Providing Aerodrome Flight Information Services (AFIS) at Emden Airport

As the first airport in Germany, Emden Airport has contracted DFS Aviation Services to provide the aerodrome flight information service (AFIS).

At the beginning of October, DFS Aviation Services took on AFIS provision at the airport. DFS Aviation Services is supplying the airport with licenced AFIS specialists. With AFIS, the tower provides pilots with relevant flight information, meteorological information, information on navigation aids and on any restrictions at the airport.

In contracting DFS Aviation Services, Emden Airport is the first airport in Germany to enter into a new innovative form of partnership. With DFS Aviation Services at its side, the airport meets all legal requirements. Olaf Schmidt, Managing Director of Emden Airport said: “In DFS Aviation Services, we are happy to have found a certified air navigation service provider as a professional partner. This puts us in the position to meet the rising requirements being placed on the airport.”

Emden is certified for aircraft up to 14 tons. The airport is equipped for instrument flight operations and offers GPS/RNAV procedures. There are also special approach/departure procedures for helicopters, which now make up a significant share of the traffic volume. Four companies have located in Emden with a total of 15 helicopters. They offer flights to offshore wind farms, and provide emergency and ambulance flights to the wind parks and the East Frisian Islands. The German regional airline Ostfriesische-Flug-Dienst (OFD) is located there as well.

Due to the structure of the traffic and the published instrument approach procedure, Emden Airport had to be certified by the German Federal Supervisory Authority for Air Navigation Services (BAF). Overall, 23 airports in Germany needed to acquire such certification. The AFIS requirements from the EU Single European Sky initiative, which were updated in 2014, form the basis for the regulations now in force in Germany. The new regulations aim to improve the safety at smaller aerodromes where traffic is not controlled by air traffic controllers.

To be able to provide AFIS, DFS Aviation Services obtained the required certification from the BAF. As part of the AFIS provision, DFS Aviation Services carries out all relevant duties for the airport operator. This includes the actual AFIS provision in the control tower as well as the supply of personnel and recruitment. It also covers any certification duties, such as updating verification documentation and reporting to the BAF.

“Now that the certification process has been completed, we are in a position to provide real relief to airport operators. They can now continue to concentrate on their core business,” said Dirk Mahns, Managing Director of DFS Aviation Services.

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