DFS begins construction of campus for training military air traffic controllers

In the Bavarian town of Kaufbeuren, DFS is investing EUR 18 million to build a training centre and residence halls for military air traffic services personnel. The facilities will open at the end of 2019

19.06.2017.- The German air navigation service provider DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung has begun construction of a campus for military air traffic services training near the Kaufbeuren Air Base located in southern Germany. A groundbreaking ceremony marked the occasion on 19 June 2017. The event was attended by Klaus-Dieter Scheurle, Chairman of the Board and CEO of DFS, Dr Marcel Huber, Head of the Bavarian State Chancellery, State Minister for Federal Affairs and Special Tasks, Stefan Bosse, Mayor of the town of Kaufbeuren, and Joachim Keck, Managing Director of the DFS subsidiary Kaufbeuren ATM Training GmbH. DFS will invest EUR 18 million in the new campus that will consist of a training centre and two residence halls that can accommodate 80 participants.

EUR 1 million for new simulators
Through its subsidiary Kaufbeuren ATM Training, DFS took on the responsibility for training German military air traffic services personnel of the Bundeswehr at the start of 2017. The first step was for DFS to replace all of the Bundeswehr simulators, which cost about EUR 1 million. Until then, analogue technology had been in use. Now, advanced digital simulators have superseded the old technology. This upgrade included totally revamping the software used. Furthermore, DFS introduced a new tower simulator that features a sophisticated rear-projection system with 16 projectors and a resolution of more than 36 million pixels.
The first of 60 training courses planned for this year began in February 2017. Since then, about 160 participants have already undergone training with the new DFS subsidiary. Kaufbeuren ATM Training GmbH, which was founded in April 2016, currently has 76 staff members. Of these, 23 are instructors and simulator assistants who have been made available by the Bundeswehr on a permanent basis.

Current location temporary
The construction of a new campus is necessary because the Bundeswehr will close its own facilities in Kaufbeuren in 2022. As it will be impossible to continue to use these buildings after that date, DFS purchased a 13,400 square metre piece of property bordering the air base where four Bundeswehr buildings are located that were formerly used as military quarters. Extensive modernisation will be carried out on two of the buildings while the other two have already been torn down to make room for the new training centre. It will be a three-storey building with 2,400 square metres housing simulators, classrooms, offices and a canteen for up to 100 people. The new tower simulator will also find its permanent home in the new training centre. The new campus is scheduled to be completed and ready for operation at the end of 2019.

Above and beyond requirements
"I am proud to say that the transition from the Bundeswehr to the DFS Group has been a success," stated Klaus-Dieter Scheurle, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DFS. The second major step now is to construct the new campus. "We are investing in the quality of training for military air traffic services at this location and are proud to continue a 60-year tradition here. We are committed not just to meeting the requirements of the Bundeswehr but going above and beyond them and delivering even more."

DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH, the German air navigation service provider, is a State-owned company under private law with 5,550 employees as at 31 December 2016. 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 control towers at 16 international airports in Germany. Its 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.