In the previous week, the climate stickers struck again at two German airports and thus – probably unintentionally – revealed blatant safety deficiencies at airports. The fences in Düsseldorf and Hamburg could be cut through with commercially available bolt cutters and there was enough time before the police and the security service intervened to be able to reach the taxiways with bicycles in order to stick there.
It goes without saying that the recent incidents have led to restrictions in flight operations, as both airports had to be temporarily suspended for safety reasons. Arriving machines were diverted to other airports and takeoffs were not possible. Both the police and the operators should have expected that the self-proclaimed "climate protectors" could cause renewed disruption during the summer of 2023.
Apparently little or nothing has been learned from previous "actions" that have taken place in Berlin, Munich and Sylt, among other places. Using the same procedure, the climate stickers could also get onto the apron in Hamburg and Düsseldorf and, on top of that, fix themselves to the asphalt with the help of environmentally harmful superglue. The removal by the police took several hours.
The fact that the climate stickers have behaved largely peacefully should not hide the fact that a whole range of possible criminal offenses could exist. This starts with the willful damage to property of the fence and also leads to possible dangerous interventions in aviation security. However, the executive and judiciary in Germany are extremely careful with the climate stickers. This could also be a reason why such "actions" are carried out in this state and why people shy away from becoming active in countries where the police are not very squeamish and long-term prison sentences are common.
The "actions" of the self-proclaimed "climate protectors" hardly cause any understanding among large parts of the population. A "trend" towards vigilantism can now be observed, because more and more citizens no longer wait for endless discussions between the police and blockers, but resort to vigilante justice to clear the way. Last week, a truck driver who hit an "activist" at low speed caused a stir. But the fists fly much more often. Confidence in the state being able to ensure safe transport routes free of "climate protectors" seems to be dwindling.
Irrespective of what one thinks of the procedures used by the climate stickers, they probably unintentionally show that there are obviously blatant safety deficiencies at airports, especially in the Federal Republic of Germany. The mere fact that in Berlin, for example, it was possible to penetrate the apron several times and cycle around there with bicycles shows that there is a lot of catching up to do in terms of surveillance. The recent "actions" in Hamburg and Düsseldorf show that nothing has been learned from the "adhesive and paint incident" in Sylt, because this was a clear "warning" that the "climate protectors" are once again targeting German airports.
Currently, these only cause property damage and disruption to flight operations, but the financial disadvantages for operators, aircraft owners and passengers are enormous. The media hype caused by the actions shows acute safety deficiencies at German airports. While bicycles and people who are stuck are rather "harmless", completely different circles could also become aware that it is apparently very easy to get onto German aprons and that it can take a lot of time for the security service and the police to intervene. Regular invitations to groups of people who want to carry out attacks on airplanes and airports. For this reason alone, German airports and the executive must immediately increase the surveillance of the fences before a disaster occurs. It is therefore to be hoped that those responsible will draw the right conclusions from the recent incidents in Hamburg and Düsseldorf and take action before it is too late.
The operators of airports in other countries, including Austria and Switzerland, for example, should increase the security of their fences just as prophylactically, because the illegal intrusion of the "climate sticker" is a purely German phenomenon. In Amsterdam-Schiphol, for example, there have already been illegal "entrances" and damage to property.
In view of the considerable disturbances that were caused in Hamburg and Düsseldorf, it seems downright bizarre that the police and the operator want to blame each other and that an airport seriously boasts that the security fence is six centimeters higher than recommended by ICAO. The claim that a lot of barbed wire and hard steel would be used seems downright ridiculous, since the climate adhesives succeed in breaking through them with bolt cutters, which are available in every hardware store without any fuss. People with violent intentions can do the same, which is why security measures must be tightened immediately in the interests of flight safety.