FBB exacts personnel consequences and supports investigations


In view of the static problems announced at BER, FBB has taken the appropriate steps by releasing a responsible BER employee from his duties with immediate effect. Frank Röbbelen, to date responsible for Planning and Contract Management, and working at FBB since February 2014, will immediately assume the role of Module Manager at the Passenger Terminal. Airport boss Karsten Mühlenfeld: "We feel obliged to take this step as we are certain that we will be able to manage such complex issues better and more transparently in the future with Frank Röbbelen. By transferring responsibility for the BER main terminal to Frank Röbbelen, we are putting it in the hands of a proven construction expert in the technical area headed by Jörg Marks."

FBB welcomes initiation of preliminary proceedings by state prosecutor

With regard to the preliminary proceedings initiated by the Cottbus state prosecutor, CEO Karsten Mühlenfeld adds: "We expressly welcome the fact that the state prosecutor has become actively involved in order to clarify who bears responsibility for incorrect installation of the smoke extraction fans in the years leading up to 2012. We remain in contact with the Cottbus state prosecutor and have already provided assurance of our full support in clarifying this inherited liability."

Difficult project phase, "inherited liability which we must overcome"

Mühlenfeld: "There is no denying the fact that we are currently undergoing a difficult project phase. We will however continue to pursue this path without making any compromises and achieve a reliable basis for BER in terms of official measures required by law. The statics issue with the technical platforms suspended from the roof is an inherited liability which we must now overcome. I am certain that the future will also see us coming across procedures from the past which would appear to be unbelievable at first. But we must bring the errors of the past out into the open in order to succeed at opening BER. This includes planning and construction errors of the past as well as personal mistakes made by individual project participants. Accordingly, in the course of the pending fraud investigations in Cottbus, we parted ways on Monday this week with an employee who had been with us for many years."

Current status of technical platform statics

Last Friday saw FBB closing a section of the BER main terminal. This measure was due to preparations for installing the smoke extraction funnels in the terminal roof. Within this context, FBB subjected the actual roof loads to renewed examination, thereby explicitly and officially confirming the static integrity of the BER terminal: "The comparison of the global model indicates that the prevailing additional loads do not exceed those assumed and officially verified in the plans and that the static evidence supplied to date remains valid." Contrary to some speculations therefore, there is no danger of the terminal collapsing. Nevertheless, five significantly heavier smoke extraction fans were installed than assumed in the original plans.
A total of 15 smoke extraction fans are installed in the terminal roof spanning 180 x 220 metres. The original static calculations assumed that all of the smoke extraction fans were of the same size and therefore availing of working and operating platforms of the same size.
The ten fans in the CG and DG axes (large terminal hall) have an output of 80,000 cbm per hour and a total weight of approx. 2,300 kg. The five fans in the BG axis (near the C-structure, responsible for extracting smoke from the marketplace) have an output of 160,000 cbm per hour and a total weight of approx. 4,000 kg. The 15 smoke extraction fans were mounted on steel platforms suspended from the terminal ceiling's primary support structure. From today's perspective, the technical platforms are undersized for the five large fans in the BG axis.
Following presentation of the static engineer's calculations, FBB will disclose the next steps to be taken.

Spokesman Lars Wagner

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

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