Cross-border upgrade of ILS facilities in the future

DFS has concluded an agreement with the Dutch air navigation service provider about the replacement of instrument landing systems

12.10.2017.- In the future, DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH will procure instrument landing systems (ILS) together with LVNL, the ANSP of the Netherlands. The two air navigation service providers have concluded an agreement which will be effective for 13 years. The agreement covers the upgrade of ILS facilities at eleven German and four Dutch airports as well as three test and training systems. The joint procurement will secure DFS and LVNL substantially better conditions when purchasing these systems. In total, DFS and LVNL will spend tens of millions by 2030 on the replacement of their ILS infrastructure.

An instrument landing system is a ground-based system installed at an airport. During final approach, it guides pilots to the touchdown zone, making it possible to land in almost any visibility. DFS operates around 50 instrument landing systems at its 16 international airports, and LVNL a total of 10 systems. The maximum service life of such an ILS system is around 20 years, which means that the two companies have to replace three systems every year on average. In their agreement, DFS and LVNL have for the first time defined common technical requirements on ILS systems. The new systems will be supplied by the French aviation and technology group Thales who won the joint tender.

The first Thales ILS 420 facilities will be supplied later this year. One facility will be installed as a training system at Kaufbeuren air base where it will be used to train DFS technicians. The second facility will serve as a reference system. On the DFS campus in Langen, reference systems of all technical air navigation services facilities are provided in order to test spare parts after repair, for example. The first operational ILS systems will be supplied in 2018. They will be installed at the airports of Hamburg, Nürnberg, Hannover and Schiphol in Amsterdam.

DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH, the German air navigation service provider, is a State-owned company under private law with 5,400 employees as at 30 SEP 2017. 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, 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 control towers at 16 international airports in Germany. The subsidiary, DFS Aviation Services GmbH, markets and sells products and services related to air navigation services as well as providing air traffic control at nine regional airports in Germany and at London Gatwick Airport in the UK.