Registration for the trial operation at BER is now open. A total of around 20,000 volunteers are being sought to test BER Airport before its opening and to put all processes to the test. Volunteers can register via the website ber-testen.de by providing their personal data and choosing from all available dates. The first trial operation is a station evacuation on the 29th of April. Further testing will take place from the 23rd of June and end on the 15th of October.
Prof. Dr.-Ing Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, Chief Executive Officer of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH: “The trial operation is an internationally established standard that will help us to open BER as smoothly as possible. All major users will test the airport systems and core processes together with the extras. We would be delighted if many Berliners and Brandenburgers were to attend the final rehearsal, help us make improvements and get to know the airport before the opening.”
Every interested party has the opportunity to register for two dates. If preferred dates are fully booked, there is the possibility of being put on a waiting list. As soon as places become available, the registered participants will receive an e-mail and can move up.
Typical sequence of the trial operation
The extras will arrive by 09:30 by car or by bus from Schönefeld Airport. The station under the terminal is not yet in operation at this point. The extras receive a ticket for public transport in the tariff area ABC, if required, with the confirmation of registration. Starting at 09:30, participants will be registered and will be required to show their registration confirmation and proof of identity.
From 10:30 onwards, the instruction for the trial operation takes place. The extras usually rehearse a specific departure or arrival scenario. Depending on the scenario, the extras also take the required pieces of luggage from the luggage conveyor.
From 11:30, the trial operation will start with a departure, for which the extras will have to go to the check-in counter, check-in baggage and pass through the security check, for example. From the departure gate, instead of an aeroplane, the passengers are transferred to a bus that takes the extras to the arrivals area.
Other possible tests are, for example, the transfer or evacuation of the terminal. At roughly 15:30, the extras give their concluding feedback on the day. Emergency exercises and mass trial dates are specially marked at the time of registration and may deviate from the typical procedure.
On your marks, get set, test!
Background of the trial operation
The test run at BER will ensure that its opening on the 31st October 2020 will run as smoothly as possible and is an important part of the so-called ORAT programme. ORAT stands for “Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer”. The programme is an internationally established standard for the commissioning of airports and has already been launched by FBB in October 2018, two years before the start of operations. With the ORAT programme, a building becomes a functioning airport. The employees of the airport company and all service providers and partners, for example, the federal police and security service providers, airlines and ground handling services but also the tenants of the shops and the catering units, must be familiar with local conditions and be able to understand and operate all systems before starting flight operations.
Since January, all employees have therefore been attending a topography training course, in which the basics of the new workplaces, such as access points, terminal and apron layout are taught. The trial operation will follow in April, as a test under almost real conditions, in three successive phases: ORAT Basis, ORAT Integration and ORAT Final.
In the ORAT Basis phase (30/04/2020 – 18/06/2020), the operational users will be involved again after their successful training in order to receive process and system training and to participate in the trial operation. Employees use the new infrastructure, systems and processes for practical exercises – even before extras are involved.
During ORAT Integration (23/06/2020 – 20/08/2020), the complexity will increase and the extras will be involved as passengers in the processes at the airport. In the training courses and in trial operation, special processes and procedures, system failures and emergencies are also rehearsed. In addition, from this phase onwards, the airport’s security area will be simulated and Terminal 2 will be integrated into the trial operation.
The ORAT Final phase (25/08/2020 – 15/10/2020) will repeat essential content from ORAT Basis and ORAT Integration. The security-restricted area of the airport is activated from ORAT Final.
The extras will be used on a total of 30 trial operation days. From the 23rd of June, the tests take place every Tuesday and Thursday with 600 volunteers each. In addition, on the 29th of April, a station evacuation with 800 participants will take place. From March onwards, an additional 4 Saturdays will be released for booking. For each of these days, 1,000 participants are sought.