Air Defender 2023 – Large-scale military exercise in German airspace

From 12 to 23 June, the Bundeswehr and its NATO partners are organising a large-scale military exercise in the airspace of Germany and neighbouring States called Air Defender 2023.

With more than 10,000 participants from 25 nations and more than 250 aircraft involved, this is the largest military air force deployment exercise in NATO's history.

Defined sections of German airspace will be reserved for military exercises for a limited time and will be temporarily unavailable for civil air traffic.

Flight delays and longer flight times

Civil flights will be re-routed where necessary and given fixed take-off slots. If the planned number of flights exceeds the acceptable capacity set for air traffic control, delays may occur.

Simulations by the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL) suggest that flight cancellations are not to be expected as of now. Flight delays and longer flight times, on the other hand, will be unavoidable. This is due to the expected dynamic nature of this unique large-scale exercise as well as the existing complexity of the system.

DFS deploys more staff

DFS will increase its staffing to an exceptional extent during the exercise. Airlines and airports were provided with all relevant information at an early stage. They have adjusted their operational planning and ground processes to fit the situation as far as possible.

Together with all partners in the air transport system, DFS will do everything possible to minimise the impact on civil air traffic.


You can find more information here:

Passengers who have questions about their tickets and/or flight connections should contact their airline directly.

Citizens who feel disturbed by military aircraft noise can contact the service for citizens run by the German Military Aviation Authority (Bürgerservice rund um den militärischen Flugbetrieb). [In German only; contact number can be found on page.] Bürgerservice rund um den militärischen Flugbetrieb (

Information regarding the dimensions of airspaces and special information for general aviation can be found here [in German only]: AIP SUP Military Exercise Air Defender 2023 | DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH

Media representatives should contact Matthias Boehnke, the Bundeswehr's press officer, for questions on the nature and scope of the exercise: Telephone +49 (0)30 / 3687-3950 or

Further information in English on the exercise can be found at 

The German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) also provides information about Air Defender 2023 on its website: BMDV - June: Air force exercise over Germany (