Flying and nature conservation: our self-image

Flying in the “land of open distances”

We use economical towing machines and electric vehicles for the towing back of the gliders from the airfield.

The Rhön is a UNESCO biosphere reserve. We work closely with the staff of the biosphere reserve.

Cooperation agreement to preserve the biosphere reserve

The basis of the close cooperation is the cooperation agreement concluded in 2005 between the Society for the Promotion of Gliding on the Wasserkuppe eV (GFS) and the Association Natur und Lebensraum Rhön eV

This is how we practice exemplary nature and environmental protection at the Wasserkuppe airfield - while respecting the legitimate demands of air sports.

Nature sport gliding

Aviation is a sport in and with nature. It is therefore also our concern to do as much as possible for nature conservation here in the Rhön Biosphere Reserve.

Harald Jörges
Flight school manager at the Wasserkuppe flying school

The agreement regulates the following key points:

The Society for the Promotion of Gliding on the Wasserkuppe eV…

preserves the aeronautical tradition of the Wasserkuppe and operates the special landing site and the Wasserkuppe flying school.
also promotes the goals of the biosphere reserve as part of its public relations work.
gives guests an incomparable natural experience as part of introductory flights at cost price. In this way, we make an effective contribution to environmental education and the strengthening of tourism.
maintains and maintains an extraordinary flora through the annual mowing of the bristle grass turf and gold oat meadows. And this on an area of ​​around 80 ha!
directs public traffic as part of flight safety and ensures that environmentally valuable areas are protected by directing visitors.
implements environmental protection measures in daily flight operations.
is committed to environmentally friendly development and new technical concepts and standards in aviation.
contributes to landscape surveillance through aerial observations.

You can download the brochure Aviation in the Rhön Biosphere Reserve as PDF file download from the website of the Rhön Biosphere Reserve.

Environmental protection on the airfield

We only use environmentally friendly materials to clean airplanes and vehicles.
Proper disposal of water-polluting substances that may arise during refueling, maintenance and cleaning is mandatory. A collection point is available for the proper disposal of used oil.
Everyone involved undertakes to continuously improve the energy balance of the buildings in order to meet modern standards.
We do not use pesticides or mineral fertilizers - neither on the airfield, nor on the terraces and lawns.
For new plantings or reseeding, we only use plants and seeds typical of the location.

Environmental protection in flight operations

All motorized aircraft meet increased noise protection requirements.
In addition to the official flight times, we voluntarily adhere to business breaks in favor of nature and environmental protection and therefore exercise special consideration.
The circuit operation, the climbing and notching rooms when towing aircraft and during winch operation avoid nature reserves.
The villages around the Wasserkuppe are not or only at high altitude (5000 feet, approx. 1.500m).
The minimum flight altitude above the nature reserve “Rotes Moor”, a high moor complex that is unique in Hesse, is 2.600 feet or 800m.
At the opening of the season, we train the Wasserkuppe pilots on the special situation in the biosphere reserve. We also inform the pilots of the surrounding airfields about the special concerns of nature and environmental protection in the Rhön Biosphere Reserve. In the daily briefings we also regularly refer to the extraordinary agreements.
As part of the training, the Wasserkuppe flying school integrates the important environmentally relevant topics. The common goal is to make pilots, members, flight students and guests aware of the concerns of the Rhön Biosphere Reserve.