Federal Court gives clearance for Munich airport 3rd runway, and environmentalists fight on
Munich airport, Germany’s second largest by number of passengers, has now won approval for its plans to build a 3rd runway. A federal court rejected the remaining appeals against the plan. Munich airport currently serves around 40 million passengers a year and expects this to rise to about 58 million by 2025, so it is hard to see how it needs yet another runway. The most recent attempt to block the plan, after a decision in favour of it by a Munich court in 2014, was brought by a Bavarian environmental group, Bund Naturschutz, and 5 individuals. The Leipzig-based federal court rejected a similar complaint brought by local municipalities in February – now the court says the Munich court decision is fully binding and the runway can go ahead. In 2012 in a Munich referendum, a majority of residents opposed the plan. Bund Naturschutz called on politicians to uphold the popular vote from 2012 and said it would file a complaint with the European Commission for disregard of European laws on nature conservation. They hope to fight on. A Bund Naturschutz spokesperson said: “Neither Bavaria nor Munich needs the third runway. Lufthansa is the only one that will benefit.” The airport is owned by the state of Bavaria, the German government and the city of Munich. Lufthansa uses Munich as its 2nd largest base after Frankfurt pushes for the expansion.
Munich airport gets clearance for third runway; environmentalists fight on
Munich airport, Germany‘s second largest and a key base for Lufthansa, won approval on Wednesday for its plans to build a third runway when a federal court rejected the remaining appeals against it.
Airport expansion is a hot topic in Europe, pitting local residents and environmentalists against carriers and airports facing increased global competition. Protesters this week disrupted flights at London’s Heathrow after a commission recommended the government to build a third runway there to end decades of wrangling and indecision.
Munich airport currently serves around 40 million passengers a year and expects this to rise to about 58 million by 2025.
The complaint against a prior decision from a Munich court in 2014 was brought by a Bavarian environmental group, Bund Naturschutz, and five individuals.
The Leipzig-based federal court had already rejected a similar complaint brought by local municipalities in February. It said on Wednesday the Munich court decision was now fully binding and the airport had the right to build the runway.
Obstacles remain, however. Munich residents voted against the runway in 2012, and the airport’s owners – the state of Bavaria, the German government and the city of Munich – are in disagreement over the expansion.
German airline and tourism associations praised Wednesday’s ruling and urged politicians to move ahead with expansion. Lufthansa, which uses Munich as its second largest hub after Frankfurt, welcomed the decision, saying it offered long-term growth.
Bund Naturschutz called on politicians to uphold the popular vote from 2012 and said it would file a complaint with the European Commission for disregard of European laws on nature conservation.
“Neither Bavaria nor Munich needs the third runway. Lufthansa is the only one that will benefit,” Christine Margraf of Bund Naturschutz said in a statement.
Munich Airport wins clearance for third runway
16.7.2015 (Air Transport World, ATW)
Germany’s Munich Airport has won approval to build a third runway after a federal court rejected the remaining appeals against it.
In 2014, a Bavarian environmental group and five individuals filed a complaint against a prior decision from a Munich court. The Leipzig-based federal court had already rejected a similar complaint brought by local municipalities in February. It said the Munich court decision is now fully binding and the airport has the right to build the runway.
“Ten years after we started this project, the highest German federal court ultimately decided that all our planning had been professional and included legal requirements,” airport operator FMG CEO Michael Kerkloh said in a statement.
However, Munich residents voted against the runway in 2012, and the airport owners—the state of Bavaria, the German government and the city of Munich—are in disagreement over the expansion.
Lufthansa said in a statement that it welcomed the decision to build a third runway, which also affirms the carrier’s long-term growth strategy. Munich is Lufthansa’s second hub in Germany after Frankfurt.
Munich Airport will open a new satellite facility in April 2016, the first midfield terminal at a German airport. Like Terminal 2, the satellite facility will be operated jointly by FMG and Star Alliance member Lufthansa, which hold 60% and 40% ownership, respectively.
Lufthansa will also base its first Airbus A350-900 in Munich from 2016.
Munich Airport serves 40 million passengers a year, which is expected to increase to 58 million by 2025.
