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Frankfurt Tower can be split into 4 stations as shown in the table and image below.

Station Station ID Login Frequency Remark
South Tower FTS EDDF_S_TWR 119.900 primary station
West Tower FTW EDDF_W_TWR 124.850 secondary station
North Tower FTN EDDF_N_TWR 136.500 will be taken over by FTW if not staffed
Center Tower FTC EDDF_C_TWR 118.775 will be taken over by FTS if not staffed
Ground FG EDDF_GND 121.800 will be taken over by FTS if not staffed

Ground can also be taken over by West Tower after coordination. However, it cannot be taken over by any Apron station.

If multiple Tower stations are staffed, the responsibility for VFR traffic within the control zone can be coordinated for every single VFR-flight or in general. Without coordination South Tower is responsible for all VFR traffic.

Runway Usage

Frankfurt Tower is responsible for the direction of operations. 25 operation is preferred up to a tailwind component of 5 kts. Runway 18 is always used up to a tailwind component of 15 knots.

If the tailwind component of runway 18 is greater than 10 knots, this should be broadcasted via ATIS. Then pilots need to report if unable to accept runway 18 on initial call. It might be more efficient to close runway 18 depending on the amount of pilots that report unable due to the required separation (see departure intervals).

Runway Usage Remark
25C / 07C Departure for emergencies and swingovers also for landings (coordinate exceptions)
25R / 07L Landing only not allowed for A380, B747, DC10, MD11, L-1011
25L / 07R Landing for VFR traffic and outbounds from the south apron also for departures
18 Departure only --

Inbounds for the GAT and the south apron should be instructed to vacate runway 25L/07R to the south.

General Procedures

Modes of Operation: Tower has to coordinate with Langen Radar whether parallel independent or staggered mode will be used. If staggered mode is in use, minimum separation between an aircraft on final runway 25L/07R or 25C/07C and another aircraft on final runway 25R/07L is 2.5 NM. If parallel independent mode is in use, runways 25L/07R and 25C/07C are independent from runway 25R/07L.

Approaches: By default the ILS Approach is used for all arrivals, except coordinated otherwise. For runway 25R/07L ILS Y is preferred without tailwind and during CAT I operations.

Missed Approaches: For all published approaches, missed approach will be as published, except coordinated otherwise. In case of missed approach notification of the responsible radar station is strongly recommended (via Topsky or verbally). Missed approaches are handed over to Arrival, not Departure.

Separation: Minimum separation between two aircraft approaching the same runway is 2.5 NM or wake turbulence separation, whichever is higher. Radar is responsible for separation between arrivals until touchdown. If they fall below the separation minima, the affected inbound (following aicraft) has to go around.

Lineup: Independent line ups can be used on any runway as the intersections are 600m apart from each other (e.g. L3 + L6 and L20 + L17). Otherwise outbounds need to line up behind (e.g. L3 + L4 and L17 + L16).

Low Visibility Operations: LVO shall be announced in the ATIS (Code &lvp), and only the Z ILS for the northwestern RWY may be used. During LVO the sensitive areas at the runway do not need to be clear before issuing a landing clearance. Nevertheless the target spacing for arrivals shall be increased and runway crossings are not allowed. Additionally, all traffic shall be told to hold at the CAT III holding points. RVR values will be given with the landing clearance, and in the case of guided take-off (RVR ≤ 125m) with the take-off clearance.

VFR Traffic

D-CTR of Frankfurt reaches up to 1500ft AMSL. For details see VFR charts.

Runway used: VFR Traffic should use runway 25L/07R for arrival and preferred for departure. Depending on inbound and outbound traffic load, departures via runway 18 are suitable. VFR departures out of runway 25L/25C can be instructed not to overfly runway 18. Nevertheless it is necessary to wait with an 18 takeoff clearance until the VFR departure turns away from runway 18.

There are VFR holdings in the control zone north and south of the airport. Traffic in these holdings shall be instructed to stay clear of runway 18 or final runway 25R.

VFR Squawk: All VFR traffic inside the controlzone of Frankfurt will get the transpondercode 4447.

Helicopter Operation: All helicopters always have to land or depart at an active runway at Frankfurt airport, even in case of an emergency operation. Thereafter they need to airtaxi to their destination at the airport (usually a stand at the GAT or next to the accident side).

Runway Dependencies

The parallel runway systems 25L/25C and 07C/07R cannot be used independently, wake turbulence separation must be applied for departures and arrivals. Apart from that, every aircraft movement not mentioned below is independent to all departures or arrivals as long as it is not obviously dangerous.

07 Operations

Outbounds 07: All outbounds via OBOKA, KOMIB, MARUN, SULUS and TOBAK out of runway 07C are independant to all arrivals on runway 07R and departures on runway 18. For all other departures the outbound has to start the takeoff roll before any aircraft for runway 07R reaches the 2 NM final.

In case of a go around on runway 07R Tower has to turn the missed approach to the south to prevent a loss of seperation due to departing traffic on runway 07C.

