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Flugleiter in Germany - pointless?

Here: link

I hope the link works. In case it does not work for you, you can try googling the following yourself: nachrichten für luftfahrer “2023-1-2792”
(Don’t google NfL, you’ll only find american football games for the 2023 season :D )

EDIT: PS. this looks like the document has been placed, perhaps by mistake, on a server from the Saxony state. Not sure whether it will remain there or not – particularly if DFS or LBA want to cash in on it (which is a shame if you ask me. Those documents, as well as others such as AIP, should be available free of charge!)

Last Edited by etn at 23 Apr 17:04
EDQN, Germany
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Thank you Peter!

EDQN, Germany

Thanks @etn and @Peter

So. We still don’t know what will come


German authorities have published new guidelines that should allow pilots to operate on uncontrolled airfields even in the absence of a “Flugleiter” i.e. the operator that currently provides traffic information and fire fighting services, and whose presence was so far mandatory for any operation to take place.
The document in German can be found here

I asked ChatGPT to summarize it for you, with particular focus on the chapter describing the new operations without Flugleiter, see below.

For your understanding, the document first essentially renames the Flugleiter which now becomes the Betriebsleiter (operations manager in the description below), then specifies how and when one can operate without it. The whole thing is done the German way, lots of complicated and redundant rules and limitations, to make sure no one gets hurt. In practice, it will take some time before most airfields will have these operations setup and ready to go, and many may never get to that point as they would need to request permission.

Summary of the Document “Grundsätze über die Betriebsleitung auf Landeplätzen und Segelfluggeländen ohne Flugverkehrsdienste”
This document, issued by the Bundesministerium für Digitales und Verkehr on April 30, 2024, establishes guidelines for the management of airfields and gliding sites that operate without air traffic services. It aims to clarify responsibilities and powers of airfield operations management and contribute to the standardization of tasks, appointments, and qualifications of personnel involved.

Overview of Document Sections:

1- General Principles: The document applies to both commercial and special-purpose airfields and gliding sites during times when no air traffic services are provided, excluding helicopter pads.

2- Relevant Documents and Regulations: It outlines the authoritative documents and regulations that define the role and responsibilities of the airfield operations manager, including airfield permits, usage regulations, and publications in aviation manuals.

3- Necessity of an Operations Manager: Depending on local conditions and the type and extent of air operations, an operations manager may be required by the aviation authority.

4- Tasks and Powers of the Operations Manager: The operations manager is responsible for ensuring the operational safety of the airfield and proper conduct of operations. This includes overseeing the readiness of operational facilities, assigning operational areas, and managing general operations. They are not empowered with police or regulatory authority over air traffic.

5- Operations Without an Operations Manager: When an operations manager is not mandated by air law permits, the airfield operator still holds the responsibility for ensuring safety and proper management. This section, which is expanded upon below, outlines the procedures and responsibilities in such scenarios.

6- Transition of Flight Operations: Procedures for transitioning between different modes of flight operations (with or without an operations manager or air traffic services) are discussed.

7- Air Supervision Appointees: The roles of air supervision personnel remain unaffected by the guidelines in the document.

8- Qualifications of the Operations Manager: Criteria for appointing an operations manager include adulthood, relevant aviation knowledge, communication proficiency, and practical training.

Detailed Expansion on Chapter 5 – Flugbetrieb ohne Betriebsleitung:

  • Operational Responsibility: Even in the absence of a formal operations manager, the airfield operator must ensure that the airfield is safe and operates correctly. This includes developing and implementing suitable technical and organizational measures.
  • PPR (Prior Permission Required) Operations: In scenarios where operations are conducted based on prior permissions, it is essential for operators to manage operational tasks and communicate local conditions and regulations effectively to airfield users.
  • Information Dissemination: Operators must provide clear information about operational restrictions, control of operational areas, peculiar operational details, rolling procedures, aircraft parking, and reporting of flight movements.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Even without a designated operations manager, operators must adhere to the airfield traffic regulations and other relevant rules, ensuring they are accessible to all airfield users.
  • Special Provisions: If a situation arises where operations without an appointed manager are necessary, the airfield operator must apply for approval from the relevant aviation authority. Approval does not absolve the operator of liability for maintaining safe and proper operations.

This document ensures that even in the absence of air traffic services, the safety, order, and regulatory compliance of airfields and gliding sites are maintained efficiently and responsibly.

[ @seba post moved to existing thread – also see above ]

Last Edited by Seba at 15 May 15:44
LFST, France

Personally, I don’t think the Flugleiter will ever disappear in Germany, except for the fact that this job is now finally called “Betriebsleiter” (Operations Manager), as this person does not and may never ‘manage’ any flights.

Some improvements have been made for sure, but each competent authority (local CAA) still needs to approve operating permits for airfields, which allows flying without this so-called operations manager. When looking at airfields that currently allow “Fliegen ohne Flugleiter” (FoF), this is very often only for home-based pilots and with a strict PPR regime, including the obligation to inspect the runway and taxiways before departure. (And also sometimes with an additional PPR fee.)

There are some airfields that don’t need a Flugleiter, but have a “Sachkundige Person” (qualified person) to be able to depart or arrive instead. This person might not operate the radios, but is still there for firefighting stuff etc. And even though ICAO has removed the obligation for firefighting and rescue services for private flights, many German airfields run still with an old operating permit. That means: Nothing has changed yet and firefighting services are still required.

I don’t think we have to expect real flying without a Flugleiter Betriebsleiter or some other person on-site in Germany anytime soon, like in France, except for local regulations, that count for home-based pilots only.

Last Edited by Frans at 16 May 07:38
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