Braving all weathers in preparation for ILA

The Brandenburg community of Selchow is awakening again. Across from where the village ends and the future airport (BER) begins, an entire trade fair city is establishing itself on the grounds of Berlin ExpoCenter Airport. Together with their colleagues from ES, the team of the ILA project are planning and setting up an exhibition area that covers 250,000 square metres, including an extended section that is part of Schönefeld Airport. Ever since mid-March, together with many experienced contractors work has been taking place on the ILA 2018 project, despite severe snow flurries and the cold, wet and windy weather. Each of the technical, safety and logistical challenges that the hi-tech air show faces must be overcome by 25 April, the opening day of the event. During the fair 6,000 people will be working there. Their task will be to steer the ILA in the right (flight) direction and to guarantee functioning services and safety on the grounds.

The challenges for the ILA are huge and unlike those facing normal large-scale fairs on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds. The road network in the village of Selchow is adequate for its 173 inhabitants. However, during the five-day show a transport concept will be necessary that can smoothly handle the arrival and departure of more than 150,000 visitors. A special control tower will manage and monitor flight movements at the ILA and coordinate them with all air traffic around Germany. 3,000 representatives of the media will file photos and stories on flying taxis, zero-emissions aircraft, revolutionary rocket propulsion systems, drones straight from the 3-D printer and naturally the numerous aircraft debuting in Germany and on the world stage. Our welcome committees will have their hands full. Their responsibility will be touring the show with the high-level delegations representing politics and business who are expected to attend.

Before the ILA can open the many skilled trades all have their work cut out. Supplementing the three display halls, 17 tent structures ranging from 30 to 8,500 square metres in size and covering a total of 17,000 square metres are due to be set up. A total of 170 containers must be positioned, of which 35 will be stacked up to four units high for the ILA control tower. 32 chalets featuring observation decks will be located on the flight line exclusively for VIPs. In order to make sure visitors find their way to the ILA and bypass Selchow, and are able to navigate the grounds, some 19,000 metres of fencing will be erected. By the way, facing the village on the outside of Hall 6, a mural painted by a local artist tells the story of Selchow and its landmark buildings and shows how closely the history of this community and the ILA is interlinked.