Short-term technical problem at DFS control centre

Temporary delays in air traffic

23.09.2016.- On Friday morning at around 6:00 hrs, the Karlsruhe control centre experienced a short-term system hitch. DFS therefore reduced the traffic volume in the airspace concerned as a precautionary measure. The incident had no effect on the safety of air traffic. 

Due to an error message in one of the air traffic control systems, one of the components was rebooted. For safety reasons, aircraft that were scheduled to take off in the airspace concerned stayed on the ground. Ongoing flight operations were handled safely and without any disruptions. 

After about forty minutes, the traffic volume was gradually increased again. At 8:20 hrs, traffic was back to 100 percent. The system is running smoothly.  

The cause of the problem is currently under investigation. A cyber attack – as the media had initially speculated – can be absolutely ruled out.


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.