Project Leader
Timo Hellenberg

Project Co-ordinator
Maarit Elo-Valente
mobile +358-(0)50 300 3975
maarit.elo-valente [at]

info [at]

Aleksanteri Institute
Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki


With financial support from the Prevention of and Fight Against Crime Programme of the European Union. European Commission - Directorate-General Home Affairs



Publication event for "Securing Air Traffic - Case CBRN Terrorism", 25 March 2011

The final project publication "Securing Air Traffic - Case CBRN Terrorism" was presented at the Aleksanteri Institute (Unioninkatu 33, 3rd floor banquet hall, Helsinki) on 25 March 2011, at 10 o'clock.


10.00 Welcome, Markku Kivinen, Director of the Aleksanteri Institute

10.10 Presentation of the EU-funded Project Aether, Timo Hellenberg

10.20 Crisis Management in Finland in the Aether Scenario, Pekka Visuri

10.30 The View of an Authority on CBRN Security, Juha Rautjärvi

Aapo Cederberg, Secretary General of the Security and Defence Committee

Questions and Answers


Final Conference, Brussels 9 February 2011

The final conference was arranged in Brussels, together with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats of Europe who hosted the event at the parliament building. More than 80 participants attended the conference, mostly from the Parliament and organizations active in the field of security. Welcoming words were spoken by MEP Ms. Anneli Jäätteenmäki. Opening remarks were delivered by Mr. Dick Heimans, Head of Counterterrorism Sector, DG Home Affairs, European Council; Mr. Johnny Engell-Hansen, Head of Operations, EU Situation Centre; Mr. Kalle Laanet, former Minister of the Interior in Estonia; and Mr. Risto Volanen, former Secretary of State of the Prime Minister's Office of Finland.

The session on preparedness and response was chaired by Mr. Alberto Gasparini, the director of the Institute of International Sociology in Gorizia, Italy. Mr. Magnus Normark from the Swedish National Defence College and Mr. Timo Hellenberg, the Aether Project Leader, delivered their presentations. The session on consequence management was chaired by Mr. Magnus Ranstorp from the Swedish National Defence College, while Mr. Ariel Cohen from the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security and Mr. Juha Rautjärvi from the Finnish Radiological and Nuclear Safety Authority addressed the audience.

MEP Ms. Vilja Savisaar-Toomast chaired the closing panel. The other panelists were Mr. Aapo Cederberg from the Security and Defence Committee of Finland, Mr. Timo Härkönen from the Prime Minister's Office of Finland, Mr. Lars Nicander from the Swedish National Defence College, and Ms. Ritva Viljanen from the Finnish Ministry of the Interior.

posterConference poster

europarl   welcome

Left, the European Parliament; right, MEPs Vilja Savisaar-Toomast and Anneli Jäättenmäki welcoming the participants to the event.

keynote   participants

Left, keynote spekers; right, participants to the conference.


Live and Tabletop Exercises, Helsinki 11-14 October 2010

The high point of the project was finally reached during the week of 11-14 October. More than 80 participants from Belgium, China, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United States and Finland took part during the four days of activities. The people represented embassies, the EU Situation Centre, authorities from several countries and the project and advisory partners. The week started with an introductory meeting on Monday 11 at the Aleksanteri Institute, when all participants were briefed on the practicalities of the coming days.

The first day of exercise - the Tabletop Exercise - was on Tuesday 12 October at the House of the Estates in Helsinki. The aim of the exercise was to study the information flow between the different authorities, the media and the terrorists in the case of an airplane used as a medium for transmitting an unknown CBRN agent.


Authorities at the TTX exercise listening to the instructions of Mr. Hellenberg and Mr. Härkönen


Participants from the Government Situation Centre/ Mr. Rantanen explains the role of evaluation


The Game Bank after a hectic day..................................Participants from Finnair

On the following day, the exercise continued with the LIVEX. Those practicing the evacuation of passengers from a contaminated airplane and the whole decontamination procedure, as well as the evaluators, were at the Helsinki airport early in the morning, while the observers arrived some time later with a bus. The exercise started with the unclear symptoms on the plane, the messaging between the airplane and the authorites, and the preparation of the landing site. A decontamination line with showers and first aid was built and all the passengers were taken through and clocked. Four project partners will write their reports from different points of view on the exercise.


