Approaching and departing aircraft to fly higher at Frankfurt Airport

DFS presents new noise abatement procedure to Noise Abatement Commission

09.07.2014.- Today, DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung presented the Frankfurt Noise Abatement Commission with a new noise abatement procedure to be used at Frankfurt Airport. The procedure involves modified arrival routes so that aircraft flying both the section just before the downwind leg and the first part of the downwind leg will be about 1,000 feet higher than previously. These new routes are called MARs, short for modified arrival routes. The downwind leg is the phase of flight just before the aircraft turns to join the final approach.

Depending on which runway is in use, these routes are located in airspace over the districts of Main-Taunus, Rheingau, Hochtaunus, Wetterau and Vogelsberg in the north as well as the northern part of the city of Frankfurt. To the south of the airport, the higher routes will benefit the districts of Aschaffenburg, Darmstadt-Dieburg, Mainz-Bingen and Offenbach.

As approaching aircraft will be higher, departing aircraft will be able to climb continuously and gain altitude more quickly, thus reducing the impact on the population below the departure routes as well. DFS will conduct trial operations of MARs from 31 October 2014.

Since the autumn of 2012, DFS has been testing other noise abatement measures. One of these was to increase the angle of the instrument landing system glide path of the northwest runway to 3.2 degrees and to relocate turn-in procedures that took place above Mainz and Offenbach. That measure already raised the downwind leg of the approach by 1,000 feet. This procedure will now be incorporated into regular operations as the 20-month long trial phase has proved to be a success.

DFS CEO Klaus-Dieter Scheurle commented on today's talks with the Noise Abatement Commission by saying: "We will do everything in our power to optimise noise abatement. This is why we are actively involved in a process of continuous improvement."

A special exemption has to be granted by the Federal Ministry of Transport before the 3.2-degree glide slope can be introduced because this procedure is not in compliance with the rules of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). 

DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH, the German air navigation service provider, is a State-owned company under private law and has about 6,000 employees. DFS ensures the safe and punctual flow of air traffic over Germany. Around 2,000 air traffic controllers guide up to 10,000 flights in German airspace every day, and about three million movements every year. This makes Germany the country with the highest traffic volume in Europe. The company operates control centres in Langen, Bremen, Karlsruhe and Munich as well as 16 control towers at international airports in Germany. In addition, DFS is represented at the EUROCONTROL Control Centre in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Additional business units are Aeronautical Solutions (Consulting) and Aeronautical Information Management.