50,000 flight hours - Dornier 228 successfully deployed in air surveillance against maritime pollution

Operating successfully over the North and Baltic Seas, the two Dornier 228s, manufactured by the German aircraft manufacturer General Atomics AeroTec Systems, are used by Havariekommando and Marineflieger for oil monitoring. We can now celebrate a major milestone: the Dornier 228s have accumulated 50,000 flight hours - with many more are to come.

Deployment of the Dornier 228 over North and Baltic Sea generates positive effect

The Dornier 228 oil surveillance aircraft that fly daily over the North and Baltic Seas in search of illegal maritime pollution are celebrating 50,000 hours of flight. Marine surveillance has been conducted from the air since 1986, thereof many years were conducted by a Dornier 228. The goal of the surveillance flights is to find pollution in German waters and, if possible, identify the cause. Over 5,300 pollutant discharges have been found since the monitoring flights began. Thankfully the numbers have been declining over the years - a confirmation of the good work done by the aircraft and crews.

When the Dornier 228 crew detects pollution in the sea, such as oil, they report it and, if necessary, start a procedure to collect evidence. The aircraft are equipped with numerous modern sensors, such as radar and infrared cameras, which play an important role in reconnaissance and evidence collection.

In addition to daily surveillance tasks, the Havariekommando also uses the Dornier 228 aircraft primarily in the event of accidents at sea or other maritime damage situations. The most recent example was in December 2022 in the Kiel Canal near Brunsbüttel, where an oil spill had occurred. One of the Dornier 228s flew over the affected area several times to collect data and provide information on the situation to the Havariestab (Command centre).

50,000 flight hours reached

On March 23, the achievement of 50,000 flight hours was celebrated at the Naval Air Station Nordholz. Among the guests in attendance where the management from Dornier 228 manufacturer General Atomics AeroTec Systems, who congratulated the representatives of Havariekommando and Marineflieger on this impressive milestone. The two Dornier 228 aircraft are in almost daily service over the North and Baltic Seas.

Versatile aircraft from Oberpfaffenhofen are in service worldwide

The Dornier 228 is manufactured in Oberpfaffenhofen by German aircraft manufacturer General Atomics AeroTec Systems. The aircraft has been in production since 1981, has undergone continuous development and is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and equipment. Due to the aircraft's great performance and versatility, there are currently around 150 Dornier 228s in service worldwide, where they are used for goods transport, reconnaissance, Medivac and surveillance flights, as well as special mission operations. The Dornier 228 also enjoys great popularity in passenger transport to this day.



Press contact


Elisabeth Mühle

Head of Marketing and Communications​

General Atomics Europe GmbH​