Large-Scale Emergency Exercise at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

03.03.12 14:19

Aircraft accident exercise on the south runway of the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport / Interplay of all participating services practised

With approximately 700 participants, the large-scale emergency exercise “CRASH BER 2012” took place today as part of the trial operation at the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport. The interplay between all operations personnel during this kind of crash event was thus practised before the airport opens on 3rd June 2012. Among those participating were the Airport Fire Brigade, the public fire brigades, and the rescue service of the Dahme-Spreewald district. The rescue services were assisted by the Berlin Fire Brigade, the Federal and State Police, the Lausitz Realistic Accident Simulation team, airlines, and the airport ground services. The preparations for such a large-scale exercise take over half a year. That is the only way of ensuring the simulation is as realistic as possible.

The adopted situation and progression of the exercise

After a problem-free flight, an Airbus A320 flying from Moscow is on its approach to land in Berlin. The BER Approach Control Centre informs the pilot that there are poor weather conditions and wind shear at ground level. During its landing on the south runway at BER, the aircraft touches down hard, its tyres burst and its right landing gear collapses. The aircraft then smashes down on its right engine, slides along the ground and catches fire.

An air-traffic controller of Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS) alerts the Airport Fire Brigade from the BER tower. The Airport Fire Brigade's control centre then informs all other control centres according to the airport emergency plan for Berlin Brandenburg Airport. The Airport Fire Brigade moves out and begins rescuing people and fighting the fire at the aircraft.

The alerted fire brigades and rescue services of the district arrive at the pre-arranged meeting point to receive further instructions. The public fire brigade assists the Airport Fire Brigade with the rescue operation. The injured passengers are removed from the danger zone and are given first aid at a medical treatment area set up by the rescue service. They are subsequently transported to hospitals in the vicinity. Uninjured persons are registered at the airport's care facilities and are supervised.

Just like in a real emergency situation, the emergency control centre at the new Fire Station West at Berlin Brandenburg Airport assists the incident command on location. Incident command comprises a representative of each of the participating services – it facilitates the speedy and precise organisational coordination of the subsequent airport procedures.


An initial positive conclusion was already reached on location: The involved parties were satisfied with how the exercise went, since – as is the intention during trial operation – potential shortcomings could be identified, such as in the information chain and rescue procedures during the “Crash BER 2012” emergency exercise. The emergency exercise will now be analysed in detail over the coming weeks.

Before the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport commences operation, two further exercises will be carried out in the scope of the trial operation. On 31st March the terminal will be partially evacuated, and on 19th April the State Police will manage an exercise in which the operations during an air traffic hostage situation are practised.

Hannes Stefan Hönemann

Hannes Stefan Hönemann Head of Corporate

+49 30 6091-70100

Daniel Tolksdorf

Daniel Tolksdorf Spokesperson

+49 30 6091-70100

Kathrin Westhölter

Kathrin Westhölter Spokesperson

+49 30 6091-70100