Saturday 24th March: Tens of Thousands expected at Nationwide Protests against Airport Expansion in Germany

UK airport campaigners have sent messages of support to their fellow campaigners in Germany and France who will be staging major demonstrations against airport expansion on Saturday 24th March. In Germany tens of thousands of people are expected to turn out in at least five cities. In Frankfurt as many as 20,000 people could occupy the terminal. And, in Munich the campaigners against the proposed 3rd runway will hold as picnic in the terminal. In Nantes the demonstrators will occupy the centre of the city. There will also be protests in Berlin, Cologne and Leipzig. This gives the lie to the impression always given by the UK aviation industry that airports in Europe will continue to expand. They will not do so without immense and powerful opposition.


22.3.2012  (John Stewart)

Same Day: Major demonstration in Nantes in SW France


UK campaigners send messages of support

UK airport campaigners have sent messages of support to their fellow campaigners in Germany and France who will be staging major demonstrations against airport expansion on Saturday 24th March.

In Germany tens of thousands of people are expected to turn out in at least five cities. In Frankfurt as many as 20,000 people could occupy the terminal. And, in Munich the campaigners against the proposed third runway will hold as picnic in the terminal. In Nantes the demonstrators will occupy the centre of the city.

The big demonstrations in Frankfurt have been sparked by the impact of the fourth runway opened by Chancellor Angela Merkel in October. Every Monday evening since it opened up to 5,000 people have occupied the terminal at the airport in protest against the noise of the new flight paths (1). Their Saturday demonstrations have attracted as many as 20,000 residents.

In Munich climate change activists and local residents have joined forces to fight the proposed third runway. In Berlin the protests are against a newly-opened airport. At Cologne and Leipzig night flights are the big problem.

In Nantes,  the demonstration is part of a long-running, high-profile campaign to stop the building of Nantes International Airport.

HACAN Chair John Stewart, who has visited the campaigners in Munich, Frankfurt and Nantes, said: “These protests give the lie to the impression always given by the UK aviation industry that airports in Europe will continue to expand. It is clear that it is becoming virtually impossible to build a new runway anywhere in Western Europe.”

(1). Video of earlier Frankfurt protest




Below are some earlier stories about the German airport protests:

Frankfurt night flights between 11pm and 5am to be banned

March 15, 2012     The Frankfurt campaigners have won a partial night flight ban at Frankfurt in the teeth of opposition from the airlines and the regional government. The local government had allowed 17 flights per night between 11pm and 5am. The High Court has now ruledt ht there is a ban on all flights between 11pm and 5am. The number of hours of the ban is similar to the one that operates, in theory, at Heathrow (11.30 – 4.30) but it is a significant achievement for the campaigners. There can still be a total of 133 flights over the full period of 10pm to 6am – do during the periods of 10 – 11pm and 5 – 6am. The campaigners at Frankfurt say: “This Frankfurt decision will encourage you all at Paris, London and Amsterdam, but as well at Madrid, Barcelona and other airports of Europe. Frankfurt will be the first big Hub having a night flight restrictions!”   Click here to view full story…


Munich could become a German Heathrow if local opposition manages to block 3rd runway plans

March 2, 2012     John Stewart and some other campaigners recently visited Germany, to see the current protests against airport expansion there. John has written about their visit. He says campaigners are getting organised to oppose the planned building of a new 3rd runway at Munich. The case for a new runway there is weak because the existing runways are nowhere near capacity, most of the flights from Munich are domestic so could transfer to rail, and there is very low unemployment in the area. Visiting Frankfurt, they attended one of the regular Monday evening protests. The movement there driven by the concern about climate change, have brought together a first-rate coalition of environmental activists, local residents, sympathetic politicians and academic experts. They are a considerable force to be reckoned with.    Click here to view full story…

Court ends Frankfurt Airport strike

29 Feb 2012  (The Local: Germany’s news in English)   Striking workers at Frankfurt Airport must return to work after a court Wednesday slapped a temporary injunction on walkouts that have grounded flights at Europe’s third-busiest hub for two weeks. Judge Matthias Kreutzberg-Kowalczyk granted an application for an injunction filed by airport operator Fraport and German airline Lufthansa against walkouts by apron control staff, who have been striking since February 16 over demands for higher pay. The GdF union of air traffic workers said it would appeal the ruling, which obliges workers to call off industrial action that had initially been scheduled to run until Thursday.



