The new Berlin Brandenburg Airport has begun the mandatory ‘security cleaning’ tasks required by Germany’s Aviation Security Act as it prepares to open this autumn.
A comprehensive security search of the premises began on Tuesday evening (August 4) and will run for at least ten days. The so-called ‘cleaning’ aims to ensure that there are no more dangerous or forbidden items located in the former operating areas of the construction site. The search is being performed by the airport’s own security team, supported by state police and under the supervision of the LuBB (Aviation Authority of Berlin-Brandenburg).
All the premises, vehicles and areas that will be in the future security-restricted area must be searched. This includes external areas of approximately 2,397 acres (970ha), including the new southern runway or the aprons in the immediate vicinity of Terminal 1 which are not yet part of the security-restricted area. A further 334,877 sq yards (280,000m²), must be searched, which includes the terminal areas of T1 which will be part of the security area and other buildings such as the eastern fire station. All on-site tenants and companies were asked to remove any dangerous or forbidden items before the search started. The airport company said all facilities will be searched by visual inspections, plus the use of explosive trace detection equipment and explosive detection dogs before being security sealed. Helicopters are also being used in the external areas. During this task, only search and security staff will be allowed access to BER’s Terminal 1.
Following anticipated approval by the LuBB in mid-August, access to the previous operating areas will be restricted to airport identification card holders via the appropriate access control points.
Professor Dr-Ing Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, CEO of the Berlin Brandenburg Airport company, commented: “The ‘cleaning’ is an important milestone 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. For all employees of the airport company as well as its’ partners, BER with its Aviation Security Area will be a completely new experience. Taking this step in due time before the opening is an advantage so that we can all further practice the processes under real conditions.”