Safe air traffic, smart FUCHS system

Tight time windows, processes networked down to the last detail and a maximum need for safety: Modern air traffic poses enormous challenges to technology and infrastructure. This is why FUCHS Europoles has combined smart carrier masts for headlights and technology with a sophisticated lowering system. FUCHS technology is in high demand at Düsseldorf Airport.

Innovative, experienced and efficient

For more than 15 years, the airport operator has relied on the experience, innovative strength and performance of FUCHS Europoles for infrastructure masts, which also includes the complete assembly. "There are two things that are not possible: disruptions to flight operations and disregard of the requirements when working in the security sector," explains Klaus Dengler, authorized signatory at FUCHS Europoles. At the beginning of the cooperation between Düsseldorf Airport and FUCHS Europoles, the Upper Palatinate company supplied and installed rigid 40-metre masts that carried up to 60 headlights and, together with Germany's tallest tower (87 metres), shaped the characteristic silhouette of the airport.

With the increase in air traffic, the technical requirements also increased. Maintenance work must be carried out smoothly, trouble-free and quickly. This is a major reason for FUCHS Europoles to develop lowerable mast systems together with DECKER Anlagenbau, a sister company in the FUCHS family of companies. Most recently, Düsseldorf Airport received two additional apron masts with this innovative technology. Seven additional masts are currently under construction: In 2022, the masts, which are also 40 meters high, will "land" in Düsseldorf.

In addition to the lighting systems (latest LED technology), other electronic components are also located on the headlamp platforms today, without which today's flight operations would no longer be possible. More devices, more maintenance: By lowering the crown, this can be done much more efficiently today than in the past. The operation can currently continue, around the masts no special work area has to be kept free. The tedious reparking of aircraft from earlier days is a thing of the past.

Nightly mounting

Particularly innovative is the plug solution for the power connection between the mast and the floodlight platform. It allows the cables to remain protected inside the mast when lowered – this minimizes susceptibility to faults and extends the service life of the electrical system. An additional communication plug can be used to control cameras that are also installed on the mast platform.

Before that happens, the mast systems need to be cleverly assembled – of course in a tight nightly time slot. The four mast parts are delivered to a separate pre-assembly station. There, experienced experts pull the individual mast parts together and pre-assemble the lowering system. The electricians can pull in the cables in parallel, connect them to the distributor and attach the obstacle light to the top of the mast. This signal must work – otherwise the mast must not be allowed to rise.

Now a stately 130-ton crane comes into play: It needs special approval from air traffic control for its trip to the runway. He carefully lifts the 40-metre tube onto its foundation. The electrician connects the obstruction light – it signals the environment with a blazing brightness: Attention! Here's something new, pretty tall!

Now it's time to mount the spotlights on the lowered stage. The stage goes up, a first light test takes place. Despite all the routine, it was a nice moment, says Klaus Dengler. The Düsseldorf airport operators have maintained their expansion plans during the pandemic and are thinking about the future. And that includes the aforementioned seven other FUCHS Europoles masts with a lowering system.


Location: Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia


  • Statics and engineering, production of the masts and lowering systems including delivery and assembly in the safety area
  • Steel mast: 4-part, hot-dip galvanized with flight warning paint
  • Height: 40 meters
  • Weight: 6 tons
  • Diameter at the base: 1142 millimeters
  • Diameter at the top: 380 millimeters
  • Designed for 10 LED headlights including obstacle lights and accessories