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SiLuFra takes off

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“Secure Air Freight Transport Chains” joint project sponsored by Federal Government as part of “Research for Civil Security” programme.

Hamburg, 02 September, 2013: "SiLuFra" is a German abbreviation for "Secure Air Freight Transport Chains", a new joint project in which Hamburg Aviation is participating. The project has received a grant approval notice from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the "Research for Civil Security" programme. With a total budget of 4.97 million euros, the research project was officially launched at the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH). The research project's website is now online at

SiLuFra will be coordinated by the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) and will be funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) within the "Security in Aviation" section of the "Research for Civil Security" programme. Three TUHH institutes alone are involved in the project: the Institute of Aircraft Cabin Systems, the Institute of Business Logistics and General Management, and the Institute of Air Transportation Systems. A further eleven partners from the research and education community, the industry and federal institutions are lending their support to the development of new concepts, strategies and technologies for secure and efficient air freight transport chains. Beyond this, nine stakeholders - including IATA and the LBA (German Federal Aviation Office) - are guiding the project as members of the Advisory Board. Last year, the partners lodged a joint proposal to BMBF with the title "Secure Air Freight Transport Chains: concepts, strategies and technologies for secure and efficient air freight transport chains".

The aim of SiLuFra is to put together processes for effective and efficient supervision of air freight, and to develop these into clearly defined recommendations. To this end, existing regulations, monitoring methods and technologies along with potential threat scenarios are to be analysed. The results of this analysis will be used to produce a process model, on the basis of which it will be easier to implement modified subprocesses and to introduce new technologies. The research partners are working together with other air freight service providers along with logistics and security experts on this demanding task. SiLuFra is intended to facilitate the systematic analysis of Germany's entire freight logistics system. Based on the analysis, approaches to improve security in dealing with air freight will be developed, so that potential weak points in the transport chain can be recognised, thus facilitating sustainable protection against manipulation and attack. The results therefore also contribute to guaranteeing the security of the air freight transport chain for the future.

Hamburg Aviation will make an important contribution to the gathering of information as well as to the communication of findings. The SiLuFra contact partner at Hamburg Aviation is Patrick Pulendran. Overall coordination of the project is in the hands of Prof. Dr Ralf God (Coordinator) from the TUHH Institute of Aircraft Cabin Systems and Prof. Dr Thorsten Blecker (Deputy Coordinator) from the TUHH Institute of Business Logistics and General Management.

Background to SiLuFra: Ensuring the secure and efficient handling of air freight is a great challenge. This is due, amongst other things, to the wide range of possible goods being transported and to the large number of potential points of attack in the process chain. Despite the explosive nature of the subject, hardly any practicable concepts to solve these problems are in existence to date. In particular in the field of air freight, the development of an integrated security approach for all participants in the process is essential. The analysis of the overall process serves to identify sensitive sections within the air freight transport chain and to determine appropriate security requirements for these sections. The first goal must therefore be to achieve a unified level of security along the entire chain and covering all players. Technology decisions must follow these security requirements. Technical solutions, in other words, must not guide the air freight process, but should allow to facilitate the necessary security level. From an implementation perspective, it must be taken into account that both the process itself and the technologies deployed to solve problems are subject to future change. Beyond this, current regulations and laws can also develop further. A meta-level for the security of the air freight transport chain must therefore be created in accordance with existing regulations and laws, able to deal with changes in process, technological progress, and changing or new threat scenarios. Invariant elements of the air freight transport chain are the flow of goods, the flow of information and/or data (cf. IATA e-Freight and IT for supply chain management) and the involvement in the process of diverse persons and stakeholders.