“After the [Germanwings flight 4U9525] crash we checked all the passengers and crew to see if they were known to us as dangerous – because we wanted to know if it was a terrorist attack,” de Maizière told Bild.
“But we realized that it wasn't at all clear who was even on the plane.”
Since it is no longer necessary to show ID when travelling within the Schengen area, which encompasses 26 European countries, some passengers were able to use tickets in other people's names.
“That's a huge security problem,” de Maizière said.
“We have to seriously consider whether things can stay like this in the future. A flight isn't comparable with a train or bus journey where tickets are issued anonymously.”
"It looks like the Interior Minister's suggestions are barely-worked-out thought games," Green party MP Konstantin von Notz said on Thursday afternoon.
"He doesn't seem to be aware of the far-reaching implications of his suggestion for European law. Does he want to renegotiate the important achievement of the Schengen acquis? Or just distract from the latest failings in allowing the departure of dangerous people?"
De Maizière also said that information exchange with non-EU states should be improved in order to spot terror attacks before they happen.
He also suggested that changes to the mechanism for opening the armoured cockpit doors introduced after the September 11, 2001 attacks should be considered.
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