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NEWS Last modified on July 18, 2014

Gatwick awards air traffic control services to German firm

Gatwick Airport has awarded a contract for provision of air traffic control services to German provider Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS).

The gateway explains the deal is expected to be signed at the end of the month, and services will cover air traffic and approach services below 4,000 feet around the airport, services, which are presently provided by UK provider NATS.

Gatwick explains following a transition period, DFS will commence provision of the new services from October 2015, and the term is ten years.

NATS will retain operations for all air navigation services above 4,000 feet, from its base in Swanwick.

The decision follows a tender process where a number of companies were invited to submit proposals.

Gatwick explains the proposal submitted by DFS was considered superior to submissions from all other contenders, who were assessed across a range of criteria.

They included safety, innovation, airport management, technical capability, cost, resilience and the ability to accommodate the requirements of a growing airport.

Gatwick CEO, Stewart Wingate, says: “DFS is a company of great standing, operating an extensive network of air traffic control services in Germany.

“We are very impressed with the company’s technical capabilities, track record and safety standards within its existing operations along with the experience, efficiency and innovation it will bring to Gatwick.

“Gatwick operates the busiest and most efficient single runway airport in the world.


“Naturally safety comes first in everything that we do. DFS is a well-known and well-respected provider in this industry and across Europe and has demonstrated a forward-looking approach to its business, which matches our own ambitious plans to grow.

“We look forward to working with our new partners as we continue to grow and connect Britain to the future.

“We appreciate the contribution to our business made by NATS over many years and look forward to continuing to work with them in the transition period and across more general air traffic control services.”

NATS has reacted to the decision, and Mike Stoller, director of operations, airports, says: “We are extremely disappointed that the highly competitive bid we submitted to Gatwick has been unsuccessful.

“We have added considerable value to Gatwick in recent years, building it to the point where with 55 movements an hour it significantly out-performs every other single runway airport in the world.”

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