Freising against the decision
The village of Attaching would suffer most from a third runway. For those affected, the judgment awakens their fighting spirit
By Birgit Goormann-Prugger, Freising
[ Freising is the town and district to the north west of Munich airport. See map
and details at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freising ]
Bad translation into English below:
As Florian Sperk of “Plane Stupid” said only scarcely a week ago when ZAMMA Festival, in Freising people have spent ten years resisting the third runway celebrated with the youth of the federal nature conservation – and now this ruling from Leipzig.
Nevertheless: “For us, this means:. Now more than ever, we will continue to push ahead with political opposition, because the judgment is indeed quite short of reality,” Florian Sperk said on Wednesday.
Also in the village of Attaching itself [which would be destroyed for the runway] the village community came together on that day. In front of the local shop, members of the BI Attaching group met up, and spread out the village map on the table – being available all day to answer questions from residents . In the evening the BI Attaching group organized a church service in the St. Francis Chapel.
To stand up for the preservation of creation, in the last few years the Attachinger citizens have built the chapel right in the village. It is a monument of resistance. “Attaching to be shared,” it says in a statement of the Aufgemuckt group to Leipzig judgment. “With the rejection of the revision to the third runway at Munich Airport, the Bavarian village of Attaching and the homes of 1,000 Bavarian citizens will be destroyed, “it said. It is not clear how such an inhuman plan could get approval by the federal administrative court. No other infrastructure project would create such burdens for the affected population as creating a third runway. Now the Attachinger residents want the Munich referendum from summer 2012 (that rejected the runway, but was only valid for one year) to be upheld.
Should the runway be built, the Aufgemuckt group urges that a three-point plan for the village is needed. 1. Attaching must not be divided into two noise zones. 2.Resettlement options in Freising need to be created for Attachinger in case of resettlement, to preserve the village community. 3. Moreover the Aufgemuckt group calls for a new social and cultural center to produce equivalent quality of life – a meeting place as the Kramer (local shop?) will probably no longer be the same.
See some earlier news about Munich Airport and its third runway:
Runway-trick: State Government hopes to privatise Munich airport in order to build the runway
(Apologies for bad translation into English. German original here )
Munich – The State Government is already planning behind the scenes a reconstruction of the Munich airport company into a corporation. That is the currently most realistic scenario, our newspaper exclusively reported, citing high government circles.
Several participating ministries have already checked that it was legally clearly feasible. Then a third runway could be built, against the wishes of the city of Munich. So far Munich airport has three shareholders: Free State (51%), Federal Government (26%) and Munich (23%). Federal and state governments want to expand the airport, but the city feels politically bound through the referendum of 2012 that said “No”. In the structure of society as a GmbH Munich can block the third runway.
A transformation into a corporation (AG), would be decided in the majority, is possible even against the will of the city within a maximum of three years due to clauses in the partnership agreement, according to sources in the CSU. (CSU is the Christian Social Union).
An IPO plan – known as rumor for months – had consistently been denied the State Government. In fact, the current plan does not contain that airport-AG is a publicly listed company on the stock exchange. However, the city is to be offered to deliver the shares over the counter. Only when the last outstanding court judgment has been delivered, the government will want to express it openly. Finance Minister Markus Söder (CSU) therefore calls on colleagues not to speculate and discuss this now. “The road map is available. Until the procedures are completed. All should abide by this clear line,” he told the newspaper. Munich’s mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD) has already announced resistance to the case of a conversion. He is thinking about a lawsuit. “You can not just out box us.”
Opponents of 3rd Munich runway say the airport’s number of flights is still falling
Munich airport has been planning a third runway for some time, but opponents have succeeded in holding it back. The runway was considered necessary in 2007 and 2008, when the number of air passengers and the number of flights was growing. However, with the recession and with the use of larger planes by airlines like Lufthansa, which use Munich airport, there are now far fewer flights than there were at their peak. Runway opponents say that, in contrast to over-optimistic forecasts of future numbers of passengers and flights, the reality is that the airport now does not need another runway. In 2007 there were around 432,000 flights. In 2012 there were around 398,000. In 2013 there were around 382,000. The number has been declining steadily, even if the number of passengers and the amount of air freight is more constant. The airport management admit the forecasts were too high, but say the trend to ever larger planes will soon end, and the numbers of flights will rise. Opponents are using the falling numbers to fight the runway. The runway has permission but the decision is currently being reviewed by the Court., and the airport cannot yet start work on it.
