In the period from 4 to 08 May 2021, calibration flights to check the instrument landing system of the central runway at Frankfurt Airport will be conducted. A calibration aircraft especially equipped for this purpose will check the precision of the signals, which are essential for safe landings. Both operating directions of the runway will be checked, i.e. approaches from the east as well as from the west.
On these days, the calibrations will begin at around 10:00 hrs. Should there be any delays due to technical reasons or the weather or if it is impossible to conduct the calibration flights for operational reasons, the flights will have to be continued in an alternative period. This alternative period would last from 21 to 23 May 2021.
The calibrations are planned to be conducted during ongoing operations, depending on the traffic volume and the weather. Normally, such flights are conducted at night because the high traffic volume renders this impossible during the day. In view of the current situation, however, it is possible to conduct these calibration flights during the day. The calibration aircraft being used is a small turboprop Beechcraft Super King Air 350. Overflights of built-up areas will be avoided as far as possible and as far as the specified flight profiles permit.
The instrument landing system provides navigational support for pilots during approach. The basic principle is that signal transmitters on the ground electronically define the approach course and glide path angle. The signals are received in the aircraft and displayed to the pilot in the cockpit. Only calibration aircraft that are specially equipped for this purpose are able to check the precision of these signals.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) prescribes the calibration of the instrument landing system at regular intervals. This is crucial for the safe, orderly and expeditious handling of air traffic at airports.
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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 2020. DFS ensures the safe and punctual flow of air traffic over Germany. Before 2020, around 2,200 air traffic controllers guided up to 10,000 flights in German airspace every day, more than 3 million movements every year. 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. R. Eisenschmidt GmbH is another DFS subsidiary which markets publications and products for General Aviation. Kaufbeuren ATM Training (KAT) is responsible for training military air traffic services personnel. 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.