In June, the Luftwaffe exercise “Air Defender 23” takes place in German airspace. Contrary to an assessment by the Bundeswehr, the maneuver will have a massive impact on civil aviation.
Before the “Air Defender 23” exercise, the air traffic control union (GdF) contradicted the Bundeswehr’s assessment that no flight cancellations were to be expected. It was inexplicable how Air Force Inspector Ingo Gerhartz came to this claim, the union said. “The military exercise Air Defender will of course have a massive impact on the course of civil aviation,” said GdF boss Matthias Maas.
In fact, simulations by Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS) had shown that for the duration of the major exercise, total delays of up to 50,000 minutes had to be expected in the best case. In addition, it is expected that up to 100 civil flights per day will not reach their target for the night closure of the various airports in Germany. It is very likely that these machines would not be available at the planned location on time the following day either.
25 nations, 240 aircraft
Air traffic control initially did not comment on this content. The GdF, which represents a large number of air traffic controllers and technicians at DFS, made it clear that they consider the maneuver necessary in view of the political situation and that it is of great value to NATO. However, one wants to prevent air traffic control employees from being held responsible for negative effects.
The June 12-23 exercise has been scheduled since 2018. According to the Air Force, 25 nations are involved. There are around 240 aircraft, including around 100 from the US side. According to the Bundeswehr, this is the largest military transfer exercise since NATO was founded. Gerhartz had announced that the bulk of the around 200 flights a day should take place over the North Sea and Baltic Sea.
Bundeswehr to Air Defender 23
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