DFS Taps Deutsche Telekom to Modernise its Network

Deutsche Telekom

DFS, the German air navigation service provider, is modernising its communications network: Control centres, towers, radio and radar facilities will exchange information via optical fibres in future. To this end, Deutsche Telekom will expand its network by around 870 kilometres by the middle of 2022.

Deutsche Telekom will then operate the entire network for DFS. The contract is worth a medium-sized double-digit million Euro figure and will run for seven years.

Network Infrastructure

The new fibre-optic network for DFS will be several tens of thousands of kilometres long, stretching from Helgoland in the north to Kaufbeuren in the south. It will connect four control centres, the control towers of the 16 designated international airports and 130 radio and radar facilities in Germany. For the first time, some 80 locations will be connected to the fibre optic network.

“The new fibre-optic network is an important building block for the digitalisation of air traffic control,” said Friedrich-Wilhelm Menge, Chief Technology Officer at DFS. “We want to further strengthen our position among the leading air navigation service providers in Europe. To achieve this, we must continue developing technologies and consistently exploit the potential of digitalisation and automation. In concrete terms, the aim is to increase safety and efficiency in air traffic.”

Hagen Rickmann, responsible for the business-customer division at Telekom Deutschland: “The air traffic control infrastructure is critical to the whole economy. That’s why safety is the top priority: All lines and the most important network components are duplicated. He adds: “This is one of the first major orders for our new-look business customer division. As of July 1, we have now bundled all the necessary competencies to implement such important and safety-relevant projects even more successfully.”

DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH is the German air navigation service provider. It 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.

Its subsidiary DFS Aviation Services offers products and services related to air traffic management worldwide and provides air navigation services at nine German regional airports as well as 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.

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