Why Harald Zielinski Matters
No doubt about it, Christmastide is once again fast approaching. The autumn season marks when the air cargo business exhales a long, deep breath to take stock of 2016 while planning ahead for 2017.
While standing and waiting for a full-body scan recently before a flight and hoping the prescription pills in my pocket didn’t set off the damn thing, I started thinking about the people I know in air cargo who have done a stellar job to raise cargo security awareness.
These days, as awareness and heightened security get kicked up a notch with threat levels from terrorist and copycats always evolving, sharing thoughts with someone who eats, sleeps, and lives security is a worthwhile enterprise for anybody in transportation.
One guy who knows the whole scope of air cargo security and works tirelessly to get security in line through every phase of the supply chain is Harald Zielinski, Lufthansa Cargo Head of Security & Risk Prevention Management.
Harald combines a street cops’ sensibilities with a visionary view of what works and doesn’t with security. He said, “What air cargo must do is continually raise awareness.”
To that end, Harald has held highly attended, high profile, free admission air cargo meetings both in Germany and the U.S. for the past several years.
It’s worth mentioning that Lufthansa stands alone amongst every other airline for its continued effort in making the security dialogue public.
“Moving forward is a terrific challenge to everybody,” said Harald Zielinski.
Where We Are Now
“The ‘Yemen incident’ in October 2010 had a big impact on air cargo security,” Harald said.
“It lead to an increase of security requirements by the EU, especially for non-EU countries (ACC3 regulation for air carrier transporting cargo/mail into the EU).
“The results of this regulation for the industry are additional costs for validation of the ACC3 airports/stations.
“Additionally another current topic for air (cargo) security is ‘Cyber Crime,’ which gains importance.
“On the upside, an agreement of mutual recognition concerning the security regimes between EU and the U.S. has been achieved.
“Redundancies of additional/second screening of cargo/mail at last point of departure into the U.S. have been accomplished,” Harald Zielinski said.
Security At Lufthansa Cargo
“Lufthansa Cargo is constantly working on being a benchmark for the industry concerning aviation security.
“Therefore, it is crucial to stay ahead of possible threats and enforce actions before incidents occur.
“To achieve this goal, the Lufthansa Cargo Security Department is in constant discussion with authorities and associations worldwide.
“In terms of priorities, of upmost importance are harmonizing and defining standards for cargo screening technology worldwide.
“On an industry-wide basis, investment should flow toward projects that are orientated to this goal.
“My belief is that harmonizing and defining goals gets the highest necessary level, as there is still plenty of room for improvement.
“Lufthansa Cargo supports IATA’s approach toward the implementation of ‘eCSD’ (electronic consignment security declaration).
“The initiative aims toward a global harmonization on the transfer of security relevant data between entities that are part of the worldwide cargo network.
“Another topic that is in progress by the customs authorities and is fully supported by Lufthansa Cargo is cargo-data transfer between EU and the U.S. (Pre-Loading Advice Cargo Information, PLACI).
“Here in Germany we are constantly updating our security setup and implementing new technologies.
“The nature of the threat has not changed, only heightened, during the past few years.
“Therefore security remains a key aspect for success as a cargo airline.
Security & Third Party Handling
“Lufthansa Cargo has the same high standards when it comes to security toward third parties as it has for itself.
“To ensure that third parties implement equal security standards, different measures have been implemented by LCAG, as an integral element of our ‘Quality Assurance Management System.’
“QAMS is comprised of cargo security manuals, auditing, and also includes on-site inspections.
“Most recently, Lufthansa Cargo is proud to say that it launched (in addition to our mandated general measures) a ‘Security Data Management System.’
“SDMS includes a database with details on every station/warehouse worldwide where Lufthansa Cargo handles freight.
“The system is updated constantly to insure that every station fulfills the high security standards determined by Lufthansa Cargo.”
Security Conference Ahead
Harald left unanswered when another of Lufthansa Cargo’s aforementioned unique and highly acclaimed one-day security conferences will take place in Germany.
At the time of this writing, the date and location are yet to be determined
Harald said: “The agenda is purposely kept flexible so that our gatherings are addressing major issues confronting the industry in real time.
“[There is] no creating an agenda months in advance–we are security experts in the here and now, gathered to discuss and deconstruct security challenges for the purposes of looking for solutions to hot button issues at hand.
“There have been seven security conferences until now.
“The first conference was in 2006. And I am already looking forward to the next.
“As mentioned at the top, topics are of general interest in the industry at that time.
“The last security conference, for example, dealt with the threat for air cargo by international terrorism and Cyber Crime.
Priorities In Cargo Security
With the giant Lufthansa Cargo center in Frankfurt and every other cargo station the carrier either operates or is associated with under the watchful eye of “One Tough Cop,” as Harald Zielinski has been described, we wonder about priorities.
As it turns out, Harald has thought about that as well.
“Air cargo cannot rest.
When it comes to security, Lufthansa Cargo makes no compromises.
Rather, we constantly anticipate new threads and countermeasures.
“The industry needs an immediate and long range plan toward further improvement of screening technology.
“[Such as] avoiding different security standards within the EU (since there are still differences between EU member states when it comes to implementing EU regulation concerning aviation security).
“There needs to be worldwide harmonization of security standards (according ICAO Annex 17) in more detail, since ICAO Annex 17 is too broad to harmonize the day-to-day cargo security business.”
“Nations must develop air cargo security standards and implement new laws and regulations,” Harald Zielinski said.
“But to get things right and actually enhance aviation security, it is necessary to know how the air cargo industry works.
“Unfortunately, authorities worldwide still have a lack of general understanding of ‘air cargo security’ (versus aviation security for passengers).
“Therefore, I must repeat the call that it is incumbent on the air cargo industry to better define and align common security regulations,” Harald Zielinski said.