Outbounds 18: Departing aircraft on runway 18 have to start their takeoff roll before any aircraft on final runway 07R is between 4 NM final and runway 18. For departures out of intersection M it must be ensured that the inbound will not overfly the departing traffic on runway 18, the 4 NM restriction does not need to be taken into account. Departing taxi out of full length can taxi down the runway to intersection M (not via taxiway Y) to improve the departure sequence. Outbounds via intersection S are completely independent to arrivals for runways 07C and 07R.

DLH123, taxi to intersection M via runway 18.

EDDF_dependencies_07.pngdependencies during 07 operations

25 Operations

M/H-Departure and departures to the south (e.g. CINDY#F): Takeoff clearances for runway 25C/25L can be issued when the following conditions are met.

  • Inbound Traffic: There is no aircraft between 4 NM final and threshold runway 25L. The takeoff roll has to start before any inbound for runway 25L reaches 4 NM final (only applicable for inbounds runway 25L, not for visuals runway 25C).
  • Outbound Traffic: As soon as departures out of runway 18 started the takeoff run there is no further dependence between 18 and M/W/H/K SIDs from runway 25C/25L.

G/F-Departure to the north: Takeoff clearances for runway 25C/25L can be issued when the following conditions are met.

  • No aircraft between 1,5 NM and 5,5 NM final runway 25R, takeoff roll has to start before any traffic inbound runway 25R reaches 5,5 NM final.
  • Independent of arrivals on runway 25L.
  • During LVO both red areas for 25L and 25R need to be clear of traffic when starting the takeoff roll..

18 Departures: Outbounds from runway 25C/25L via M/W/H/K Departures need to overfly or reach 2000ft AMSL when overflying runway 18 before the takeoff clearance can be issued.

EDDF_dependencies_25.pngdependencies during 25 operations

Missed Approaches: Missed approaches from runway 25C and 25L need to be able to cross runway 18 at least at 500ft AGL . This can be taken as given except for heavy long-haul aircraft. In case of a missed approach the takeoff clearance for runway 18 needs to be delayed until the aircraft has overflown runway 18.

Departure Intervals

Tower will get Outbounds for runway 07C/25C short of the intersections. The intersection to use can be decided by Tower depending on the best departure sequence. Therefore only L1, L3, L4 and L6 can be used during 25 operations and L16, L17, L19, L20, L21 for 07 operations. Tower needs to instruct the pilot to join the intersection.

All departures must be separated by at least 3 NM or wake turbulence separation, whichever is greater.

Departures with the same SID need to be separated by at least 5 NM.

A separation of 3 NM can be achieved when the succeeding traffic receives its takeoff clearance as soon as the proceeding traffic will overfly the end of the departure runway. For a separation of 5 NM the proceeding traffic needs to be 2 NM away from the end of the departure runway. If no radar screen is used, 2 minutes separation can be used in this case as well.

Same SID, different runways: For simultaneous usage of 07C/25C and 18, south departures has to be separated by 2 minutes before and after each south departure out of 25/07 (excluding SULUS out of 07) and runway 18. This means that if there is a south departure out of 07C (e.g. due to tailwind runway 18), Tower has to wait 2 minutes before releasing another south departure via runway 18.

D followed by E: SIDs with designator D need to be at least 4 NM out before departing traffic in the same direction (north or south) with designator E can get the takeoff clearance. This will lead to a spacing of around 7 NM.


Stopbars U2 - U8, T2 - T8, Y2 - Y12 and S40 close to the extended centerline are used to avoid conflicts between taxiing and arriving aircraft. They can be seen on the Airport Chart and on the Euroscope Screen. Taxiway U shall be used southbound and Taxiway T shall be used northbound.

Stopbars at T and U: There must not be any traffic between T2 and T4 (RWY 25C) or T6 and T8 (RWY 25L) when there is traffic on final of the corresponding runway with an active landing clearance or when there is a departure out of 07C/07R.

There must not be traffic bigger than an A321/B739 between U2 and U4 (RWY 25C) or U6 and U8 (RWY 25L) when there is traffic on final of the corresponding runway with an active landing clearance (precision approach only!).

If the arriving traffic on runway 25C/25L with an active landing clearance is flying a non-precision-approach (e.g. visual swingover), there must not be any traffic between U2/U6 and U4/U8.

eddf-t4.jpegInbounds have to hold short of stopbar T4 (yellow lines on the ground).
Name of the stopbar at the red sign on the left.

Stopbars at Y: There must not be any traffic between Y4/Y10 and Y2 (RWY 07C), if there is an active landing clearance for runway 07C or if there is a departure out of 25C.

There must not be any traffic between Y6/Y12 and S40 (RWY 07R), if there is an active landing clearance for runway 07R or if there is a departure out of 25L.

U-Taxi: Outbounds via runway 18 intersection S will taxi via the southside of the airport and are transferred from Apron to Ground short of stopbar U2. Further taxi will be issued via U - S - S11 - R - S25/(S28) - S. Explicit crossing of stopbars U2 and U6 is required. Depending on the inbound traffic for runway 25L/07R (there should be no opposite during taxi) further taxi via M can be used to save time.