Aircraft Noise demos from Frankfurt to Berlin. Thousands of German noise opponents protest in several cities

February 4, 2012

Protests at the airport in Frankfurt am Main.  Source: Reuters

There have been major protests at several German airports today, against aircraft noise, with whistles, drums and banners. There were about 20,000 protestors at Frankfurt protesting against noise from the new runway that opened in October. This was the largest protest at the airport since the opening . The police estimated the number of participants to 7,700, the organizers – a coalition of citizens’ groups against the airport expansion – spoke of 20,000 people. There were also demonstrations at Berlin, Leipzig, Munich and Dusseldorf.    Click here to view full story…


The anti noise protests continue in Germany with much debate on the noise impact of airport expansion

February 1, 2012

Several articles from German news websites, badly translated in to English, but giving a feeling of what is happening in Germany, and how the protests against the unexpectedly bad noise produced by the new Frankfurt airport runway, opened in October, are having an impact politically. The Germans, in their thousands (and these are articulate and purposeful Germans protesting) are not going to put up with the new noise intrusion into their lives, and especially not at night, whatever Fraport (the airport) and Lufthansa say about the night flights being essential for business. The benefits are far less than the social harm the night flights are doing, and the ability to quietly enjoy their homes without a flight path overhead is not something that the residents near Frankfurt airport are prepared to lose. Click here to view full story…



Protests continue each week at Frankfurt against the noise from the 4th runway which opened in October. 

A German airport campaigner – and local Frankfurt resident  – reports from Frankfurt:

20.1.2012     Last Monday was manifestation number 7 after the opening of the new runway at the end of Oct 2011. We meet always Monday at 6pm , have our own microphones and speakers (with batteries) and are always between 2500 – 500 people.    You are welcome at Terminal I  Section B  (=international flights) . It is a warm, well usable place, with toilets and high speed and local train communication.

Protest against aircraft noise: News from the Wutbürgern

Round Frankfurt, not only are the land prices are pretty lofty, but now so are the problems. It’s about airplanes, the roar high up over the gardens of the upper class and so the homeowners are up in arms. With the opening of the new north-west runway the aircraft noise is so unbearable that even distinguished people forget their upbringing and become vociferous protesters. (29.01.12)  Video clip (in German) at

Frankfurt airport – protest continues

January 21, 2012

German article about the continuing protests most Mondays (first this year on 16th Jan) at Frankfurt airport, by hundreds or thousand, who are profoundly disturbed by – and opposed to – the new noise nuisance caused by flights from the runway that was opened in October 2011. The protesters include wealthy citizens, as well as students and environmental activists. Lufthansa is arguing that it should be allowed a large proportion of the night flights that are permitted. The matter goes to the Federal Administrative Court in March 2012 for decision.    Click here to view full story…

Protesters at Frankfurt airport (picture archive from November 2011)Protesters at Frankfurt airport (picture archive from November 2011)

Big Protests in Frankfurt over 4th Runway


Every Monday over 1,000 people gather in Terminal 1 of Frankfurt Airport to protest against the impact of the 4th Runway which was opened on 21st October. The new runway has created noise problems for over 100,000 newresidents. 20,000 people took part in a demonstration the day before it opened. Although the authorities have (reluctantly) agreed to ban flights between 23.00 hours and 05.00 hours, a huge number of people are suffering as a result of the new runway. The runway was only built after a bitter battle with local residents and environmentalists.    ( )

Protests against new runway at Frankfurt Wutbürger in Terminal 1

Click here to view full story…