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Optimization of security processes when accessing sensitive areas at airports

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Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Network corridors
Project Acronym
Critical Parts
STRIA Roadmaps
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Transport mode
Airborne icon
Transport policies
Transport sectors
Passenger transport


Background & Policy context

According to Article 8 LuftSiG (aviation security act) the security check of employees and freight at the airport is the responsibility of the airport. The control process and the technologies to be used are described in the regulations of the aforementioned article. The control process leads to significant waiting times at the check point, especially during shift changes. These waiting times can considerably disturb the operational activities at the airport.


The objective of the Critical Parts project was a faster, more reliable and standardized handling of these security controls.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)
Funding Source
Federal Ministry of Education and Research


At the beginning of the project, the airport did not have the possibilities to examine what effects new process alternatives or technologies may have on the traffic at the airport. Overviews also did not exist regarding the risks during the development of new process/technology combinations, characteristics of potential technologies as well as legal problems concerning the human factor in the whole process. The part of the project at hand focused on the development and testing of a simulation and evaluation environment for the study of the effects new technologies and processes at §8 security checks have on traffic – with Hamburg Airport as a special example. In the first step, the processes, used and potential control technologies as well as legal conditions were analyzed and process data were collected. Based on that, a method was developed that is capable to display legal, technical, and physical interdependencies. These were saved in a databank. During the project, this evaluation environment allowed the selection of technologies to be implemented by the technology partners. Thereupon, a microscopic simulation environment was developed that permitted the detailed analysis of the effects on the traffic and the planning of a selection of control devices in their best possible arrangement at the airport. Various configurations were developed for the security check in the course of these activities. In one such layout, present technology was completely substituted by new technologies. It became clear that these technologies do not reach the throughput of conventional technology. Further configurations analyzed the combination of present and new technologies. The current judicial requirements form the basis for these studies. A proposal was drafted for the implementation at the airport. This includes the security check with new technologies in a first step and the security check with mandatory technologies in the second step. This project could also show that delays at §8 security checks have effects – i.e., delays - on air traffic due to delayed personnel at the airplane. Since security is not limited to air traffic, studies were conducted that show how the concepts developed in this project can be transferred to other carriers. Thereby, fundamental problems were discovered amongst others with the protection of the railroad. A transfer to train stations as well as ferries is generally possible. On the basis of the simulations one can expect significant waiting times at the security checks which then interfere considerably with the normal operations. In addition, these security checks create costs that have to be covered by one party in this system. With the development of these evaluation and simulation environments, the possibility now exists to plan and evaluate future changes at §8 security checks including vehicle checks with regard to traffic aspects like throughput and waiting times.

Findings of the study are published in detail by several final reports of the project partners (German only) which are available online via the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB):


German Aerospace Center DLR:
"simulation of critical parts"

FIS Flug- und Industriesicherheit Service- und Beratungs- GmbH:
" Integrated process / technology optimization of an air security control center"

Diehl BGT Defence GmbH&Co. KG:
" Optimization of control processes and visual presentation"

Kiel University, Institute for Social Sciences:
"Interaction, Interrelations, and Interfaces"

Technische Universität Berlin, Institut für Luft- und Raumfahrt ILR:
"legal questions"


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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