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Munich Airport expansion approved despite opposition

The Local · 26 Jul 2011, 17:27

Published: 26 Jul 2011 17:27 GMT+02:00

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Expected to be finished by 2015, the expansion would allow 120 planes to take off and land at the airport per hour instead of the current 90.

The approval comes as airport officials hope to turn Munich into a major hub on par with Germany's largest, Frankfurt Airport. But it is facing steep opposition from some residents and conservationists who are backing lawsuits to stop the expansion.

The airport says it’s sticking close to its current ambitious plans. By 2025, officials hope to play host 58 million passengers each year instead of the current 35 million. That would put it level with where Frankfurt stands today.

Klaus-Peter Siegloch, president of the Federation of German Aviation Industry (BDL), called the runway expansion indispensable.

It would ensure that “tens of thousands of people at the Munich hub find work,” he said.

Proponents of the expansion say there are safeguards in place to appease critics. Flights on the third runway will only be allowed between the hours of 6 am and 10 pm. And the airport is offering to pay property owners affected by airport noise market value for their property.

But expansion opponents AufgeMUCkt (a play on words using Munich's airport code MUC) said its concerns, which include excessive noise and environmental destruction, are not being addressed.

Debate over a possible airport expansion has gone on for about six years. About 85,000 complaints from citizens and more than a dozen municipalities have been registered during a lengthy consultation process.

Story continues below…

People concerned about the airport’s plans can still lodge complaints until November.

The Local/DPA/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:51 July 27, 2011 by michael4096
Many protesters I know have already benefitted enormously from having the airport. Some only moved to the area because of the airport. It's nimbyism at its worst.

Yes to progress, I say - and, I live on the flight path
09:22 July 29, 2011 by JDee
the only way that Germany will be flying more plans than today in a decade will be if they rebuild the Luftwaffe and starting taking out China and India, otherwise they won't need that new runway because there isn't enough fuel to go round
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