Frankfurt Airport operator, Fraport, will take over responsibility for the bulk of all security operations at the German hub from January 1 next year.
According to a new agreement signed with the federal authorities, from 2023, Fraport will be responsible for the organisation, financing, management and performance of aviation security at Frankfurt Airport.
The handover from the German Federal Police is governed by a contract between Fraport AG and the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI) signed recently by both parties.
Fraport AG’s executive board chairman, Dr Stefan Schulte, says: “We will assume management of aviation security at Frankfurt Airport from 2023.
“While this entails great responsibility, it will allow us to apply our experience and expertise to the operational management of the screening process – leading to reduced waiting times, to the benefit of all passengers.”
Fraport admits that before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, waiting times at Frankfurt Airport checkpoints were one of the main causes of complaints among passengers and airlines.
It believes that things will improve when it assumes responsibility for screening tasks, and has pledged to implement integrated management of the majority of passenger-facing processes to achieve greater efficiency and potentially reduce waiting times.
Schulte adds: “Negotiations with the Ministry and the Federal Police were very constructive. We wish to offer our express thanks for the positive working relationship and spirit of trust enjoyed in recent years. Together, we will continue to ensure that passenger safety and security remain the top priority.”
In addition to the organisation, management and performance of the security checks, Fraport will be assuming responsibility for procurement of security equipment from January 1, 2023, as well as for calculating the corresponding fees and invoicing airlines.
Specifically, in compliance with the requirements defined by the Federal Police, Fraport will decide:
• When security lines are opened and closed.
• How many staff will be deployed on each line.
• Which BMI-certified devices will be procured.
• Which BMI-certified devices will be deployed at which checkpoints.
• How the security check process will be organised in concrete terms.
• Which service providers will be contracted to perform the checks.
Dr Pierre Dominique Prümm, Fraport board member and executive director aviation and infrastructure, notes: “The Federal Police remain responsible for all security-related issues and define the requirements we must fulfil. This ensures that security remains the overriding principle.”
In other words, even when management tasks are transferred to Fraport, the BMI remains the most senior aviation security authority in Germany. The Ministry defines the type of security checks to be made, and specifies the devices to be used.
Consequently, the staff of the contracted security company will perform the checks on behalf of Fraport AG, but in accordance with the Ministry’s specifications, and under the supervision of the Federal Police.
Fraport notes that the staff who perform screening must meet the requirements and possess the qualifications defined by the government authorities.
“In close co-operation with the federal authorities, we will now move quickly to draw up an infrastructure plan and to establish the parameters for future collaboration with service providers for security screenings,” says Prümm.
“Our strategic and operational plans for the organisation and performance of security checks will also be closely co-ordinated with the corresponding government agencies and the airlines.”