DFS launches trial operations to optimise the utilisation of the runway complex at Frankfurt Airport

In February 2020, DFS will start two-month trial operations at Frankfurt Airport to optimise the utilisation of the runway complex. This trial will also be related to the airport’s expansion and is intended to fulfil future requirements with regard to safety, capacity and punctuality.

05.12.2019.- DFS will conduct these trial operations with a view to the opening of a third passenger terminal in the south of Frankfurt Airport and the associated increase in air traffic. According to the current operational concept, take-offs generally take place from runway 18 (runway west) and the centre runway 07C/25C (operating directions east and west). Landings are carried out on runways 07L/25R (northwestern landing runway) and 07R/25L (southern runway). Therefore, today, two runways are generally used for take-offs and two runways for landings although, in principle, this would also be possible on three runways for each operating direction.

The new concept includes an almost equal use of the centre and southern runways for take-offs and landings in a "mixed mode" with the separation minima required for a staggered approach sequence. The use of the northwestern runway and runway west will remain unchanged. Overall, the optimised operational concept should lead to an increase in performance as a result of an optimised use of the runways.

The use of the southern and centre runways for consecutive take-offs and landings had already been practised at Frankfurt Airport until the northwestern runway was opened in 2011. In its optimised constellation with four runways, the new concept will allow an alignment of all traffic flows and interdependencies. The trial operations will be conducted daily in the period between 3 February and 25 March 2020, no longer than from 6:00 to 22:00 hrs.

The new operational concept is not a new procedure but a new combination of procedures which had already been laid down in the course of the zoning decision for the previous expansion of Frankfurt Airport. Therefore, no separate approval will be required. Concrete plans were presented to the members of the Noise Abatement Commission on 4 December 2019.

Media contact:
Christian Hoppe
Telephone: +49 (0)6103 707-4100
E-mail christian.hoppe@dfs.de

DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH, the German air navigation service provider, is a State-owned company under private law with 5,500 employees as at 30 June 2019. DFS ensures the safe and punctual flow of air traffic over Germany. Around 2,200 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 designated 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. DFS has been working on the integration of drones into air traffic since 2016 and has set up a joint venture, Droniq GmbH, with Deutsche Telekom. www.dfs.de