Aviation: German air traffic control manages record number of flights in 2018

German air traffic control (DFS) recorded lower sales in 2018, although they piloted more flights through German airspace than in the previous year, the state-owned enterprise announced on Wednesday.

Compared to the previous year, revenues fell by 1.1 percent to almost 1.18 billion euros (1.33 billion U.S. dollars), according to DFS. The number of controlled flights increased by 4.2 percent in the same period.

At the same time, however, the German air traffic control recorded a loss of 30.1 million euros. According to DFS, the reason for this was a decline in fee income resulting from a reduction in fee rates as well as higher personnel expenses.

Nearly 3.35 million flights were controlled in German airspace in 2018. “Despite this record number, flying is as safe as ever in Germany,” the German air traffic control announced.

Almost 89 percent of all flights under DFS control reached their destinations in 2018 without delays caused by air traffic control measures. In previous years, this figure was over 90 percent. Main reason for this would be the “strong increase” in traffic volume for the fifth year in a row.

“There is no chaos. As air traffic control we create order in the sky. But it is precisely this order that sometimes generates delays,” DFS CEO Klaus-Dieter Scheurle said.

The German air traffic control is expecting a total of 3.5 million flights in German airspace in 2019. This would represent an increase in traffic of 3.4 percent compared to the previous year.

According to Scheurle, German air traffic control has taken several measures to improve the situation, such as intensifying the training of new controllers.