Safe, on time and direct

DFS guides up to 10 000 flights per day through German airspace

07.08.2015.- Close to three million flights per year, almost 10 000 flights per day and up to 500 aircraft at any one time are guided through German airspace by the air traffic controllers at DFS, the German air navigation service provider. The vacation season sees many people turn to flying to get to their holiday destinations. As always, safety is the number one priority. But other issues play a role too, such as punctuality and the ability to fly in the most environmentally friendly manner possible. DFS and its staff strive every day to meet these goals by bringing passengers and aircraft to their destinations safely, on time and directly.

An indicator for the level of airspace safety is aircraft proximities. Last year, the independent Aircraft Proximity Evaluation Group (APEG) reported no incidents with an immediate risk of collision. Safety in German airspace has been at an exceptionally high level for many years now.

Punctuality rates at DFS are also impressive. Last year, DFS was responsible for an average delay of only 7.8 seconds per flight. This ranked DFS as one of the best in Europe. In the first half of 2015, the number achieved was even better, declining to 5.4 seconds.

Many factors can play a role when it comes to environmental protection. Modern engines consume less fuel and have lower levels of pollution, for example. Air navigation services can also make a significant contribution by routing aircraft as directly as possible. In German airspace, aircraft have to fly only 3.8 kilometres longer than the most direct routing would require. This is just 1.2 percent of the route. In the vicinity of airports, aircraft often have to leave the most direct route for noise abatement reasons. Approach and departure routes are defined for every airport so that, as far as possible, aircraft do not fly over densely populated areas. Protecting the public from aircraft noise means that longer routes have to be accepted. Whenever feasible, DFS makes use of other ways to reduce the impact of aircraft noise. Particularly at the largest German airport in Frankfurt, numerous procedures have been introduced or amended to provide the people living in the region around the airport with the maximum relief from aircraft noise. Approach and departure routes have been raised, for example, and optimised as regards noise abatement. Noise respite periods give members of the public living under the approach and departure routes one more hour of peace and quiet at night.

DFS CEO Klaus-Dieter Scheurle stressed that such results can only be achieved thanks to our highly motivated and committed staff. In a recent survey by the German newsweekly Focus at the beginning of the year, DFS was voted the best employer in the transport and logistics category.

Contact person
Axel Raab, press officer, telephone: +49 (0)6103/707 4160


DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH, the German air navigation service provider, is a State-owned company under private law with 5,881 employees as at 31 December 2014. 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.