aviation: Hamburg incident once again highlights the questionable security situation at German airports


The intrusion of a person of Turkish origin and a hostage into the security area of ​​Hamburg Airport once again highlights the precarious security situation at German airports. At least since they were repeatedly hit by climate adhesives, the general public should know that there is an acute need to catch up.

Regardless of the crime that began on Friday evening, the core problem lies in a certain arrogance that in Germany people fundamentally see themselves as the measure of all things when it comes to aviation and security. The climate stickers have repeatedly shown how easy it is to get onto the apron and cause mischief. The monitoring and data backup of the areas is inadequate at many German airports. This is also because savings were made over a long period of time. This includes both infrastructure and staffing.

In addition, depending on the classification of the airport, it varies whether the operator itself – for example with private security guards – or the federal police has to ensure the necessary security. Sometimes a combination is used, because the hourly wage of a security employee is lower than that of a police officer. The areas are large and you can’t have a guard standing at every inch, but there are numerous other options.

The male Turk who illegally entered the security area of ​​Hamburg Airport in a motor vehicle shortly after 8 p.m. on Friday evening did not come without warning. His wife, who is in an argument, was informed by the police. In addition, according to local media reports, he was driving without license plates. Actually, he should have been stopped before entering the area. But that’s exactly what didn’t happen, so he was able to get to a Turkish Airlines plane.

Flight operations were suspended at around 8:24 p.m. The area including the terminal must also be evacuated. The vehicle was parked directly at the Turkish Airlines plane. The intruder is said to have taken his four-year-old daughter hostage and demanded that she be flown to Turkey. According to police, incendiary items were also thrown out of the car. For this reason, the aircraft was sprayed with water as a precaution.

“We can confirm that a person gained unauthorized access to the security area of ​​the airport yesterday evening and used brute force,” says Katja Bromm, Head of Communications at Hamburg Airport. “Air traffic at Hamburg Airport must therefore be temporarily stopped for safety reasons.” The consequences will be noticeable for everyone who wants to depart or arrive in Hamburg today. We therefore ask passengers to continually check their flight status and contact their airline if necessary.”

A total of 286 flights (139 departures and 147 arrivals) with a total of 34,500 passengers were planned for today. According to the current status, 126 flights (70 departures and 56 arrivals) are already scheduled. 5 arrivals were diverted to other airports. There will be further cancellations and delays throughout the day. According to current status, 6 departures and 4 arrivals were canceled yesterday, Saturday. 17 arriving aircraft were diverted to other airports. 27 flight movements with around 3,200 passengers were affected.

In any case, Hamburg Airport has potential security problems and points out that the reaction chain would have worked. Remarkably, the airport emphasizes the size of the area, but does not address the fact that the hostage takers must be intercepted before the attack. To be fair, it must be mentioned here that the so-called monopoly of violence lies with the state and therefore with the police. If anything, this should have stopped the man – whatever – before the entrance to the gate, which was breached. Nevertheless, the Hamburg incident is an urgent warning to politicians that security at German airports urgently needs to be improved. Apparently not enough has been learned from the climate glue disruptions.

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