The United Kingdom has seen its fair share of climate protests over the last 2 years in the form of ‘Just Stop Oil’ and ‘Extinction Rebellion’. However, over in Germany a group called ‘Letzte Generation’ (Last Generation) has upped their protests by attacking the physical perimeter of two major airports to gain access to the high-security areas.
We were on the tarmac at Berlin and Munich #airports addressing the causes of climate change.
With fossil fuel subsidies for aviation, it would be easy to make local transport affordable.
— Letzte Generation (@AufstandLastGen) December 8, 2022
On 26th November a group of six activists cut through the physical perimeter of BER Berlin Brandenburg Airport to gain access to the taxiways. In the 16 minutes that they had uninterrupted access before the Federal Police arrived, they managed to glue themselves to the tarmac. Their actions resulted in fifteen incoming flights being rerouted and five others grounded.
Two weeks later on 8th December, the same group carried out an identical intrusion into MUC Munich International Airport and again at BER. Gaining access again by ‘cutting through’ the active perimeter fence line allowed them to superglue their hands to not only taxiways but one of the active runways. Last Generation claims to have informed the Federal Police about their plans and documented the protest across multiple social media channels.
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In both incursions, the airport’s physical perimeter and detection systems failed to protect the airport from unauthorised access. Standard chain link fencing had been installed with barbed wire hostile security topping to prevent scaling. The threat from cut-through appears to have not been considered and so the adoption of tested and certified fencing systems such as LPS 1175, Secured by Design, or fencing ‘Approved for Government Use – CPNI’ seems to have been discounted in the threat analysis.
Zaun has worked with a number of major airports to secure their perimeters against attacks over the years. With this ‘proven’ disruption seeming to work in Germany, is it now time for other airports to readdress the threats to their estate from climate protesters?