A security sweep of Berlin’s new airport began yesterday. The detailed search of the premises marks a key milestone in preparing the long-delayed airport for opening. The airport was supposed to begin operations in 2011. However, almost a decade later, the airport is still yet to open.
Things are beginning to look exciting in Berlin as far as the world of aviation is concerned. The city’s new airport is supposed to open towards the end of October, and given the ongoing preparation, it seems as though this may finally be the real opening of the airport.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.
Securing the site
Over the past years, Berlin Airport has been sat, almost in between being built and being opened. However, now that the planned opening is approaching, care must be taken to ensure that the site is safe. As such, a vast sweep of the airport is currently taking place.
Every nook and cranny of the facility is currently in the process of being manually checked. The check is to ensure that nothing that shouldn’t be in an airport has been left behind by the builders, and anybody else who may have been in the facility in the meantime.
Primarily, those checking the building are looking for tools that may have been left behind by accident. However, it is also prudent to check that anything prohibited on an aircraft hasn’t been hidden, to be retrieved once the airport is opened.
The search of the site will last for ten days and is primarily being carried out by the airport’s security services. However, the search is being overseen by the Berlin aviation authority, in addition to the state’s police.
280,000 square meters to search
The entire area of the new airport that would be behind security controls now has to be searched before the area is declared as secure. This equates to 280,000 square meters of interior space and 970 hectares of exterior areas, such as a new runway.
To complete the search, several methods are being employed. These include explosive trained dogs, trace explosive detection, visual inspections, and helicopter inspections of exterior areas.
To ensure that nothing is introduced during the search, only security staff are currently able to access the premises. When the search is complete, everybody accessing the site will need an airport ID, and to pass airport security.
Commenting on the search, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, CEO of Berlin Brandenburg Airport GmbH said
“The ‘cleaning’ is an important milestone in order to turn BER Airport into a functioning building after acceptance of the construction work. Across the whole of Germany, such a large internal and external area has never been searched in accordance with the currently applicable Aviation Security Act.”
Altogether, it looks like we are nearing the opening of the airport.
Do you think Berlin Brandenburg Airport will finally open in October? Let us know what you think in the comments below!