We ask all pilots to also read the General section with information relevant to all pilots.
STARs are assigned based on the waypoint at which you exit your route and the operating direction of the airport. The following table shows the standard STAR assignment; however, controllers might assign a different STAR (e.g. during night operations).
All STARs into Frankfurt/Main have altitude and speed restrictions. Make sure you comply with these unless they are explicitly cancelled by ATC.
In Germany, you are supposed to file your STAR. If you did so and you have not been cleared for a STAR when reaching the STAR entry fix, follow the filed STAR until reaching the clearance limit.
To avoid having to fly unnecessarily long finals, pilots should plan to cross the following waypoints at the following altitudes. Remember that all altitude changes require an explicit clearance by ATC.
- ADNIS: FL100
- ETARU: FL100
- KERAX: FL110
- OSPUL: FL120
- SPESA: FL110
- ROLIS: FL150
- RAMOB: FL110
Runways are assigned either by Frankfurt Director or Approach. During high traffic situations, you have to expect the runway assignment on very short notice, so you should always prepare for all the standard approaches stated in the Arrival ATIS.
If your aircraft supports a secondary flight plan function, you should prepare the approach to one runway in your primary flight plan and to the other in the secondary flight plan to be able to quickly select the correct approach once assigned.
Runway 25R/07L is not available for aircraft of the following types:
- Boeing 747
- Airbus A380
- McDonnell Douglas MD-11
- Lockheed L-1011 TriStar
- Antonov An-124
- Antonov An-225
Additionally, aircraft of the types Antonov An-124 and An-225 can usually expect to be assigned runway 25C/07C.
The approach into Frankfurt/Main will usually be an ILS approach; GLS approaches are available upon request.
The real Frankfurt/Main airport has a night time flying restriction between 23 and 05 local time with special noise abatement procedures in effect between 22 and 06 local time. While you can of course still fly to the airport during these hours on VATSIM, controllers may decide to use the special noise abatement procedures.
During night operations, not all runways will be available, special noise abatement SIDs will be assigned to some aircraft, and all pilots will be assigned an RNP X approach. Aircraft unable to fly the RNP X approach should be prepared for some delay as pilots able to fly the RNP X approach will be treated with priority.
For runway 25R/07L, ILS Y with a 3.2° glideslope will normally be in use. ILS Z has a standard 3° glideslope and will be used during low visibility or if there is a tailwind component. Make sure you fly the procedure assigned by ATC.
Pilots unable to accept the 3.2° glideslope of ILS Y shall inform Frankfurt Approach on initial contact.
During periods of high traffic, ATC may employ independent parallel approaches. Otherwise, dependent parallel approaches will be in use with a minimum head-to-head separation of 1.5 NM.
ILS/LOC range issues
There is a known issue with the ILS/LOC range in some simulators being unrealistically short, so you might not be able to receive the ILS signal yet where ATC wants you to intercept the localizer. Please be aware of this and avoid overshooting the extended centerline. In these cases, we recommend you use the following transition waypoints to stay on centerline until capturing the ILS signal.
- 25R: DF426 - DF430
- 25L: DF626 - DF620
- 07R: DF654 - DF660
- 07L: DF454 - DF450
Pilots should plan the following speeds. Keep in mind that ATC instructions always take precedent.
- Descent phase: 260 - 300 KIAS
- Base: 220 KIAS
- Turn to final: 180 - 200 KIAS
There is no restriction for maximum 250 KIAS below FL100 as the Frankfurt/Main TMA is class C.
You need to follow all speed instructions precisely to ensure separation until they are cancelled by ATC (the approach clearance does not cancel your speed instructions). If you need to slow down earlier for any reason, advise ATC immediately, so they can find an appropriate solution.
HIRO (High Intensity Runway Operations)
Due to the high volume of traffic, it is very important that every aircraft vacates the runway as quickly as possible to avoid go-arounds of following traffic. Pilots should use the first available high speed exit. Keep in mind that your aircraft needs to be past the appropriate runway holding point in its entirety before you are considered clear of the runway, so don't stop moving prematurely.
You should plan to use the following or earlier runway exits whenever possible.
If you need to vacate later than these exits, inform the Tower controller on initial contact which exit you are planning to use.
Pilots landing on runway 25L/07R and 25C/07C shall always vacate to the North unless instructed otherwise.
ATC might already give you your initial taxi clearance during roll-out, before you have actually vacated the runway.
Pilots approaching runway 25L might be asked if they can accept a visual approach to runway 25C. This procedure allows for shorter taxi and can increase efficiency. Please only accept it if you have the runway in sight and are able to comply with all accompanying instructions.
Visual swingovers are not possible during 07 operations unless deemed necessary by Frankfurt Tower for safety reasons.
Frankfurt/Main's complex layout demands a thorough briefing of expected taxi routes as well as correct taxiing. To avoid delays for other users, start taxiing as soon as possible after receiving your taxi clearance.
Traffic landing on runway 25L/07R and parking on the Northern part of the airport will have to cross runway 25C/07C or its extended centerline. Before the crossing aircraft will be instructed to hold short of the CAT2/3 holding point or appropriate stopbar. Make sure you hold before the correct hold short line. You can expect to cross the runway at one of the following points. Please brief expected initial taxi routes during your approach briefing to avoid having to stop taxiing after vacating and thus blocking the runway exit.
The above crossing points are arranged such that the crossing has the least amount of impact on traffic taxiing on the Apron. Turning into the wrong intersection will require additional coordination between Frankfurt Tower and Frankfurt Apron, which might result in some delay for you, depending on how busy these controllers are.