Higher Administrative Court in Hamburg confirms DFS practice

In its judgement of 18 September, the Higher Administrative Court in Hamburg fully confirmed the implementation of the regulations for using the runways at Hamburg Airport by DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung.

19.09.2019.- The regulations for using the runways lay down the priority use of certain runway configurations for handling air traffic at Hamburg Airport, unless the traffic situation or reasons of traffic safety, in particular weather and runway conditions, force DFS to use a different configuration.

The plaintiffs, two private citizens from Hamburg, were of the opinion that DFS violated these regulations by deviating too frequently from the priority regulation when using the runways, which caused unacceptable additional noise disturbance for the plaintiffs. In 2018, they therefore appealed to the Higher Administrative Court in Hamburg against the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and the Federal Republic of Germany to enforce compliance with the regulations for using the runways. The operator of Hamburg Airport was invited at the request of the defendants and also participated in the proceedings.

After several hours of oral proceedings on 18 September, the Higher Administrative Court clarified that the practice of DFS is not objectionable. DFS did not violate the regulations for using the runways at Hamburg Airport. The quantitatively determinable rule-exception ratio alleged by the plaintiffs with regard to the use of the runways cannot be derived from the regulations on using the runways either. Since the plaintiffs' rights were thus not infringed, the actions were dismissed in their entirety.

This decision has not yet become final; the plaintiffs may lodge an appeal for non-admission with the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig within one month of receiving the reasons for the decision.
Media contact
Anja Naumann
Telephone: +49 421 5372-116
E-mail: anja.naumann@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 30/06/2019. 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 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