Germany’s DFS unbundles commercial services

Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS) chief Klaus-Dieter Scheurle has told Air Traffic Management that the German air navigation service provider will target revenue growth through a new subsidiary.

“The aim is to increase revenues by expanding this business, which is completely separate from the core business as is required by Germany’s transparency rules,” said Scheurle.

“No charges from ATC provision flow into it. In other words, no cross-subsidiarisation is taking place. To make the separation more transparent, this business will be bundled in a new subsidiary, DFS Aviation Services GmbH (DAS) in 2017.”

He said the British subsidiary ANS, which was awarded contracts for services at Gatwick and Edinburgh, will also be grouped within DAS.

DFS already has a commercial division that offers air navigation services, training, consulting and system development internationally and Scheurle said this business would be expanded as part of the new business.

He noted that several large European air navigation service providers (ANSP) have been criticised for overcharging their customers while apparently failing to provide sufficient capacity.

“It was questioned how it was possible for DFS to win a contract in Edinburgh while simultaneously receiving funds from the German government,” Scheurle said, adding. “the questions seem to be valid, until one has a closer look at the facts that are often influenced by different interest groups. It helps to look at the facts and figures to put the matter into perspective.”

He said that thanks to the recent robust economy, the traffic volume in Europe, especially Germany, has gone up. DFS controlled over three million flights in 2015. By June 2016, DFS controlled 1.491 million flights, a 2.8 per cent increase.

The DFS chief added that the business also improved its flight efficiency and delay numbers. In 2015, 98.2 per cent of flights reached their destination without delays caused by ATC (previous year: 97.7 per cent) – this is a new record in Europe. In absolute figures, the average delay in 2015, due to bad weather, capacity bottlenecks at airports or high traffic volume was 19.2 seconds. Only about seven seconds of these were caused by ATC.

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