Brandenburg operator still to enact smoke-extraction fix

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Berlin’s airport operator has finalised plans to rectify the flawed smoke-extraction system that was the central cause for multiple delays in opening the German capital’s new Brandenburg hub.

However, operator Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg (FBB) has not revealed a timeline for the modification work or when the terminal complex, on the southern side of the existing Schönefeld airport, will enter service.

FBB has now signed a contract with Siemens – the smoke-extraction control system provider – on 15 October for the installation of a new fresh-air supply system. But before that equipment can be fitted, existing electrical wiring within the building needs to be changed, says the airport operator.

The agreement is a "good step" forward, says Jörg Marks, regional head of Siemens’ building-technologies division. But he emphasises that it will be "crucial" for a successful modification that Siemens be given full access to the building's planning documentation by FBB, and that the necessary preparations for construction be completed "as contractually agreed".

Siemens was previously responsible for the control technology of the smoke-extraction system, but the engineering group's contract has now been expanded to include the controls for the fresh-air supply system.

With the Siemens deal in place, FBB is now able to set up a schedule "step by step" for the opening of the Brandenburg hub, says FBB chief executive Hartmut Mehdorn.