Celebrating 25 years of the DFS Tower at Nürnberg Airport 

The DFS tower at Nürnberg Airport is a landmark visible far and wide and an unmistakable part of the silhouette of Nürnberg's countryside. DFS, the German air navigation service provider, is celebrating the anniversary of the start of operations of the tower on 25 June 1999, 25 years ago.

In 1995, the supervisory board of Nürnberg Airport approved the plans for the new 47 metre high control tower, which was to replace the old 18 metre high structure from 1955. The older tower was no longer tall enough due to the high-rise buildings that had been erected in the terminal area in the meantime. The winner of a design competition involving five contenders was the renowned Stuttgart-based architectural team Behnisch & Partner, who had achieved fame with their design for the Munich Olympic stadium built for the 1972 Summer Olympics.

The accomplished and aesthetically unconventional design soon became the new landmark for the north of Nürnberg and ensured that Nürnberg had the most modern DFS tower in Germany for some time. After the installation of the technical equipment, DFS controllers moved into the control tower and it officially went into operation on 25 June 1999. The building is still owned by the airport, which leases the tower and administration building to DFS.

"Even after 25 years, the tower looks futuristic and elegant," said Airport Managing Director Dr Michael Hupe. "We congratulate them on their anniversary and look forward to many more years of constructive and professional collaboration with our colleagues in air traffic control."

DFS employs 31 people at the site in Nürnberg, 20 of whom are air traffic controllers. Two air traffic controllers and a team leader are on duty in the tower cab at the same time, issuing take-off and landing clearances and monitoring all flights in the immediate vicinity of the airport.

"As far as I'm concerned, this is one of the most beautiful towers in Germany," said Markus Bembenek, DFS Head of Branch in Nürnberg. "Since the tower was built, our air traffic controllers have issued over 1.6 million take-off and landing clearances from here. Up to four million passengers safely arrive at their destination and return home every year: a great record."

Special features of the tower: The tower is inclined at an angle of 18 degrees. To be able to evacuate the cab in an emergency, the airport fire brigade has a special turntable ladder that can be extended to a platform height of 42 metres.

Every year, a pair of peregrine falcons hatch their young below the cab. Peregrine falcons are tolerated in the airport environment because they hunt bird strike-relevant species, i.e. bird species that could come too close to aircraft taking off and landing. 

Ute Otterbein
Telefon: 06103 / 707-4162   
E-Mail: presse@dfs.de  

Die DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH ist ein bundeseigenes, privatrechtlich organisiertes Unternehmen mit rund 5.700 Mitarbeitern (Stand: 31.12.2023). Die DFS sorgt für einen sicheren und pünktlichen Flugverlauf. Die rund 2.200 Fluglotsen haben in Spitzenjahren mehr als drei Millionen Flüge durch den deutschen Luftraum geleitet, täglich bis zu 10.000. Das Unternehmen betreibt Kontrollzentralen in Bremen, Karlsruhe, Langen und München sowie Tower an den 15 internationalen Verkehrsflughäfen in Deutschland. Die Tochtergesellschaft DFS Aviation Services GmbH vermarktet flugsicherungsnahe Produkte und Dienstleistungen und ist für die Flugverkehrskontrolle an neun deutschen Regionalflughäfen sowie am Flughafen Edinburgh verantwortlich. Die DFS arbeitet maßgeblich an der Integration von Drohnen in den Luftverkehr und hat mit der Deutschen Telekom das Joint Venture Droniq GmbH gegründet. Das Tochterunternehmen R. Eisenschmidt GmbH vertreibt Publikationen und Produkte für die Allgemeine Luftfahrt, die Kaufbeuren ATM Training (KAT) bildet militärisches Flugsicherungspersonal aus, und das Joint Venture FCS Flight Calibration Services bietet Flugvermessungsdienstleistungen an.