Nightly crane operation at Düsseldorf Tower

Installation of new ground radar antenna

08.04.2016.- During the night from 9 April to 10 April, the antenna of a new surface movement radar system will be installed on the roof of the DFS control tower. A telescopic truck-mounted crane will hoist the 450-kg antenna onto the roof of the 85-metre high tower where it will be anchored in place.

Surface movement radar is used by air traffic controllers to control all taxiing aircraft and moving vehicles at the airport – in particular, in poor weather conditions such as fog.

The new antenna will replace the system currently mounted on top of the old control tower. It is part of the technology that will provide a more detailed and enhanced overview of the current traffic situation showing positions of aeroplanes and vehicles at the airport. Air traffic controllers will be able to see information such as flight numbers directly on their ground situation displays. This facilitates better identification of the aircraft and further improves safety in reduced visibility conditions.

Both the erection and the dismantling of the telescopic crane will take about three hours. The installation of the antenna itself is expected to take one hour. Some of the streets in the vicinity will be closed for traffic during this period. The erection of the crane is scheduled to commence at 23:00 hrs on 9 April.

Traffic will be rerouted; no obstructions are expected.

If the installation cannot take place due to bad weather, the work will be postponed until the following weekend.

The installation had been planned for last year, but the work had to be stopped due to poor weather conditions. DFS decided to use a telescopic truck-mounted crane as it is easier to change plans with it at short notice.


DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH, the German air navigation service provider, is a State-owned company under private law with 5,650 employees as at 31 December 2015. 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.