To say that Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) has been a long time in the making, is probably one of the understatements of the decade. After nearly 15 years of planning, construction started in 2006. But it had delay after costly delay.
The airport finally has an opening date planned and so far, so good…everything remains on schedule for them to open their doors on October 31, 2020.
You’d think that everyone involved in the planning and building of the airport would be thrilled that, after just shy 30 years in the making, it was finally going to open, right?
Wrong. Pilots are not amused.
Apparently when winds are blowing eastward, if the planes are taking off from the southern runway, pilots will have to steer their aircraft into a 145-degree turn just a few seconds after takeoff. This maneuver is meant to avoid noise for the residents of several nearby communities.
Unfortunately, as reported by the newspaper Tagesspiegel (English translation here), the planes will only be about 180 meters (roughly 600 feet) off the ground at that point, which means those seated on the right side of the aircraft may feel as if the wing is about to touch the runway.
It’s already being called the “vomit-inducing turn.”
Pilots are complaining that doing such a curve less than 30 seconds after take-off would unnecessarily increase the safety risk, as pilots prefer to concentrate solely on a straight climb during the critical take-off phase. They say that having to make the curve increases the complexity, which can potentially become a problem if a takeoff-related emergency happens.
However, the Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg has already ruled against the pilots’ complaints. The route complies with the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and the Federal Supervisory Authority for Air Navigation Services has said that the path is safe. So curve they will.
Soooo…should you ever fly out of BER, you MIGHT want to be on the left-hand side of the plane…just in case.
Feature Photo (cropped): Arne Müseler / arne-mueseler.com / CC-BY-SA-3.0
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary