Cooperation with Cologne Bonn Airport strengthens THW's international logistics operations
Cologne/Bonn. Today, the Federal Agency Technisches Hilfswerk (THW) and Flughafen Köln/Bonn GmbH signed a cooperation agreement for future THW operations. With this agreement, THW is further expanding its capacities in the field of logistics. "The cooperation agreement with Cologne Bonn Airport is a logical bridge-building step for THW following the opening of their new logistics centre in Hilden (North Rhine-Westphalia) in June 2021, allowing them to pool their logistics expertise for both domestic and international assignments," according to president Gerd Friedsam, speaking at the signing of the agreement.
The next time the German government receives an international request for help and sends the THW abroad with one of their rapid response units – as they did in August 2020 when they sent the SEEBA (Rapid Response Unit for Rescue Abroad) to Beirut – the materials required will travel from Hilden to the area in question via Cologne Bonn Airport. "As an important aviation hub in NRW with an outstanding position in the field of air cargo in Europe, the airport is ideally positioned to provide the THW with quick and efficient support during its operations in the future. We are pleased that we will be able to offer the THW support as a partner to help them carry out their important work in future," says Johan Vanneste, President & CEO of Flughafen Köln/Bonn GmbH. "With cooperation arrangements such as the one we have signed with Cologne Bonn Airport, it is essential that all the details have been agreed in advance to make sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible in practice," THW president Gerd Friedsam tells us today at the signing of their cooperation agreement with Flughafen Köln/Bonn GmbH.
With their relocation from Heiligenhaus (and also successively from their central warehouse for international logistics in Mainz) to the modern, brand-new logistics centre in Hilden, and through their cooperation with Cologne Bonn Airport, THW will now be even better positioned for the future in terms of their logistics operations. Hilden has space for 8,500 Euro pallets containing equipment for assignments, machinery and tools, across a premises of 42,000 m2. A team of logistics specialists, some voluntary and some employed full-time, are ready and waiting to put the required technical equipment together, to package it and to organise the necessary paperwork for customs. In future, consignments will be sent from Hilden to all the possible operational areas across the world via Cologne Bonn Airport. The associated THW team will likewise travel via Cologne Bonn Airport, although some will also continue to travel via Frankfurt/Main Airport.
In addition to this, the German Bundestag recently gave the THW permission to set up four further logistics centres (LogZ) spread across Germany as a result of the bottlenecks which were experienced at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Their construction will still take some time to complete, but it will then also be possible to use them to store aid supplies and materials for THW emergency assignments.
The THW is the German government's voluntary emergency response organisation. The commitment shown by almost 80,000 volunteers across the country, half of which are emergency personnel, forms the foundation for the work of the THW in the area of civil protection. With its specialist knowledge and wide-ranging experience, the THW is very much in demand for the support it offers to the fire service, the police, various aid organisations, and others besides. The THW also carries out assignments worldwide on behalf of the German government. These include the provision of technical and logistics-based assistance within the context of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and on behalf of various UN organisations.