The first take-offs and landings controlled from DFS Remote Tower Control Centre

Since the early hours of 4 December, traffic at Saarbrücken Airport is no longer controlled from the tower on site but from hundreds of kilometres away in Leipzig. DFS, the German air navigation service provider, has set up its new Remote Tower Control Centre there. You can find the latest photos and videos of the first take-offs and landings here.

04.12.2018.- A Luxair regional airliner was the first aircraft whose landing was controlled from the DFS Remote Tower Control Centre. The aircraft, a Bombardier DHC 8-400 from Luxembourg, touched down on the runway in Saarbrücken at 6:51 hrs on 4 December.  At 6:53 hrs, a regional aircraft of the same airline was the first aircraft to receive a take-off clearance from Leipzig. The aircraft, a Bombardier CRJ 700, took off on schedule and headed for Berlin Tegel Airport. The last aircraft controlled from the old tower took off on 3 December at 22.01 hrs. The destination of the Luxair flight was Luxembourg.

Ten air traffic controllers work at the new Remote Tower Control Centre in Leipzig, having moved there from Saarbrücken. Even without a direct view from the tower, they can monitor the airport remotely thanks to the advanced camera system installed at Saarbrücken Airport. Video and infrared cameras deliver a permanent 360-degree view of the airport. Static cameras covering the apron and pan-tilt-zoom video and infrared cameras have been set up, allowing the smallest detail to be seen. The air traffic controllers have a much better view thanks to the infrared technology, especially during bad weather and at night.  In addition, the remote tower control system supports the controllers in their work. It can automatically detect movement and highlight objects. If desired, the pan-tilt-zoom cameras can automatically track objects. DFS developed the remote tower system over the last four years together with the Austrian high-tech company Frequentis. The system successfully passed numerous tests under live operating conditions.

The tower in Saarbrücken will remain operational at first after the control of air traffic is transferred from Saarbrücken to Leipzig on 4 December. After the four-week introductory phase, DFS will move operations to Leipzig permanently.

Last year, Saarbrücken Airport recorded more than 15,300 flight movements, of which just under 9,500 were under instrument flight rules (IFR) and around 5,900 under visual flight rules (VFR. Over the next years, DFS will also control the airports of Erfurt and Dresden from Leipzig. In 2017, around 14,500 flights were recorded at Erfurt Airport and around 36,500 at Dresden Airport.

Media contact:

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

Regional media
Stefan Jaekel
Telephone +49 (0)30 74306 -130

Trade press
Nanda Geelvink
Telephone: +49 (0)6103 707-4164

You can find photo and video material on the press release here.
The password is "RTC2018".

Notes for the media:
Photo, film and other material have been released to cover the topic of "DFS Remote Tower Control".
The re-use of the material for other issues requires the explicit permission of the DFS Press Office.

DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH, the German air navigation service provider, is a State-owned company under private law with 5,400 employees. 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, 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 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.