|Company||DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH|
An aircraft proximity occurred between two aircraft at Frankfurt Airport in the early hours of 18 July 2009. At 2 am a Cessna 425, a twin-engine turboprop aircraft, took off contrary to the tower controller’s instruction from a taxiway that runs parallel between both runways. It flew over a Boeing 737 in low altitude which was on the taxiway having an engine test run conducted with technicians on board. The tower staff did not notice the occurrence and were informed about it by the pilot of the Cessna.
DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH immediately reported the occurrence to the supervisory authority and the German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Investigation, which began an investigation without delay. At DFS, the internal investigation revealed irregularities in the staffing of the tower. The investigation was concluded at the end of last week and found that at times not all four staff – three air traffic controllers and one flight data specialist – were at their working positions as stipulated. DFS regards the conduct of the four staff as in blatant breach of regulations and suspended them from their work in the tower with immediate effect.
DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH is a State-owned company under private law and has 5,350 employees. DFS ensures the safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic over Germany. Staff coordinate up to 10,000 aircraft movements in German airspace every day, and more than three million movements every year. With this large number of flights, Germany has the highest traffic volume in Europe. DFS operates control centres in Langen, Bremen, Karlsruhe and Munich. In addition, DFS is represented in the Eurocontrol Centre in Maastricht, the Netherlands, and in the control towers of the 16 international German airports. DFS provides training and consultancy services around the world and develops and sells air traffic control, surveillance and navigation systems. The company's portfolio also comprises flight-relevant data, aeronautical publications and aeronautical information services. DFS has the following business units: Control Centre, Tower, Aeronautical Solutions and Aeronautical Information Management.