As Dr Karsten Mühlenfeld, Chairman of the Board of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH says:
It’s great that we can now actually hold the authorisation for the 5th Amendment in our hands. We have used the last few months to push forward all work at the construction site. This planning permission allows us to finish the remaining work on the smoke extractors, bring them online and have them approved by the standards authority. The 5th Amendment was crucial in achieving this. We are now checking exactly what the requirements of the correspondence from the planning authorities are and will then submit the 6th Amendment, which is still pending, together with all necessary supplements as quickly as possible. Only once this amendment has been issued, will we be able to set a date for the opening of BER.
Michael Müller, current Mayor of Berlin and Chairman of the FBB Supervisory Board says:
The good work of all those involved over the preceding months is paying off. The authorisation of the 5th Amendment represents an important step forward. However, the opening date can still only be known precisely, once the actual construction, inspection and start-up requirements, which are still outstanding, have been legally defined on the basis of all issued authorisation. It’s crucial now that we all pull together to make BER a success.
Current situation at BER
The airport company continues to work consistently towards the 2017 opening and has taken additional steps to ward off further delays. These include extra personnel for planning approval. The systems will also be brought online in parallel within all areas of the terminal by increasing capacity. The first standards inspections have already begun. Building monitoring continues to be developed, whilst its processes are modified to fit the start-up procedure. In addition, the working week will be extended in some places to cover six days with enhanced double-shift operations. Construction of the smoke extractors at Main Pier North and Main Pier South was completed in the last few months. In addition, ten out of eleven mechanical smoke extractors at Main Pier North were successfully brought online. Furthermore, the first technical systems at Main Pier South and in the central area of the passenger terminal were also started.
Work at the interim site of the government airport at Ramp 1, Schönefeld Airport, continues unabated. Demolition of the existing building and its associated infrastructure has been completed. A replacement has been provided to the tenants and users of the previous building. The apron layout of the manoeuvring areas, suggested by the airport company, was confirmed by the Institute for Federal Real Estate (BImA) and submitted for approval by Berlin-Brandenburg’s Joint Aviation Authority. The details of the user contract are still subject to agreement between FBB and the federal government. Construction of the terminal building and the landside areas is due to start in December 2016. Work on the manoeuvring areas is planned for March 2017. The goal is to hand over the interim site to the federal government in summer 2018.
Expansion of Schönefeld Airport
The expansion of Schönefeld Airport is on schedule. The shell of Terminal D2 was finished in September 2016. Currently, the baggage reclaim carousels are being installed. It is planned to start using the terminal at the end of the year. Terminal B has already been significantly enlarged, improving the situation at both the security check points and at check-in. In addition, Terminals A and D will be renovated in 2017. Terminal D will just handle departures and the first floor of Terminal A will be used as an airside waiting area. At the same time, restaurants and shopping areas in both terminals will be improved. Overall the quality of passenger experience will be enhanced and the availability of seating will increase significantly.
Expansion of the manoeuvring areas at Schönefeld
The manoeuvring areas at Schönefeld are being renovated and extended to ensure flawless and safe flight operations with increased passenger numbers. Amongst other things, new taxiways and aprons will be constructed. It is necessary to close the north runway temporarily to accommodate construction of the taxiways. For this reason, starting in July 2017, flights from Schönefeld will be relocated temporarily to the south take-off and landing runway being built at BER for around three months. The relevant application has already been submitted to the competent authorities.