Pilots can be instructed to use Transition 1 via U - S - S11 - R - S28 - S to holdingpoint runway 18. Explicit crossing of stopbars U2 and U6 is still required! If the pilot seems to be unable to follow Transition 1, issue the taxiways as usual.

Runway Crossing and Transfers


Inbounds should be transferred from Tower to the corresponding Apron according to the image below. For most of the crossings Tower has to issue the first instruction after crossing to get the intersection clear as fast as possible (see image for that). After instructing the pilot, the handoff should be initiated. All transfers should be initiated early enough for an efficient traffic flow.

Exceptions (e.g. hold short of L or via M8/L5 instead of M6/L1) are possible, but need to be coordinated between Tower and Apron individually for every aircraft. During LVO crossing of runways is not allowed, all inbounds have to taxi via Y (stand within west and center apron area) and T (stand within east apron area).

To protect the centre runway, all traffic holding short shall be instructed to stop at the CATII/III holding point!

DLH123A, taxi via M M8, hold at CAT II holding point.

During 07 Operations inbounds landed on runway 07L with parking position west of N11 should be transferred directly to West Apron.



Inbound traffic entering the Apron without crossing the runway will be instructed according to the table below. Frankfurt Apron is always responsible for all GAT and movements at the southern apron! 

Entry Stand Hold short of
P all except those via P1 N11
P1 F231 - F238 and V266 - V270 W
S4 - S23 South Parking (S, V3xx, J, K, G) S4 - S23, according to the stand

Do not label hold shorts that are defined by the SOP!

Transfer Tower to Departure/Arrival

Departures: All departing aircraft out of Frankfurt must be instructed to contact the appropriate Langen Radar frequency after departure. This instruction shall be given when the aircraft is airborne and free of conflict. The transfer shall be initiated early enough to avoid the flight leveling off (at +/- 1000 ft AMSL).

Frankfurt Departure might be split into North Departure (FDN) for outbounds to the north (OBOKA, MARUN, TOBAK) and South Departure (FDS) for outbounds to the south (ANEKI, CINDY, KOMIB, SOBRA, SULUS and ULKIG). If Departure is not staffed, same rule apply for North (FAN) and South Arrival (FAS).

Frankfurt Arrival/Departure controllers shall always cross-couple both departure frequencies.

Missed Approaches: Transferred to the appropriate approach controller when staffed, go arounds from RWY 25R/07L to North Arrival, RWY 25L/07R to South Arrival.

Visual Swingovers

Inbounds for runway 25L have the possibility to do a visual swingover (visual approach) to runway 25C when reaching the 7 NM final (2500ft MSL). Therefore the pilot has to have the runway in sight. During 07 operations a swingover is only available for safety reasons.

Dependencies: Visual swingovers are independent to approaches on runway 25R/07L, even when using parallel independent operations! They do not have to be coordinated with Langen Radar as long as separation to other aircraft is obviously great enough.

Missed Approach: With the clearance for the visual approach the pilot has to be given a new instruction how to continue in case of a missed approach. Therefore runway track and a climb to 5000ft shall be used.

If 25C is served on a different frequency (Center Tower is staffed), the pilot has to switch frequency for the visual swingover. They have to be asked if they are able for visual approach and frequency change.

DLH123, advise able to accept visual approach runway 25C (and frequency change)?

DLH123, cleared visual approach runway 25C, in case of missed approach climb straight ahead to 5000ft (contact Frankfurt Tower 118.775).

A swingover can have several benefits. Separation minima can be reduced (described below) or safety reasons e.g. to avoid missed approaches. Pilots are often happy about reduced taxi times on ground.

Swing to depart: A swingover can also be used to improve the outbound flow for runway 25C with M/W departures, as there is no 4 NM restriction that need to be taken into account. A takeoff clearance on runway 25C can also be issued if the inbound is closer than 4 NM, what would not be possible if this traffic is approaching runway 25L.

The inbound will be handed over to the according apron, with a hold short of L, as soon as possible.

DLH123, vacate to the right, hold short of L and contact Frankfurt Apron 121.850.

Reduced Minimum Radar Separation

2) Reduced radar separation minima on parallel runway systems (Based on NfL I-55/11)

2.1) During approaches to the parallel runway system 07C/07R and 25C/25L at Frankfurt/Main Airport, a radar separation minimum of 2.5 NM applies on final approach between 10 NM and touchdown, provided the following conditions are met:

a) The preceding aircraft has the same or a lower weight category. Aircraft of weight category SUPER, HEAVY and the B757 as preceding aircraft are excluded from this procedure.
b) The exit taxiways of the runway can be observed from the control tower visually or by means of surface movement radar.
c) The runway is dry.
2.2) The reduced radar separation minimum may also be applied between staggered approaches to the parallel runways. In these cases, neither the line of sight of the exit taxiways (2.1b) nor the runway conditions (2.1c) need to be considered as a precondition.

Quote from AIP Germany/AD 2 EDDF 1-34 (by the German Luftfahrt-Bundesamt), applicable on VATSIM.

Langen Radar should not use separation less than 3NM on purpose. However the use of reduced minimum radar separation on final approach can avoid the need for missed approaches.