An overview of the exercise site and the airplane used / Mr. Karvonen briefs the evaluators


On the left Timo Hellenberg, Liu Ran, Simon Wong, Eric Tsang and Jolly Wong, on the right Marko Koivisto, Jarno Martikainen and Risto Ojanperä from Elisa Corporation.


The victims of the CBRN attack were decontaminated and carried to the first aid tent.


On the left first aid, on the right Miranda Saarentaus, Maarit Elo-Valente and Anni Pirinen Valmé


On the left Antero Kuusi, Mikko Valkonen, Juha Rautjärvi and Martti Annanmäki from the Radiation Safety Authority of Finland, on the right the captain of the aircraft, Timo Hellenberg and Kaarlo Karvonen.


A general view of the airplane with the decontamination line / Building an emergency line

The last day of the exercise, Thursday 14 October, was reserved for a short wrap-up session when evaluators and the other participants could express their thoughts on the exercise.


Meetings on Live and Tabletop Exercises, Helsinki 19 August 2010

A full day of meetings was arranged in Helsinki on 19 August 2010. Most of the project and advisory partners attended the discussions on the upcoming Live and Tabletop Exercises. Further, there were three new declared partners, Elisa Corporation, The Finnish Air Rescue Society and the National Training Association of Finland, as well as representatives from the United States Embassy, the National Police Board, the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the MInistry of Transport and Communications.



Project partners taking part in discussions on the exercises


Magnus Normark, CATS and Pekka Visuri, AI ...Lunch break

Stakeholder Conference "Air passenger transport security in case of CBRN terrorism"

A stakeholder conference was arranged in Hong Kong on 19-20 May, 2010. All project partners and several of the advisory partners sent their representatives to the event. There were more than 40 local attendees from several departments of the Hong Kong government, including the Security Bureau, Police Force (Airport Security, Small Boat Division, Counter Terrorism and Internal Security, Special Duties Unit), Department of Health, Government Laboratory and the Fire Services Department. Further, there were attendants from the Hong Kong Observatory, the Hong Kong Security Association and the Aviation Security Company, among others. Also the Consuls General of Finland, Spain, Germany and Sweden were attending.

Welcoming words were spoken by the Head of European Union in Hong Kong and Macao Maria Castillo Fernandez

The project steering group meeting was held already on 18 May and the research group meeting on 20 May.

See more:


Maria Castillo Fernandez, the EU Representative, and Sydney Chau of AVSECO


Daniele Del Bianco, ISIG, and Ariel Cohen, IAGS


Timo Härkönen, Prime Minister's Office of Finland, and Jan Leijonhielm, CATS


Workshop called "What future for the EU in aviation safety" in Stockholm

The project partners gathered to meet in Stockholm on 16-17 November, 2009. The first workshop of the Project Aether took place on 17th. The project steering group meeting and WP2-3 meeting were also held in Stockholm. See more:


Audience Audience Audience


Aether project presented in Brussels, September 17th 2009

Project leader Timo Helleberg presented the Aether project in Brussels on 17th September, 2009, in the conference called "What Future for the EU in Counterterrorism?" The conference was organised by CATS, the Swedish Institute of International Affairs and the European Policy Centre.

Aether project presented in Sevastopol, Ukraine, September 2nd-4th 2009

Juha Rautjärvi from the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority of Finland STUK participated in a conference in Sevastopol, Ukraine on 2-4 September, 2009, and presented the Aether project there. The international conference was called "Emergency Preparedness and Crisis Communication" and organised jointly by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM), the Ministry of Emergencies of Ukraine, State Nuclear Regulatory Committee of Ukraine, Non-governmental Educational Institution for Continuing Professional Education “ATOMPROF” and State Atomic Energy Corporation “Rosatom” .

Kick off meeting, May 18th 2009

The project Aether was launched at the Aleksanteri Institute on Monday 18 May, 2009 at the first project gathering. The project working groups were nominated.  

Photos from the kick off, click to see the larger version!

timohellenberg pekka visuri aether
kick off aether aether