Security checks at airports: anti-terrorist measures are not mere services

The Ministry of the Interior wants to transfer responsibility for the security controls to the airport operators. The head of the federal Police union warns against the plans.

Security checks at airports:   anti-terrorist measures are not mere services

The federal Police union warns against plans of Ministry of Interior to transfer responsibility for security checks at airports to airport operators and thus to private companies. "In case of anti-terrorist measures, safety must be paramount, not profit maximization," said federal president of trade union, Ernst Walter, versus time online. This could lead to fact that operators chose not most reliable but cheapest service provider for controls in future, says Walter. "Anti-terrorist measures, however, are not mere services that can be carried out by X-arbitrary companies." Security is more important than speed.

Security checks are already being carried out at 13 major airports in Germany by private security firms, but federal police are responsible for this. Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) wants to change that. According to a cornerstone paper from his house, airport operators will be able to decide for mselves wher y can control passengers, personnel and luggage from ir own companies or delegate tasks to private service providers. In addition, according to plans of Seehofer, aviation security authorities should only set standards for training and technology and ensure compliance with m through quality controls.

Problem with private security services

Trade union chief Walter has already described situation at airports as "unacceptable". The federal police have a "huge problem" with private security services that y contract. Especially during holidays re would be massive traffic jams during security checks. "Of course, se private companies work profit-oriented and save on staff," says Walter. He fears that security will continue to worsen if federal police do not entrust security firms.

Furrmore, Walter expects to implement plans with increasing costs for quality control. "As long as we don't choose who performs controls, we need to monitor staff all more," he said. Passengers would be expected to increase ir prices as operators would pass on new costs to airlines.

German controls slow and inefficient

Walter sees a possible solution in cooperations, such as Munich and Nuremberg airports toger with state security companies. A constant level of security could only be achieved with such non-profit organizations – and if federal Police were responsible for both selection, training and supervision of security personnel.

Checks at German airports are considered to be slow and inefficient in European comparison. Especially in peak season it often comes to chaos. As focus reports, in Frankfurt every hour 80 passengers are transported through a control line, but in Amsterdam it is 185. The Airport association had refore also been calling for a long time to evade control of federal Police. A ministry spokeswoman told magazine that federal police would be relieved with conversion of "non-police tasks".

Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) announced on Friday a catalogue of measures for air traffic. "I cannot accept that re are so many technical problems, delays and severance problems," he told new press in Passau.

Date Of Update: 30 July 2018, 12:00

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