New Thales ILS System at Frankfurt International Airport

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The latest pieces of Thales’ equipment have initiated operations at Frankfurt International Airport.

On June 6, the Instrument Landing System, ILS420, and Distance Measuring Equipment, DME415, were successfully made operational at Runway 07R.  This target was achieved on time, despite work being carried out only at night as well as unforeseen labour disruptions due to strikes by Frankfurt’s ground handling staff.

With this addition, Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS) and airport owner Fraport now operate eight ILS420/DME415 systems across three runways at the airport.  To achieve an independent parallel approach on the southern and the new northwest runway, ILS support is required at all times.  Therefore it is important that all ILS systems are permanently capable to be operational as any downtime could have major impacts on airport capacity.

Four of the Thales systems are installed on Runway Northwest and have been operational since October 21, 2011.  As this runway is precision approach only, ILS facilities were doubled to create enough redundancy at each side of the runway to ensure permanent operation capability.

To ensure this redundancy, Thales devised an interlocking concept, which allows one of the ILS systems to be in active operation mode while all others remain on standby, maintaining an almost 100% efficiency in case of a system failure.  Further developments are planned, such as increasing the glide scope to enable higher approaches and therefore reduce noise in the approach region.

Remi Gille, Thales’ VP and Head of Air Traffic Management, commented:  “Germany is one of our core markets and the Frankfurt airspace is one of the most challenging sectors in Europe in terms of volume and traffic.  We are therefore delighted at the continued confidence placed in us by DFS and Fraport, as they make Thales their largest supplier partner of NAVAIDs systems.”  (FRA)

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