Investigators sent by the European Commission found it surprisingly easy to smuggle banned items past security at Frankfurt Airport. It said undercover investigators posing as passengers were able to smuggle weapons or other dangerous items through security every second time they tried to do so. The main reason for this, according to the report, is that that the security staff who conduct the checks have not been adequately trained. One of the biggest problems, it said, was that the staff, who work for a privately owned service provider, were often not able to recognize dangerous items when viewing the screens they use to look at x-ray images of baggage.
A spokesman for Germany’s Federal Police, said they had introduced new measures immediately after learning of the security deficits to ensure that passenger safety was guaranteed. “We take this seriously,” said Christopher Holschier, spokesman for Fraport AG, the company that operates Germany’s biggest airport. “A total of 2,500 workers are being retrained, to ensure that suspect objects can no longer pass undetected through security checks,” he added.
The report also said that if the European Commission is not convinced that Frankfurt Airport has done enough to ensure passengers’ security, it could change the German hub’s status to a “non-Schengen airport,” referring to Europe’s internal border-free zone. This would mean that passengers transiting through Frankfurt would be subject to additional checks when entering other European Union countries.