panels will be laid with concrete for the Station’s first construction section.
Editorial remark Since April 2008, progress on the BBI construction site can also be followed from the comfort of your own home: the new panorama webcam broadcasts its 360° panoramic pictures every hour on the webpage of Berlin Airports. The camera is installed on the BBI Infotower. Furthermore, Berlin Airports is offering press representatives a photo and video archive on its homepage with current photo and film material of the BBI construction site. On www.berlin-airport.de in the section “Press & Photo”, you can download photos in printable quality (300dpi). The use is free-of-charge for editorial purposes.