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Cologne-Bonn airport: Anti-terrorism exercise at airport

Cologne-Bonn airport : Anti-terrorism exercise at airport

On Tuesday evening, 1000 personnel will be on duty at Cologne-Bonn airport in the first test run of this magnitude in the country.

A large-scale police anti-terrorism exercise is taking place for the first time at a German airport. Cologne police, federal police from Sankt Augustin and customs officers are involved in the exercise at Cologne-Bonn airport on Tuesday evening.

One of the largest anti-terrorism exercises ever carried out on German soil is planned. Federal police units and Cologne police will be deployed during the night from 20 to 21 November. Several rounds of the exercise, in which customs is also involved as a security partner, are planned. Around 1000 people will take part. The exercise will take place out of public view.

According to the Federal Police Headquarters in Sankt Augustin, large parts of Terminal 1 will be cordoned off. The entire terminal will therefore not be available to handle scheduled flights between 9pm on Tuesday evening and 5am on Wednesday morning. All flight operations will be handled in Terminal 2 during the exercise. As there is little night traffic in Terminal 1, Carsten Herget from Cologne-Bonn airport said only seven flights would be transferred to Terminal 2. The Federal Police Headquarters said that flight operations should not be affected by the exercise. The airport said it would inform passengers about changes to traffic routing in good time before the exercise. This will be done on the airport’s website as well as through various media channels. Terminal 2 staff will also be available on site to answer questions from passengers and visitors.

To date, similar practice exercises have been carried out at various train stations throughout Germany or in shopping centres such as the Neumarkt Galerie in Cologne. The Federal Police Academy in Lübeck has initiated this series of exercises. The planned exercise at Cologne-Bonn airport is the first of its kind in Germany. Cologne-Bonn airport was chosen for logistical reasons and because of its proximity to the major federal police facility in Sankt Augustin. Cologne police said they were supporting the initiative to strengthen cooperation in the event of an emergency.

Most recently, Cologne emergency services proved their worth during the hostage taking at Cologne main train station on 15 October where they also cooperated with the federal police.

(Original text: Andreas Dyck / Translation: kc)