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BER in Test Mode

01.10.2019

The Next Steps before Opening in October 2020

BER will begin operations in exactly one year today. But there is still plenty to do before the first passenger can check in and the first plane can take off. After constructional and technical tests, a test run in which all airport procedures are played out will take place using thousands of extras; all before the first passengers step foot in BER.

Terminal Being Tested

Since the end of July, independent experts from TÜV Rheinland have been using so-called operating principle tests at BER to test the interactions of technical equipment in several hundred scenarios. The focus is on proving whether the stipulated protective goals will succeed in conforming to the building license and to the fire prevention concept established therein. Overall, twelve system groups will be tested, including the fire detection and alarm provisions as well as the safety lights and power supply. As part of so-called “compound tests”, the interaction of systems and equipment will also be tested in cases of operating procedures such as boarding and check-in.

Extras Wanted

All interested citizens from Berlin and Brandenburg are needed for this next step: Trial operation will launch in 2020, for which extras will undergo a practical trial at BER. Volunteers slip into the role of flight travellers and test, for example, whether they pass through check-in smoothly and find their way to their plane. To this end, 600 extras are expected every Tuesday and Thursday starting in June. At the same time, several large tests are planned, for each of which some 1000 extras will put the airport to the test. Those interested in taking part as an extra in the trial operation can register at the beginning of 2020.

Allocation of Airlines

Before flight operations can begin, the locations from which the approximately 80 airlines will fly still need to be conclusively determined. easyJet and Lufthansa will be found in the central Terminal 1. Eurowings will be located in Terminal T2 with a direct connection to the North Pier. In the future, Schönefeld Airport will act as BER Terminal 5 and be used by Ryanair in particular. Future passengers will have to find out before arriving at the airport whether they are departing BER from T1, T2, or T5. More detailed information on this will be provided in good time on a new internet site.

How will Things Continue after the Airport’s Opening?

The airport location will also continue to develop after the opening of BER. Passenger numbers in Berlin-Brandenburg are expected to rise from around 35 million currently to around 55 million by 2040. Hence, the current planning of Terminal T3 at BER.

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