• Germany's news in English

Frankfurt airport night flight ban confirmed

The Local · 4 Apr 2012, 11:51

Published: 04 Apr 2012 11:51 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The administrative court in Leipzig upheld a provisional ban, originally imposed by another court last October, on all take-offs and landings between 11 pm and 5 am following complaints by local residents.

A total of 17 flights are affected by the ban, but the court also ordered the regional authorities of the state of Hesse, where Frankfurt is situated, to re-examine a further 133 take-offs and landings between 10-11 pm and 5 - 6 am with regard to noise.

Night flights are only permitted in cases where airlines and the airport authorities can prove there is a special need.

Lufthansa Cargo, the freight division of Germany's leading airline, has estimated that a night flight ban will cost it €40 million in earnings each year.

Lufthansa shares were showing a loss of 4.41 percent at €10.08 on the Frankfurt stock exchange just after midday, in a generally lower market.

Shares in the airport operator Fraport were down 2.15 percent at €46.97.

The ruling "threatens to clip the wings of Frankfurt, of Hesse and of Germany as an export and logistics nation," raged Lufthansa chief executive Christoph Franz.

"It deals a heavy blow to Germany as a place to do business and there is no doubt that of Europe's biggest hubs will fall back in international competition," Franz said.

Klaus-Peter Siegloch, head of the BDL air industry federation, complained that, following a series of other measures recently including an air traffic tax, the night flight ban was "a further step that will impede the competitiveness of German airlines and airports versus their international rivals."

There were no such bans in Amsterdam, Paris, London or Dubai, Siegloch said.

"It's becoming ever more difficult for German airlines and airports to be economically successful."

The tourist industry association DRV suggested that not only freight companies, but tourists and air-travellers, too, would be hit by the night flight ban.

"German airlines need take-offs and landings at flexible times and during the night if they aren't going to be at a disadvantage internationally," said DRV chief Jürgen Büchy, suggesting that airlines would be compelled to raise their ticket prices.

Story continues below…

"Bans are not the adequate means to meet residents' demands for a peaceful night's sleep," Büchy said, pointing out that for decades airports have been investing in noise reduction and protection measures.

Jörg Reuter, a member of one of the numerous residents' campaign groups, hailed the ruling as a "victory" which could set a legal precedent for other airports in Germany.

"A balance has to be struck between the interests of local residents and the economy," he said.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

12:11 April 4, 2012 by pepsionice
It'll just drive more freight companies to Hahn's airport, which was the 'insurance' policy that the Frankfurt guys invested into years ago.
12:32 April 4, 2012 by AirForceGuy
Why don't you just shoot yourselves in the foot. Freight companies now will just relocate elsewhere, possible another contry whete the business climate is better....
13:38 April 4, 2012 by Bavaria Mike
The Frankfurt Airport has been in existence since 1909. When these whiney people moved into the nieghborhood, did they not realize there was an airport there? And now they want to complain about it after voluntarily moving into the area? The airport is one of the bigger economical factors of Germany that indirectly affects all of us. I say we issue earplugs to the cry babies and ban stupid people!
13:48 April 4, 2012 by yourkeau
Germany is democracy, whether you like it or not. It's not like in China that the government can destroy people's houses to build just another motorway without asking them.

@Bavaria Mike, comparing the situation in 1909 and nowadays is like comparing quiet street in a village to 8-lanes motorway with high 24-hour traffic. I think, you will not like the idea of turning a street where you live into Autobahn.
14:47 April 4, 2012 by n230099
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
15:41 April 4, 2012 by catjones
I have the same problem with auto traffic noise outside my apartment. I counted 17 cars/trucks between 11 - 5. Can I ban traffic? And what about those week-end drunks singing down the sidewalk? I say, put down a curfew against all movement including those nut cases upstairs.
20:32 April 4, 2012 by sprdpr
I think a lot of these comments are missing the point: the allowable flight hours recently changed to allow planes to land much later at night and earlier in the morning and the jets cause significant noise for those living in the flight pattern. People complained and democracy worked. Why should people give up their quality of life for the sake of business and money? There's more to life than the quest for gold.
21:15 April 4, 2012 by ovalle3.14
Say, if you hate noise, how about you move somewhere without an airport?
09:23 April 5, 2012 by raandy
yourkeau I agree Germany is a Democracy.

Do you think if the entire country voted on the issue it would have been upheld???
09:52 April 5, 2012 by frankiep
Absolute idiocy. A relatively small group of people who knowingly and willing bought houses which sit right next to an airport have effectively dealt a major blow to the competitiveness of the entire Rhein-Main area.

Many economists agree that for cities to be successful - and remain successful - in the 21st century that they will have to make it easier and more convenient for people and ideas from around the world to link up with each other. One of the key ways to make this happen is by having convenient, affordable, and unhindered transportation options. Now, at a time when much of the world is still in a financial crisis and economic competition is at its fiercest, the German government has decided to seriously reduce air traffic - and with it, economic activity - in the country's most important financial center all because of some people who bought houses next to an airport and then acted surprised and outraged when they discovered that planes can be loud.

