Frankfurt Airport Requires Hundreds of Extra Security Staff for New Baggage Screening Procedures

All "Hold Baggage" Will Be X-rayed Effective January 2003

Frankfurt, Germany (ots) - Effective January 1, 2003, Frankfurt Airport (FRA) will implement 100-percent screening of hold baggage (check-in baggage) as part of new international regulations affecting all European airports. These new procedures require enormous personnel and technical resources. At FRA, this means that approximately 750 more security specialists (in shift operations) will be required to staff the 40 new X-ray control stations located in both terminals. They will be employed by Fraport AG, the airport operator, which is mandated by the German Federal Border Police (Bundesgrenzschutz) to provide this aspect of airport security at FRA.

At Frankfurt Airport, the required 100-percent screening of hold baggage will usually take place in front of the check-in counters. However, the procedure will also be implemented after the passenger has checked in his baggage, further down the so-called "baggage handling chain". In such instances, screening will be done at specific exit points where baggage leaves the airport's centralized automated baggage handling system. Deployment of the additional X-ray machines depends on the space available in the terminals.

For all airlines, the same high security standards will continue to apply. If the baggage item being screened cannot be classified as absolutely free of any possible danger, then it has to be opened for further inspection. However, due to operational reasons, it will not always be possible to conduct such inspections in the presence of the passenger or owner of the baggage item. Nevertheless, these manual inspections will always take place in the presence of at least two persons. The new hold-baggage procedures have been developed in close cooperation with the responsible authorities. In this context, Fraport AG advises passengers to avoid using padlocks, often placed on travel bags, that cannot be opened without causing damage to the lock.

From January 2003, Fraport AG advises passengers to arrive at the airport earlier so that they have more time for checking in. This will save passengers unnecessary stress for themselves and others before flight departure.