Such a twin-turboprop is being used during the three-week flight inspection at the Hamburg airports.

Photo: FCS Flight Calibration Services GmbH

King Air 350 D-CFME

Photo: FCS Flight Calibration Services GmbH 

Flight inspection at Hamburg airports

From 17 February to 6 March (scheduled), new satellite-based approach and departure procedures for the airports of Hamburg Fuhlsbüttel and Hamburg Finkenwerder will be inspected by means of a calibration aircraft. During this period, increased noise levels may occur.

13.02.2020.- The calibration aircraft, a twin-turboprop Beechcraft King Air 350, will be deployed between 10:00 and 17:00 hrs from Monday to Friday. Twice a day, the aircraft will fly the various approach and departure procedures for all runways between two and three hours at a time. This means that the inner city of Hamburg will also be overflown. For the flight calibration of the 150 flight procedures of the Hamburg Fuhlsbüttel and Hamburg Finkenwerder airports, 80 to 90 flight hours will be required. In case of technical or weather-related delays, a shift to the weekend cannot be excluded. 

During the calibration flights, the specially equipped calibration aircraft checks the accuracy of the transmitted navigation signals required for safe take-offs and landings. Before they are introduced at Hamburg airports on 18 June 2020, the new, more precise satellite-assisted area navigation procedures for approaches and departures will thus be subject to a check similar to the roadworthiness tests private cars have to go through in many jurisdictions every few years. Prior to this, the procedures had been discussed in the Noise Abatement Commission for Hamburg Airport in August 2018. 

DFS launches new generation of navigation in Hamburg
The introduction of area navigation in June will not change the arrival and departure routes of Hamburg's airports. Only the source of the navigation signals is changing. The routing of aircraft will become more precise. With this step, DFS is completing the transition from primarily conventional ground-based navigation systems to modern area navigation using satellites. This has been made possible because 94 percent of the aircraft operating in Germany are now equipped with the appropriate on-board receivers. DFS will continue to offer conventional solutions for the approximately six percent of aircraft that have not yet been equipped for area navigation. 

Together with the airports in Lübeck and Kiel, the airports in Hamburg are the first to change their flight procedures. In 2015, Frankfurt Hahn Airport initially started using area navigation procedures as a prototype. The entire German airspace will gradually be converted to modern area navigation by 2030. A total of around 2,800 approach and departure procedures will be newly designed at more than 60 airports for this purpose.

Greater track accuracy and a contribution to more environmental and climate protection
Area navigation procedures offer far more possibilities in the lateral routing of flights and can also be planned much more independently of ground-based systems. Conventional procedures, on the other hand, are very limited in their design and rely on terrestrial navigation systems, which are susceptible to interference from buildings or wind turbines. As part of a large-scale innovation project, the infrastructure of terrestrial omnidirectional radio beacons can be scaled back. Nevertheless, a rudimentary network must continue to exist as a back-up procedure.

Media contact:
Anja Naumann
Telephone +49 (0)421 5372 -116

DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH, the German air navigation service provider, is a State-owned company under private law with 5,600 employees as at 31 December 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.