Germany and Austria ATC disruptions affect traffic


Here we go again? Disruptions in ATC is currently affecting traffic within the German and Austrian airspaces.

Air traffic in Germany was affected by a computer problem at one of the control centers of German Air Traffic Safety (DFS). As a consequence, 66 of 1,400 flights departing from Frankfurt Airport (FRA) were canceled on March 25, 2019.

A computer glitch is currently affecting the Electronic Flight Strip (EFS) of DFS control center in Langen, near Frankfurt. Flight strips provide schedules oversight to air traffic controllers and contain all relevant information on a flight course, such as type of aircraft, route, expected time and other data.

Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) alone had to cancel 46 scheduled flights thus affecting 4,500 passengers, according to a spokesperson of the Frankfurt-based airline.

The problem has been identified on March 20, 2019. Since then, traffic in the airspace situated in the south west of Germany has been reduced by 25%, with 50 cancelled flights on March 23, 2019. “The other control centers of the DFS in Munich, Bremen and Karlsruhe are not affected by the disturbance,” said the DFS in a press release, adding that exceptional control measures were “organized in cooperation with the central network manager of EUROCONTROL in Brussels”.

A fix should be applied on the night between March 26 and 27, 2019. Until then, disruptions are to be expected.

Air traffic was also disrupted in Austria, due to an employee general assembly of Austro Control (Austrian Air Traffic Control). For safety reasons, the approach rate has been reduced from 40 to 16 approaches per hour at Vienna International Airport (VIE).

The meeting was called after the negotiations on a new collective agreement were interrupted last week, according to Der Standard. The employers have “failed again to put on a serious offer that reduces the burden on air traffic controllers,” said representatives of the the Postal and Telecommunications Union.

Austrian Airlines, who had to cancel five flights because of the reduction of traffic at Vienna airport called onto the “negotiating parties to return to the negotiating table and not to settle the conflict at the expenses of our customers”.


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