New airspace structure

The necessary changes requested by DFS, the German air navigation service provider, in the terminal control area of Frankfurt Airport have been approved by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. These changes concern modifications to the airspace structure to be introduced from 26 March 2020.

05.02.2020.- DFS submitted a request to adjust Class C airspace at necessary points in the approach area. In these areas, which are currently Class E airspace, flights under instrument flight rules sometimes fly in the same airspace as aircraft under visual flight rules. This is to be eliminated in future in order to comply with the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for independent parallel approaches and to improve the integration of different traffic flows. No flight procedures or routes are being lowered. The adjustment of the lower limit of Class C airspace does not mean that all aircraft navigating under instrument flight rules will also use this additional airspace.

In a first step and as a safety measure, DFS implemented one measure required by an ICAO regulation from the beginning of the year. Under this regulation, aircraft must be at the appropriate level at least one mile before turning onto final approach. On the downward leg, the approach level already has to be 5000 feet in the north and 4000 feet in the south.

In a second step, it has now become necessary to adjust the airspace in some places in order to be able to clear some of the approaches from the north-west for the final approach earlier and to avoid flying through Class E airspace.

Some portions of the lower limit of Class C airspace were raised while others had to be lowered.

In addition to the safe handling of air traffic, DFS also has a great interest in protecting the public from aircraft noise. For this reason, DFS will monitor and analyse the use of the changed airspace on an annual basis.

The currently valid extract of the ICAO chart is available for download here.

Media contact:

Kristina Kelek
Telephone: +49 (0)6103 / 707-4161

DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH
, the German air navigation service provider, is a State-owned company under private law with 5,600 employees as at 31 December 2019. DFS ensures the safe and punctual flow of air traffic over Germany. Around 2,200 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 designated 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. DFS has been working on the integration of drones into air traffic since 2016 and has set up a joint venture, Droniq GmbH, with Deutsche Telekom.