Berlin Brandenburg airport has begun inviting volunteers to test its operations, ahead of a planned opening of October 31.

Around 20,000 volunteers are being sought across three test phases, with the first date being a trial evacuation on April 29, and further tests taking places on various dates up until October 15.

Volunteers can register for up to two dates, with a waiting list in place should the trials be oversubscribed.

The airport is following the ORAT (Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer) programme – an “an internationally established standard for the commissioning of airports”.

Employees have also started attending a “topography training course”, in which “the basics of the new workplaces, such as access points, terminal and apron layout are taught”.

The new airport for the German capital was initially scheduled to open in 2011 but has been hit by numerous delays. The project has run more than three times over budget to an estimated €7.3 billion.

In May last year the facility said it had begun to allocate space to airlines ahead of the targeted October 2020 opening.

Commenting on the news Professor Dr.-Ing Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, CEO of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH, said:

“The trial operation is an internationally established standard that will help us to open BER as smoothly as possible. All major users will test the airport systems and core processes together with the extras.

“We would be delighted if many Berliners and Brandenburgers were to attend the final rehearsal, help us make improvements and get to know the airport before the opening.”