Deutsche Lufthansa AG is one of the world's largest corporate groups in the civil aviation industry. The Group evolved in the mid 1990's from the scheduled airline operating under the Lufthansa trade name. As a scheduled passenger airline, it continues to be operated by Deutsche Lufthansa AG, which acts as both the sole owner and parent company of today's Group. This, Germany's largest airline, is characterised within the Group as Lufthansa Passage Airlines. In 1994, the cargo business was transferred to the subsidiary company, Lufthansa Cargo AG, while aircraft maintenance was transferred to Lufthansa Technik AG. Catering is similarly provided by the Group's own LSG Lufthansa Service Holding AG, which operates under the trade name of LSG Sky Chefs. Deutsche Lufthansa AG is the initiator and founding member of Star Alliance, the world's largest airline alliance. As a highly diversified aviation group, scheduled air traffic remains Deutsche Lufthansa AG's main business area. Among the Group's many subsidiary companies and subcontractors are SWISS, Austrian Airlines and British Midland Airways. Our Editor Heiner Jerofsky, has met Deutsche Lufthansa AG's Head of Corporate Security, Peter Andres, at Frankfurt's Rhein-Main Airport (Lufthansa's home airport) to discuss the responsibilities and safety strategies of a globally operating airline company.
The flight quality and reputation of an airline are directly linked to the concept of security. These high standards apply not only to aircraft, but also to the buildings and systems at ground level. This demands great strategic and organisational effort. How is the Corporate Security division set up, both organisationally and in terms of employees, and how would you define the Group's security objectives?
P. Andres: Lufthansa employs approximately 50 members of staff to look after corporate security - these are more or less equally divided between "traditional areas" of security and the "special area" of aviation security, which demands considerable attention thanks to extensive legislative activities alone. There are also additional security organisations within the subsidiary companies (e.g.
Cargo) and Lufthansa's associated airlines (e.g. Swiss). Facility security in Frankfurt (as part of Shared Services) and, of course, a variety of commissioned service providers complete the picture. The aims (unsurprisingly) are to protect Lufthansa's employees, guests and assets against criminal or terrorist activity. As a global player in the airline industry, we also want a hand in formulating legislation on aviation security and to be able to demonstrate our advisory competence for state actors.
One of the primary tasks of Lufthansa's Corporate Security division is to protect the company's entire business operations within the Lufthansa Group and to ensure the safety of passengers and personnel. Can you guide our readers through this mammoth task, using the example of the Rhein-Main Airport?
P. Andres: In Germany, legal responsibility for aviation security rests with the German Federal Government, the German states, airports and airlines. Duties within the terminals at Frankfurt Airport come first and foremost under the responsibility of the German Federal Police and FRAPORT. But this airport is like a town in itself, which means the state police and state authorities, the airlines and customs have considerable responsibilities too. This is reflected in excellent cooperation between all security actors here on the ground.
The greatest threat to air traffic comes from terrorist attacks or hijacking. The security authorities and airport operators go to great lengths to prevent such crimes. How far can Lufthansa help to prevent, recognise and eliminate possible security lapses?
P. Andres: Huge efforts have been made to strengthen the security system in Europe and the USA. We see ourselves as part of this system and are involved in effectively implementing measures and bringing about ongoing improvement in these countries. It's more difficult in many other parts of the world, where we tend to find ourselves alone with our security values, particularly in the airports. In many cases, it's there where we have to supplement available measures with our own activities.
The safety of all property, aircraft and technical equipment - including protection against general criminal activity and other risks - demands well-trained personnel and great technical effort. How do you manage to achieve continually high technical standards, and what qualifications do you require of your employees?
P. Andres: To some extent, we're lucky as our aircraft and systems are frequently located in airports - this means the responsibility for protecting them doesn't have to lie with Lufthansa. Even with cargo operations, we have a sophisticated technical security system to safeguard the large securities stored there.
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