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Call for better security measures at German airports following hostage situation

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Call for better security measures at German airports following hostage situation
Climate activists from Last Generation on the runway at Hamburg airport in July. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/Bodo Marks | Bodo Marks

Following a hostage-taking situation at Hamburg's airport at the weekend, German CSU politicians in the Bundestag are calling for better security measures for German airports.

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The Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party CSU in the Bundestag have called on Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) to carefully examine whether the legal requirements for airport security are still up to date, Andrea Lindholz (CSU) told Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND) on Tuesday.

When it comes to safety standards, Germany "cannot continue... with naivety", said her party colleague and interior expert in the parliamentary group, Alexander Throm.

On Saturday, a man broke through the access restrictions to Hamburg Airport in a car and made his way onto the apron of the airport. 

The incident involved a custody dispute: according to the public prosecutor's office, the man wanted to use the action to depart to Turkey with his daughter, who he forcibly abducted from his ex-wife's flat. 

The armed hostage-taker only surrendered to the security forces after around 18 hours of negotiations. The airport was closed for more than 20 hours, affecting tens of thousands of passengers.

READ ALSO: Hamburg airport hostage taker gives himself up

It was not the first time that the airport's security barriers had been breached. 

As recently as July, climate activists from the Last Generation group paralysed the airport for hours after cutting a hole in the fence and forcing their way onto the airfield. 

There have been similar incidents at other airports around the country.

"After the disruptive actions by climate activists at the airports in Berlin, Düsseldorf and Hamburg and the Frankfurt Airport, we are now experiencing another serious security incident at an airport a short time later," said Lindholz. 

"The safety of air traffic and therefore the safety of passengers and staff are at stake."

READ ALSO: Flights resumed at Düsseldorf and Hamburg airports after climate protest

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Throm also called for more security, as the situation has "worsened significantly over the past two years".

 "We must also respond to this in the area of critical infrastructure," he told RND. 

"I expect the federal government, and above all Federal Minister of the Interior Faeser, to immediately review and revise concepts together with the federal states. This also involves the equipment and competences of our security authorities."

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