Successful start of operations for Thales's new ILS system at Frankfurt International Airport

Thales is delighted to announce the successful initiation of operations for its latest pieces of equipment installed at Frankfurt's international Airport.
On 6th June the Thales Instrument Landing System ILS420 and Distance Measuring Equipment DME415 were successfully made operational at Runway 07R. This challenging target was achieved on time despite several restrictions including the need to carry out the work only during night hours, as well as some unforeseeable instances of labour disruptions caused Frankfurt Ground Handling staff strikes.

Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS) head of terrestrial navigation, Thomas Kleinmann, was very satisfied that Thales was very supportive to keep the downtime of the Frankfurts Runway 07R reduced to a minimum.

With this addition, DFS and FRAPORT now operate eight ILS420/DME415 systems across three runways at Frankfurt International, all delivered by Thales. 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 ILS/DME systems are installed at Runway Northwest and have been operational since 21st October 2011. Because the use of this runway is restricted to precision approach only, ILS facilities were doubled to create enough redundancy at each side of the runway to ensure permanent operation capability. Specifically, Thales devised an ingenious interlocking concept to ensure this redundancy.

The concept allows one of the ILS systems to be in active operation mode while all others remain in standby this maintaining a close to 100% efficiency in case of one ILS system failing. Further developments are planned, such as increasing the glide slope, to enable higher approaches and to reduce noise on the approach region in the future.

Thales has supported DFS for more than 40 years, supplying reliable life long navigation aids, surveillance and tower automation systems as well as providing field services, operational support and infrastructure development.

Commenting on this latest milestone at Frankfurt International, Remi Gille, Thales VP and Thales Head of Air Traffic Management said 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


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