Air navigation charges take a dive

DFS significantly lowers charges for landings, take-offs and en-route for 2017

11.01.2017.- DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung again lowered its charges for landings, take-offs and en-route flights as of 1 January 2017. Terminal charges, or what airlines have to pay the air navigation service provider to land or take off from one of Germany's 16 international airports, have decreased by a total of 18 percent. The charges for en-route flights have gone down by 16 percent.

These reduced prices mean that an airline flying, for example, with an Airbus A 320 from Hamburg to Munich, now only has to pay EUR 641.05 (previous year: EUR 768.22). This translates to a price per passenger of EUR 3.82 (2016: EUR 4.60) for a safe flight across Germany. In comparison, the amount each passenger pays for the security check at airports in Germany comes to between four and ten euros. This amount is included in the airlines' ticket price. The average cost per passenger in 2016 amounted to about EUR 6.65.

"Since 2015, terminal charges in Germany have been lowered each year by more than 28 percent. En-route charges over the same time frame have gone down by 23 percent," explained Klaus-Dieter Scheurle, the CEO of DFS. "We have thus made an important contribution to improving the competitiveness of aviation in Germany."

"This financial relief has arrived for the airlines at a time when changes in the international air transport industry make for difficult conditions," continued Scheurle. "It was possible to reduce the charges this year by this amount because the Federal Government decided from this point on to directly cover costs for things such as the weather service and other administration as well as miscellaneous items not related to DFS. This means airspace users will no longer are have to bear these costs in the air navigation services charges."

In 2015, the airlines using German airspace, one of the busiest and most complex airspaces in Europe, paid EUR 1.4 billion for air navigation services charges. About a fifth of this amount was for terminal charges and the remaining 80 percent for en-route charges. 

DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH
, the German air navigation service provider, is a State-owned company under private law with 5,550 employees as at 31 December 2016. 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.