How dangerous was the Berlin BER climate blockade?

An aviation expert provides evaluations of the “last generation” of BER blocking. According to him, the activists face heavy penalties.

After blocking Airport BER climate activists, excitement is high. From Politics there are calls for dire consequences. But how dangerous was such an act to passengers and passengers? And what is the threat to climate activists now?

“Flight safety is not endangered by such an action. Aviation is prepared for such disruptions in all areas and has a plan B or C, aircraft can be diverted, for example,” says Frank Dörner to t-online. The lawyer runs an aviation law law firm in Bavaria. He is also an aviation expert and holds pilot’s licenses. Airplanes can change their flight path in a very short time, says Dörner. “They also have enough fuel to get to an alternate airfield and land there safely.”

The law requires every passenger plane to have at least another half hour of fuel. “You can reach many alternative airports within a 300 kilometer radius within half an hour. Many Airlines they usually take even more fuel with them,” says the expert.

The expert was surprised by the late arrival of the security forces

But aviation security, that is, protection against external influences, was violated by the action of the “last generation”: “Here people infiltrated the infrastructure of the airport.”

activists "the last generation" go to the BER airport area:
Activists of the “last generation” run to the territory of the BER airport. (Source: “The Last Generation”)

And completely imperceptibly. “I’m surprised that they managed to enter the site and that the security forces arrived only ten minutes later,” says Dörner. – It’s a long time. This raises the question of how reliable and fluid the monitoring of this airport security area is. Also because the activists managed to break through quite easily. “Anyone who gets in there undetected can also do very different things than ‘just’ glue.” The airport is protected by high fences, surveillance cameras and other security systems.

Activists face long prison terms

Actions at BER airport will have consequences for climate activists. “You will be brought before the public prosecutor for dangerous interference with air traffic,” says lawyer Dörner. According to him, he faces a prison sentence of six months to five or ten years. They would also have to calculate claims for damages.

“There were a lot of delays and costs. Some companies will definitely make claims,” ​​the expert said. According to the airport, five take-offs had to be cancelled. According to the airport, 750 passengers were affected. 15 scheduled landings were diverted to other airports.

However, passengers are unlikely to be able to defend their air passenger rights because the airlines are not responsible for the delays. “However, they may consider contacting the activists themselves if they have experienced real harm,” says Dörner. There is a chance of success if they can show a link between activist intervention and harm.

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