Security responsibilities in Germany

Security responsibilities in the Federal Republic of Germany – a guideline

As opposed to most other countries, the responsibilities for aviation security in Germany are distributed over various Federal and state ministries, official entities and public authorities, and contain a wide array of regulatory exceptions.

These are subdivided as follows:

1) Flight passenger controls / § 5 LuftSiG (Aviation Security Act)

The Federal Police (BPol) is responsible for controlling flight passengers and the contents of check-in baggage and cabin luggage. The Federal Police is under the direction of the Federal Ministry for the Interior (BMI). With a few exceptions, for carrying out controls the BPol deploys private security personnel trained by private firms and who are accredited after passing an examination before the BPol.

2) Controlling personnel / Airports / § 8 LuftSiG

The airport itself is responsible for controlling airport personnel and the delivered goods. It is subject to the supervision of the respective state authority, which is in turn defined by each federal state. As a rule the Ministry of Transportation is responsible for this or, as in Bavaria, an own aviation authority.

The airports are also responsible for setting up fences and patrolling them regularly.

3) Aircraft / Baggage § 9 LuftSiG

The airlines are responsible for securing parked aircraft and other controls such as searching aircraft before take-off and for allocating baggage. These are under the supervision of the Federal Ministry for Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS) and which deploys a subsidiary public authority, the Federal Aviation Authority (LBA), as executing organ. The LBA scrutinises the aviation security plans of the airlines and monitors how the controls are conducted.

4) Air cargo / § 9 LuftSiG

Responsibility for air cargo security vests with the airlines or air cargo handling agents that can carry out controls themselves as so called “Regulated Agents”. Secure air cargo, e.g. from known consignors, need not be controlled again. Responsibility here also vests with the BMVBS and the LBA which accredits and supervises Regulated Agents and Known Consignors.