Next steps in fire protection


The COO of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH, Horst Amann, today presented his analysis of the known fire protection issues at Berlin Brandenburg Airport. This analysis offers the following solutions to key issues:

  • As already reported, four parts of the smoke extraction system in the main pier are being modified in such a way as to enable smoke to be extracted on every floor rather than across floors. Only in the main central pier will smoke continue to be extracted across floors. Further real-life tests (so-called hot gas smoke tests) will be carried out in the next few months to prove the functionality of the system to the approving authorities.
  • As regards the baggage conveyor system/baggage reclaim hall, structural deviations from planning permission are being rectified by installing smoke control barriers on the different conveyor belts on each floor to prevent smoke spreading across floors in the event of a fire.
  • The fully automated locking system employed at BER, which uses key cards rather than keys, is now a well-established system on the market. It is already in operation at Frankfurt Airport. The airport company will prove to the approving authorities the functionality of the system even in the event of a power cut, as requested.
  • No modifications will be made to the complex sprinkler system with tens of thousands of sprinkler heads. As requested by the approving authorities, the airport company will provide evidence of the system's reliability.

Horst Amann: "We have discussed the fire protection issues intensively since announcing the new opening date and have received expert advice. This includes a statement requested by myself from fire safety experts hhpberlin in late October in which the company estimated the situation to be more critical than previously believed. We have reached the following conclusions: although the opening date of 27/10/2013 stands, work still needs to be done. We have therefore laid the necessary foundations: all remaining construction work must be strictly monitored. I have therefore established new structures with a number of new staff, clearly defining responsibilities and tasks. In some areas, e.g. the baggage system, the structural state required by planning permission must be achieved. In areas where the actual construction of the airport continues to deviate from planning permission, we must use hot gas smoke tests to prove the functionality of the fire protection system to the authorities. This will take until February 2013. Public speculation about 'parts of the terminal having to be ripped up' is not true."

Background: The opening of the airport had to be postponed to 27/10/2013 due to problems with the fire protection system.

The original plan was to inform the project committee, a sub-committee of the Supervisory Board, of the progress being made by mid November. Due to illness, major shareholders were informed of the situation today.


Spokesman Lars Wagner

Lars Wagner Head of the Press Office / Spokesman
Berlin Brandenburg Airport

+49 30 6091-70100 +49 30 6091-70070