5% fewer flights used Munich airport in 2013 than 2012 – but airport planning 3rd runway
March 3, 2014
In Munich, campaigners against the building of a 3rd runway remain defiant in spite of a court ruling that the building of a 3rd runway would be legal. There were extraordinary scenes in the court room when the judge gave his ruling. Campaigners, who had packed the building, all stood up and sang the Bavarian national anthem. The judge had to clear the court. The campaigners are confident that the 3rd runway may never be built because the number of aircraft using the existing runways at Munich is falling. The figures for 2013 show that though there were 0.8% more passengers using Munich airport in 2013 than in 2012, but that the number of air transport movements (flights) fell by 5%. That is a substantial reduction. The campaign against the new runway has repeatedly questioned the economic case for building a runway for which there is not sufficient demand. For all 3 airports in Bavaria (Munich, Nuremburg and Memmingen) the number of air passengers did not grow in 2013, and the number of flights fell by 5.2%. The volume of air freight and mail using Munich airport fell by 1% in 2013. So no growing demand there.
Bavarian Administrative Court rules that building a 3rd runway at Munich airport is lawful
February 19, 2014
The Bavarian government in southern Germany have been trying for some time to get consent for a 3rd runway at Munich airport, to the north of the existing airport. The 300 or so runway opponents in the court greeted the news with boos and by singing the Bavaria national anthem. On 19th February the Bavarian Administrative Court (VGH) ruled that the runway can go ahead, when they rejected the 17 lawsuits against the project. The project was halted by a referendum in June 2012, when by a majority vote the people of Munich expressed their opposition to the runway, which would demolish the village of Attaching. However the legal judgement is not the end to the story, and the fight is expected to continue. Those opposed to the runway point out that a runway is not needed as the number of flights has fallen over recent years and the current runways have plenty of spare capacity, with the advent of larger aircraft. Though the result of the 2012 referendum was only valid for one year, the political parties in Munich are very aware if local opposition to the runway, and they need their votes. It is the state government and economic lobbies that want the runway. Opponents.will fight on.
Munich campaign hands in 80,000 signature petition against 3rd runway to state parliament
July 24, 2013
On 17th July, the BUND Naturschutz (the largest environmental organisation in Germany) and the “AufgeMUCkt” Action Alliance handed in a petition to the state parliament against the construction of a third runway at Munich Airport. Nearly 80,000 people have signed the petition from all over Bavaria. The petition was handed to the Chairman of the Economic Committee (CSU) and someone from the Environment Committee at the parliament. The campaigners asked the politicians to please take note of the will of the people and decide against allowing a new runway. One campaign leader, Helga Stiegl Meier explained that, among other things, the number of aircraft movements at Munich Airport has been stagnate for years, which she said proves that there is no need for a 3rd runway. Another spokesman said the region has no need of furher aviation expansion, and sustainable transport in Bavaria is facing very different challenges, such as future supplies of cheap oil. The new parliament will have to decide after the state elections in the autumn on a third runway.
Munich residents vote against new 3rd runway at Munich airport – 54% said NO
June 17, 2012
Munich residents voted against development of a 3rd runway, in a poll by the City of Munich, which owns 23% of the runway (state and federal government own the rest). Just over 54% of polled voters were against the new runway and 45.7% in favour, according to preliminary results of the vote on Sunday. Though the city only owns part of the airport, this is thought to be a veto. Munich Mayor Christian Ude said he would accept the result “without ifs or buts.” Bavaria’s state government, however, said it still hopes the runway could eventually be built. Munich is Germany’s second-biggest airport. The vote has dealt another blow to airlines clamouring for growth in Germany. A German district government ruled in favour of the €1.2 billion euro Munich runway project almost a year ago. This vote shows, quote: “how difficult it has become to make clear the significance of important infrastructure projects in our country,’ according to the Munich airport chief.