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Germany VFR AIP / airfield information / which German airfields have Immigration

Hi everyone and especially pilots who fly in Germany,

I'm trying to figure out what information resources I need to acquire/subscribe to in order to safely begin my VFR flying "career" in Germany.

I'm probably going to subscribe to SkyDemon, as I've tested it during training and like it very much. I also have access to the weather subscription service from DWD through the company I'm renting airplanes from.

One thing I'm unsure about is the German AIP. I understand that, unlike for example in the UK, there is no free online AIP available - which is a shame. So I see that in the DFS shop, you can buy a printed VFR AIP (only the IFR AIP appears to be available as a paid online subscription) - which you would need to constantly update with new papers. That seems like a hassle and expensive.

Now in SkyDemon you can buy a DFS German VFR AIP Subscription for EUR 79 anually. The SkyDemon website reads: "In Germany, DFS publish a separate VFR AIP which contains VFR information and charts not available in the standard German AIP".

What is it that they call the standard German AIP? And what's the seperate VFR AIP? What should I buy? What do you all use?

Thanks and cheers

Patrick

Essen-Mülheim (EDLE), Düsseldorf (EDDL), Paderborn (EDLP), Mönchengladbach (EDLN), Germany

In Germany, you need to distinguish between the AIP (sometimes referred to as the AIP IFR) and the AIP VFR.

The AIP VFR is an extract from the full AIP, that gives you all you need to know to fly VFR in Germany. So yes, for VFR, you are good to go with just that.

I have no experience though with how the information is presented in SD. Another option would be to get Jepp FD (with coverage for Germany only) but I don't know the price.

P.S. The AIP IFR is available online for free. The AIP VFR is not.

Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

With SkyDemon and the DFS VFR AIP, you've got all you need. I think SkyDemon is by far the best application for VFR in Europe.

The AIP IFR is available online for free. The AIP VFR is not.

I find that weird, given what one might think is the relative ability to come up with a load of €€€€ of those two pilot groups!

Or is there some internal war being fought inside the DFS?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

 to come up with a load of €€€€ of those two pilot groups!

Not sure, I think DFS have just reduced everything down to the bear minimum in terms of legal requirement and then you pay for any more on top.

Like achimha I use skydemon and DFS VFR AIP subscription through SD. The latest iPad update for SD is a little arousing! Anyone got the FLARM interface working yet, I want to try over the next couple of weekends.

Or is there some internal war being fought inside the DFS?

No, it is very simple. In Germany, all government agencies and government owned privately organized companies (such as DFS GmbH) are supposed to pass on their costs for providing services (not more) unless there is a different regulation. DFS are legally required to supply the IFR AIP to Eurocontrol free of charge so they do that. There is no requirement to supply the VFR AIP so DFS is not even supposed to give it away for free.

In Germany, almost every government service has a fee. That approach has pros and cons. The costs are paid by the people utilizing the service so less tax money is required to keep the agency running. The drawback is that government produced data such as weather, maps, etc. are not available in the public domain like in the US where the agency is wholly tax funded.

Both are valid approaches. Note that EU agencies follow the German model of cost recovery. See Eurocontrol route charges and EASA fees for everything.

Anyone got the FLARM interface working yet, I want to try over the next couple of weekends.

I flew with a borrowed FLARM unit a while ago and never got a single contact on it - even flying through known glider areas.

Admittedly most of my flying is on weekdays, but on that data (and looking at how much I see on my TCAS which picks up Mode A/C/S) I would say FLARM penetration is so low as to be insignificant - for powered GA. It is perhaps less than 0.1% of transponder penetration.

FLARM is cheap and would be great if everybody used it. But you also need a means of displaying the data and most people don't have a suitable device.

There is no requirement to supply the VFR AIP

Why isn't there?

Germany is the only country in Europe which has done this. Why aren't the others making money out of it too if they so easily could?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I flew with a borrowed FLARM unit a while ago and never got a single contact on it - even flying through known glider areas.

The purpose of FLARM is to see gliders. In Germany, Switzerland and Austria almost all gliders have FLARM on board. There is a LOT of gliding activity here, much more than in your part of the world. Just listen to the EDDS ATIS on a nice day, it's 80% glider information (they operate within the class C/D of EDDS).

PowerFLARM shows FLARM targets (and radiates your position via FLARM) and also shows A/C/S transponder targets as well as ADS-B targets. Given that it is passive, it cannot exactly determine the position of transponder targets.

Gliders tend to operate directly below cumulus clouds so they are especially dangerous to IFR traffic in airspace C. They don't have transponders, they don't talk to ATC and they have the same color as the cloud directly above them. They are even allowed to be inside clouds but that is a rare thing nowadays.

Germany is the only country in Europe which has done this. Why aren't the others making money out of it too if they so easily could?

Because they don't have the incentive to do so? DFS is organized as a private company (GmbH). The federal government of Germany wanted to sell it until the constitutional court blocked the sale because our constitution specifically says that ATC is to be provided by the federal government. Now they are run like a private company but are 100% government owned. Given the size of Germany, selling VFR charts is probably a much better business than in most other countries. I guess they have about 8000-10000 subscribers which should make this business a profitable one.

It is also not a coincidence that Jeppesen's VFR business is a German one (Bottlang). German pilots grow up with VFR charts and learn that it is vital to have VFR approach charts when flying to an airfield, no matter if it's a big airport or a small grass strip. They also learn that one has to pay for these charts. When they want to fly abroad, they also want VFR approach charts and instead of paying DFS for their charts and getting different charts for other countries, they go to Bottlang/Jeppesen and buy the VFR charts for Europe.

I had the DFS subscription for about 10 years. I can't recall how often I sorted the new approach plates into the folder(s). There were 2 folders to start with then shrunk down to 1. Then I switched to Jeppesen. DFS has an software version of it now: Visual Flight Guide.

EGBE - Coventry

The Danish VFR AIP is available for free, including VFR ICAO charts 1:500.000 and 1:250.000. For the public airfields, approach charts and aerodrome charts are included. For a number of private airfields, only position, contact information and special rules and restrictions. And of course also a number of "secret" airfields exist - I know of about 60 myself.

http://www.slv.dk/Dokumenter/dsweb/View/Collection-29

The IFR AIP is here: http://www.slv.dk/Dokumenter/dsweb/View/Collection-28

I am not sure how best to use the free VFR charts (pdf format) myself. If I want the VFR chart for use in my Air Nav Pro, I am charged about EUR 40. If there is a way to print part of the chart, I have not found it - apparently many of the print options are blocked in the pdf document. So although all the information is undoubtedly there, I am not sure it is really useful.

huv
EKRK, Denmark
69 Posts
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