Bremen Airport has been using a mobile fire simulation system since mid-July 2022, which is based on the Airbus A320/Boeing 737 aircraft size class. According to the airport, it is said to be the largest training facility of this type in the world.
The training device consists of ten containers, has a wingspan of 20 meters, is 38 meters long, eight meters high and can be practiced from both sides and simulates 28 different and very realistic fire scenarios: from the engine fire to the luggage compartments and the cockpit. A built-in sound system helps for an even more realistic representation and exercises can be documented with the camera system. The new simulator is a joint project of the airports in Stuttgart, Hanover and Bremen. The planning and construction phase took a total of four years.
The system has been set up at Bremen Airport since mid-July and is being practiced by the airport fire brigade. "Safety always has top priority in air traffic," says Michael Wiecker, head of the airport fire brigade. "We are therefore pleased that we are now involved in our own simulation facility, which is available to us for several months every year for training purposes. This eliminates the costly rental of an external system.” The international aviation organization ICAO stipulates worldwide that airports must train a “hot firefighting drill” once a year. "That's why we need such a system and also to be able to simulate scenarios that are as realistic as possible, such as those that the airport fire brigade could find in aircraft. Training with real fire in a realistic environment teaches far more than any theory course.”
The acquisition costs for the fire simulation system amounted to around 2 million euros, these are financed by all three airports in equal shares over a period of 20 years via a rental model. "Through our partnership with the other airports, we are massively reducing our costs for the system. The airports of Stuttgart and Hanover and we all train according to similar standards and tactical procedures, so that the facility is suitable for all three,” says Michael Wiecker. Furthermore, the environmental aspect of training is something special: the use of liquid gas means that training is more environmentally friendly and produces fewer emissions. Only water is used in the firefighting exercises.