The new airport will be even bigger – first flight takes off on 3 June 201225.06.2010
Commenting on today’s decision, Klaus Wowereit, Governing Mayor of Berlin and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Berlin Airports, said: “The opening date for the BBI Airport is a good compromise between forward-looking planning and a continuation of our speedy implementation timeline for the new airport. In comparable projects delays lasting years are the norm, as are exploding costs. We are far removed from encountering such obstacles. The Willy-Brandt Airport is and will remain a success story.”
Matthias Platzeck, Prime Minister of the State of Brandenburg, said: “The decision we took today is a decision driven by reason. There is no point in holding on to one particular opening date at all costs. With the new airport, we will be offering the aviation industry a clear perspective from mid-2012, a solid basis to allow them to roll out their plans and schedules for the Berlin region.”
Rainer Bomba, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development, added: “Today’s decision underscores the demand of the federal government: when it opens, the top-most priority must be to have BBI operating smoothly. All functions and procedures must be perfect when the first scheduled flights take off and land. This is essential, not only for the airport’s security, but also for the BBI’s reputation. The new timetable presented today gives the aviation location Berlin-Brandenburg a clear perspective.”
Prof. Dr. Rainer Schwarz, Chief Executive Officer of Berlin Airports, said: “I believe that today’s decision makes supreme sense, both in planning and economic terms. With the new opening date we will not need to turn away traffic, and with the building solution reached today we remain securely within the existing budget for BBI.”
Manfred Körtgen, Managing Director of Operations/BBI at Berlin Airports, added: “A major project as complex as an airport requires a vast amount of coordination. Even with the new timetable, the construction of the new BBI is going to be a lot of hard work. We will continue to do everything in our power to push forward the implementation of BBI as forcefully and as speedily as we can.”
- A sustainable solution: more space for security screening
Today’s decision sees Berlin Airports responding to the European Union directive on the amendment of aviation security standards which came into force on 29 April 2010. In accordance with the new directive, as from April 2013 passengers will again be allowed to carry beverages and other liquids on board in their hand baggage. On 25 May 2010, Berlin Airports received from the federal police a concrete forecast of what the consequences of the new rules would be. The report came to the conclusion that the implementation of the rules would result in considerable space problems at the screening gates in the BBI terminal. As things stand at the moment, larger, heavier screening equipment will be needed to screen liquids and more space will be required to handle a greater number of screening steps.
With the new planning timeline agreed today, Berlin Airports is creating a sustainable solution for BBI and for hand baggage screening and passenger controls. The redesigned security area will allow full-body scanners to be installed if needed; the use of these new scanners in Europe is currently being discussed.
- Adapting the technical building services plans
Today’s decision by the Supervisory Board of Berlin Airports also takes the present situation of technical building services for the new airport into consideration. The insolvency of IGK-IGR Ingenieurgesellschaft Kruck mbH in February of this year resulted in a delay in the plans for the airport.
Berlin Airports, the Planungsgemeinschaft Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg International (pgbbi) – the consortium responsible for planning the new airport – and the BBI project managers WSP CBP Airport GmbH (CBP) are unanimous that the necessary technical building services plans can be implemented within the new timeframe. This was the result of comprehensive meetings, detailed plans and votes over the past few weeks.
- Adherence to the original opening date deemed too risky
Berlin Airports believes that holding on to the original opening date – which had been scheduled for 30 October 2011 – would be too risky, both because of the new security regulations and the delays in the technical building services plans. The BBI security screening zone needs to be extensively redesigned to comply with the new regulations, and all these changes will require authorization which is expected to take some time. With regard to the technical building services, completion in time for the original opening date, even if all available acceleration measures are used, is considered too risky.
- Additional investment is fully absorbed by the present budget
The new, sustainable plans for BBI will see Berlin Airports investing an additional €50 million. This amount covers the cost of planning and building the two new security screening pavilions and the modification of the terminal necessitated by the new regulations. €62 million has been budgeted to cover the necessary additional expenditure required to complete the project on time and adapt the construction schedule. Additionally, the rescheduling of the opening date will result in an income shortfall amounting to €26 million. Reallocations within the budget and the investment of reserves mean that the project’s original funding concept (€2.4 billion in loans, €430 million from shareholders, €440 million equity contribution by Berlin Airports) will remain unchanged.
- Background information: new configuration of the BBI security screening lines based on the new EU regulations
The implementation of the new configuration will take place in two stages:
- From the first day of operations, the airport will have 32 security screening lines with a peak capacity of 4,500 passengers instead of the originally planned configuration with 36 security lines.
- From April 2013, the airport will have 36 security screening lines in the new configuration including liquids detection with a peak capacity of 5,500 passengers.