More efficient and quieter approaches to Frankfurt Airport in the early morning

Airlines and DFS, the German air navigation service provider, are jointly working on optimised approaches to Frankfurt Airport in the early morning hours.

30.07.2018.- Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and Condor together with DFS aim to achieve an arrival stream to Frankfurt Airport between 5:00 hrs and 6:00 hrs that is easier to plan and more balanced. To reach this goal, pilots receive an individual target landing time several hours in advance. The first trial operations, which took place at the beginning of the year, have shown that the time aircraft spend in the immediate vicinity of the airport can be reduced by an average of 10 percent. In addition, flight routes of level flights below 8000 feet can also be reduced by approximately 20 percent. This leads to lower emissions and noise.

The idea of target landing times is especially suitable for the early morning from 5:00 hrs. Many long-haul flights from Asia and North America land in Frankfurt at this time. Some of these flights even enter the immediate vicinity of the airport ahead of schedule before 5:00 hrs. Under the new idea, pilots receive their target landing time several hours in advance. With this time, they can plan the remaining flight time more exactly.

The project is called EMAS Frankfurt, which stands for Early Morning Arrival Stream Frankfurt. During the trial operations, DFS coordinated the arrival sequence and associated target landing times several hours before landing with the operations control centres of Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and Condor. The pilots had to execute the target times in the most optimum way possible. A comparative analysis was conducted against similar flights in the winter schedule 2017/18.

The procedure is to be further investigated under the European SESAR programme. More airlines will be incorporated and the planning and coordination procedures automated. A second round of trial operations is scheduled for 2019. The objective of this round is to establish EMAS as part of regular operations at Frankfurt Airport in a follow-on step.

This project has received funding from the SESAR Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 734145 under European Union`s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.


DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH
Nanda Geelvink
Phone: +49 (0) 6103 707-4164

Lufthansa Group
Media Relations
Phone: +49 (0)69 696-2999

Lufthansa Cargo
Jacqueline Casini
Phone: +49 69 696-95447
Mobile: +49 151 58903162

Condor Flugdienst GmbH
Johannes Winter, Head of Corporate Communications
Phone: +49 (0) 6107 939-7804
Fax: +49 (0) 6107 939-7147

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

About Lufthansa: Lufthansa German Airlines, the biggest airline within the Lufthansa Group, and the first and only airline in Europe awarded Five Stars from Skytrax, currently flies to 209 destinations in 74 countries from its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich.

About Lufthansa Cargo AG: Lufthansa Cargo ranks among the world's leading air freight carriers. In the 2017 business year, the airline transported around 1.6 million tonnes of freight and mail and sold 8.9 billion revenue tonne-kilometres. The cargo carrier serves around 300 destinations in more than 100 countries.

About Condor Flugdienst GmbH: Thomas Cook Group Airline, part of Thomas Cook Group, is one of Europe’s leading leisure airlines, operating from the three source markets Germany, UK and the Nordic countries. Under the brand Condor Flugdienst GmbH, the company has been flying its guests to the most beautiful holiday destinations in the world since 1956. With a fleet of 100 aircraft, the airline carries 18.5 million customers per year to more than 130 destinations, generating revenues of £3.2 billion. Its 8,500 employees put the customer at the heart of everything they do. The airline has received more than 60 awards in the past five years, showing the passion and customer focus of its colleagues around the world.