BER will open on 17 March 2013

Berlin, 17.05.2012
BER lettering

At its meeting on 16 May 2012, the Supervisory Board of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH discussed the reasons for the postponement of the opening date as well as the next steps to be taken to complete Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt. The Board reached the following decisions:

  • The airport opening date will be postponed to 17 March 2013.
  • Dr Manfred Körtgen, Managing Director for Operations and Construction, will leave the company.
  • The contract with Planungsgemeinschaft Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg International (pg bbi), the consortium responsible for project management and site supervision, will be terminated.

The airport company announced on 8 May 2012 that the opening date of 3 June 2012 would need to be postponed since completion of the safety systems and their subsequent structural approval could no longer be accomplished by the planned opening date. The BER planners had decided to complete a partially automated version of the fire protection and control system by 3 June as a transitional solution and to establish the fully automated system in the months following the planned opening. This timesaving option has been rejected by the Building Standards Authority, which means the airport can only commence operations with the originally planned fully automated fire safety and control system.

The pending work on the fire safety and control system will take until December 2012. Completion of the construction work will be followed by the so-called impact and complex inspection by certified experts, subsequent inspection by the Building Standards Authority, further trial runs, the designation of the airport site as a security area, and delivery of goods to storage facilities, shops and restaurants.

The new timescale has been set to avoid the risk of the estimated time for inspections, approvals and certifications being insufficient. Furthermore, due to the potential for adverse weather conditions and resulting operational restrictions, carrying out an airport move during the winter is too risky and generally not recommended.

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