Active noise protection

Increased approach angle for landing runway northwest integrated into regular operations

Less noise directly below the approach path / Further airspace measures successfully tested

19.12.2014.- Frankfurt Airport – After more than two years of trial operations, the noise reduction measure of an increased ILS glide angle of 3.2 degrees for runway northwest has now been integrated into regular operations. Trial operations for approaches to runway northwest started on 18 October 2012. The results were so successful that the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) has approved the procedure, which will now be applied on a permanent basis as regular operations.

"The increase of the approach angle from 3.0 to 3.2 degrees is one of 19 active noise protection measures and it plays a major part in the noise abatement initiative of Frankfurt Airport. Above all, it will reduce noise levels along the extended runway centreline. The international interest in this new procedure shows that we are on the right track," said Robert Schickling, DFS Managing Director Operations.

"We are particularly happy that a reduction in noise levels has been measured and proven. Together with our partners in the air transport industry, in local State politics in Hesse and in the Airport and Region Forum, we will continue to work for sustainable solutions to reduce aircraft noise. This is proof of Frankfurt's pioneering role in the field of noise abatement," emphasised Anke Giesen, Executive Board Member at Fraport and Executive Director Operations.

Measurements carried out by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) at seven monitoring stations operated by Fraport and the Environment and Community Centre (UNH) showed a clear reduction in the maximum sound level ranging between 0.5 and 1.5 dB (A) depending on the monitoring station and the aircraft type. The measurements were conducted over the entire period of the trial operations.

Between October 2012 and December 2014, about 145,000 aircraft landed on runway northwest using the increased glide angle, representing 71 percent of all landings. During this time, the new procedure neither caused a higher number of go-arounds nor any delays for arriving aircraft.

The additional instrument landing system (ILS) and the required relocation of the glide path transmitter cost EUR 3.2 million. The operating costs amount to EUR 300,000 per year.

In addition to the increased glide angle, a number of further active noise reduction measures have also been integrated into regular operations, such as the relocation of the turns for intercepting final approach to reduce noise levels in the cities of Offenbach and Mainz, and the extension of final approach.

DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH, the German air navigation service provider, is a State-owned company under private law with 6,049 employees as at 31 December 2013. 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 areas of activity include consulting, provided by the Aeronautical Solutions Division, and aeronautical data, grouped in the Aeronautical Information Management Division.