This will hurt not only Frankfurt, but the entire Rhein Main area, in so many ways. The cost for passenger and freight flights to fly in and out of Frankfurt will now rise very noticeably thanks to an increasing number of flights and decreased amount of opportunities to utilize the airport. That vacation you wanted to take in the South Pacific will now cost even more money; the cost of importing and exporting products to and from the area will also go up. The result will be that bigger companies will utilize other airports, very likely in another country, to ship their goods in and out of Europe. Smaller companies in the Rhein Main area, which do not have the resources to simply up and move, will be hit the hardest. And this move will definitely not entice other companies to set up shop in this area (and provide jobs) when their basic costs for transportation would be so much lower somewhere else.

To those people who are praising "democracy" because of this decision - bull. This is not democracy. This is a case of a small minority of people whining and making so much noise that they were ultimately able to influence a policy that will indirectly have a negative influence on millions of other people.
10:00 April 5, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
The way some of you are going on you would think the court had banned flights altogether. They have banned flights from 11 at night until 5 in the morning. The court has aimed to strike a balance between economic interests and the rights of those who live near the airport.

If you lived in the city and loud trucks drove past your home all day and night you would also be annoyed. There has to be a balance and this is what the court has aimed to do. There is nothing to stop the airport finding another way of increasing traffic during the day time in order to make room for economic growth.
10:20 April 5, 2012 by The-ex-pat
Same thing happened at the airport I work at. A whole bunch of people bought land and houses under the flight path of the airport as due to the location.......everything was nice and cheap!!! Then via the courts got the airport to pay for triple glazing due to the noise. When all was installed, they then took the airport to court to limit the night flight hours and won??????

On the other hand I and hundreds of others live on the ring road of my town. Between midnight and around 05:00 in the morning, the road is empty and yet the Rettungskraft at this time drive by with full sirens on. They have been told time and time again not to do it unless they are being hindered (it is a due carriageway) by traffic. They put the middle finger up and do it any way. A complete nights sleep is something that happens very very rarely. So on one hand I sympathise, but on the other, I have to ask why they chose to live under the flight path of an airport??
10:53 April 5, 2012 by frankiep

If the sound of trucks driving past my home bothered me so much I would make sure to find a home somewhere that is not next to a major road or highway where there is heavy traffic. Sure, it might cost more but those are the trade offs that people have to make. Same thing in this situation. If you don't want to deal with the noise from planes taking off and landing, don't buy a house next to the most important airport in continental Europe. After all, it is not as if the airport being there snuck up on them and magically appeared overnight.

The Frankfurt airport is already the busiest airport in continental Europe. Increasing daytime traffic would not only mean an increase in costs associated with taking on the extra staff to deal with more congestion, but it would also mean a decrease in safety.

When you consider this and also take into account the rising costs of fuel, the increasing competition to attract businesses and jobs in this time of globalization and financial crisis, and the desire of every company to keep costs low wherever possible, this decision to make travel to and from the Rhein Main area more costly and difficult has the potential, in the medium and long term, to be very destructive to the regional (and national) economy.

And as far as economic growth is concerned, this is a potential killer. The economy of Frankfurt and the Rhein Main area is based upon the development of ideas and services throughout the world. This requires the highest level of accessibility through transportation. This accessibility has now been reduced in relation to other places, meaning that the ability for the region to compete has also been reduced, which ultimately means that one of the major drivers of economic growth has also been reduced.

But at least now people who bought houses next to a major airport without knowing that planes are loud will be happy.
15:02 April 5, 2012 by venkyfra
Dumbest decision.

Its not a victory to democracy. Its govt bowing to bunch of idiots.

If luxury is what they want they got to pay for it. If they want to live in quiet area they will have to move out of the landing path.

A tram or night train creates more noise. Should Bahn stop all the transport after 10? Same is true with a car on the road. So should the city ban all forms of vehicle on road during night time.

A drunk guy coming out of pub at night time create more noise should we close all the pubs @ 10? Should all car and fire alarms be disabled after 10?

My neighbour snores and farts a lot at night. I can hear him and its more noiser than these airplanes. Can I say he cant do that? Can I take him to court?

Even if you take these guys to inhabited forest they would complain that wind is noisy. You can never satisfy them.

Frankfurt airport feeds these guys. They are living there because they are making money from the airport(directly or indirectly).

Its stupidity to cut the hand which feeds them.
20:36 April 7, 2012 by Paul Felix Schott
Some do not think to clearly if you do not like aircraft do not move by a airport.

i have worked most of my life by and on airfields even at the #1 airfield in the world ORD "Felix A Hilsher's Apple Orchard Field" O'Hare Airport for a good many a years. Over a million people live around ORD many of them use the airfield or work there. Jobs and safety should be the first thing on every one mind. All most all air fields on Earth were there long before the people that make noise about them. If you do not want to see and hear the jets and Aircraft do not move by a Airfield. Because you are a leader or one with money should not give you the right to take away others income or Jobs at airports. The few you think you are helping you are putting many out of work.

For the love to fly

flying from the age of 12 years old

The Lord's Little Helper

Paul Felix Schott
Today's headlines
Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd