Berlin Brandenburg airport’s operator believes the October 2020 opening date for the much-delayed capital hub is still realistic following operational principle tests of Terminal 1.

The tests involve assessment of systemwide functioning of the airport and its safety mechanisms.

Operating company FBB had revealed in July that it was preparing for the test regime, following individual checks on various systems including fire detection, lighting and alarms.

FBB held a supervisory board meeting on 27 September to discuss the results of the operational principle tests which, it says, have been “positive”.

“The fact that the interaction of the fire-protection systems works at this level of quality is an essential step on the road to commissioning,” says FBB chief Engelbert Lutke Daldrup.

Fire protection concerns had been a critical reason behind the delays to the airport’s opening. Daldrup says the test results show that “meticulous” preparatory checks have “paid off”.

Personnel involved in the construction and operational functionality teams have “achieved a level of success that seemed unattainable to many just a year ago”, he adds.

While the final report into the tests is not due until the end of October, FBB believes this results analysis is “not likely to change” – which means the commissioning of Brandenburg “should be achieved” in October 2020.

“Successful operating principle testing is an important step forward which makes me optimistic,” says FBB chairman Rainer Bretschneider, but he adds that remaining tasks require the company to “remain steadfast”, pointing out that “intensive work” is still needed to overcome “deficiencies” with cable work.