A beer, a bonus and a flag flying. In the building trade, that means there is something to celebrate! This time it was the topping out of the Temporary Security Filter (TSF), a brand new building set to provide eight alternative security lanes during the renovation work in Departures 1.
Published on: 29 May 2019
Currently, the security filter in Departure Hall 1 is on the same floor as the check-in desks. But next year we will be relocating that process to a new mezzanine floor. Of course, such a change cannot be undertaken in one go, because Schiphol has to remain operational at all times. Instead, we are making the move in phases, with the TSF partially taking over the job while the permanent facility is under construction. The temporary filter is expected to be operational in October 2019.
But first it was time for a celebratory glass of beer after months of hard work. By tradition, the workers on a building site raise a glass when the highest point of the new structure is reached. On this occasion, the celebration was on a bigger scale. Everyone involved in the project was invited, and André van den Berg, commercial director of Royal Schiphol Group, was also present.
Hilarious security act
In all, more than 150 guests attended the gathering in the new space on Cockpitplein. But at Schiphol, of course, no party is possible without proper security precautions. This time they were entrusted to magician Leo Letterop, whose act caused some hilarious moments at the door. The alarm kept going off, with Leo repeatedly conjuring penknives, burning wallets and clothing tags from pockets of the “culprits”.
Once everyone was safely inside, Dennis Stout gave a short speech of welcome as contracting officer for the HT1 project. “This is a special moment,” he declared. “The roof is on. The highest point of the Temporary Security Filter has been reached. From October this is going to be the primary security passage from Departures 1. That’s quite something, which is why we want to celebrate it today with all involved.”
Next to take the floor was André van den Berg. In his speech he spoke of “a fine achievement” and praised the good co-operation between all the partners in the project. “Building at Schiphol is a huge challenge,” he continued, “because you are working down to the last square millimetre at an operational airport used by 200,000 people every day.
“Moreover, there are a lot of cables and pipes in the ground around here. Almost exactly at this spot, for example, we found 23 high-voltage cables – some of them vital for the control tower. The foundations of the TSF had to be laid very carefully around them. Fortunately, that all went very well.”
André then called for a round of applause for the builders and fitters from the main contractors, BAM, Engie, Bosch Energy and Building Solutions and VolkerWessels Bouw Schiphol. “They did the work, so they have earned it.” Loud applause followed. “We have achieved this success together with many colleagues from Schiphol and the airlines as well,” he continued, “so we also wanted to celebrate it together with them. Thank you once again for all your work.”
Finally, project manager Michiel van Goor and his colleague Erica Esveld handed over the traditional topping-off bonus for the construction team to co-ordinating contractor René Ouwendijk of VolkerWessels Bouw Schiphol. As Michiel pointed out, that is another great old custom in the building industry. And one the team certainly deserved: “René and everyone, thank you for your dedication, concerted effort, drive and passion to complete this project on time, within budget and to specification.”