Munich conference – airport residents’ campaigns across Europe connect their fight against the aviation lobby

Over 250 people from across Europe attended the European Aviation Campaigners Conference in Munich at the weekend, where they heard accounts of campaigners against expansion in many different countries. The conference produced a manifesto which included a call for an end to night flights and an end to tax-breaks for the aviation industry.  They also called for no more runways to be  built in Europe, and a shift from short-haul flights to rail,  the abolition of subsidies for the aviation sector  and active control of noiseThe conference also had sessions on effective campaigning, including direct action.   Those who attended the conference came away inspired. They were in no doubt that the conference will stimulate collective across Europe to campaign for change. The united call is to ‘tame the aviation industry’.  They say health, independent living, and an intact environment must have higher priority than economic interests. An English version of the Manifesto.



John Stewart and Florian Sperk addressing the European Aviation Campaigners’ Conference.

European Conference Manifesto in English


Link to videos

Link to the key speeches at the Munich Aviation Campaigners’ Conference.  Apart from
those from John Stewart, they are in German but, if you do understand German, the one from Alexander Mahler, the young man talking about tax subsidies to aviation, is
well worth listening to.–jorSCOpE65lvxF8c1_w?feature=watch



Forging Links: European Aviation Campaigners’ Conference

Blog by John Stewart, Chair of HACAN and of AirportWatch


Last weekend’s conference in Munich showed just how vibrant the European movement against airport expansion has become.  On Saturday (22nd June) over 250 campaigners from across Europe packed the sports centre in the small town of Attaching, just outside Munich, sharing ideas and plan Europe-wide campaigns.

Ten years ago this sort of conference would not have taken place.  There was little Europe-wide contact between grassroots campaigners.

But all that has changed over the past decade.  Campaigners have been in regular contact with each other, building up a European network.

And success has followed.  A third runway has been stopped at Heathrow.  Plans for new airports in Siena and Viterbo in Italy have been abandoned. The residents of Munich voted against a third runway in a referendum last March.  There is huge opposition to the proposed new airport for Nantes in Western France.  Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets of Berlin to protest against airport expansion.  And, of course, every Monday night for the last 18 months thousands of people have occupied the airport terminal at Frankfurt to protest against the impact of the fourth runway.

People at the conference shared campaigning techniques, including an excellent session on the role of direct action, led by Plane Stupid.

But Saturday’s conference didn’t just hear stories of protest.  There were experts talking about the climate change, noise and air pollution impacts of aviation.  And a powerful talk from Alexander Mahler of the think-tank Green Budget Germany outlining the billions lost to the economy as a result of the tax-free fuel that airlines enjoy.

The conference issued a manifesto.  Key demands included an end to night flights and an end to the tax-free fuel from which aviation benefits.  These demands will form the basis of Europe-wide campaigns over the coming year.

Campaigners across Europe are forging links like never before.  They are determined to see the aviation industry tamed.

Freising Aufgemuckt Gegen den Flughafen-Ausbau

No Third Runway badges, at Munich


Attachinger Manifest
Everybody has the right to sleep at night

(In German)

Europa braucht eine gesellschaftliche Diskussion über Luftverkehr.
Ungeplant und unkoordiniert werden europaweit Flughäfen auf
Kosten der Bevölkerung ausgebaut. Dabei ist der wirtschaftliche
Nutzen nicht darstellbar.

Überall regt sich regionaler Widerstand der Bevölkerung. Dabei geht
es um gesellschaftliche Fragen wie Klimaschutz, die Finanzierbarkeit
von Großprojekten, aber auch persönliche Betroffenheiten bei der
Frage des Rechts auf körperliche Unversehrtheit, Schutz des
Eigentums und Bewahrung der Heimat.

Wir stellen fest: Die Probleme sind überall die gleichen – daher muss
die Diskussion von der regionalen Ebene auf die europäische Ebene
gehoben werden. Die Anwohner der unterschiedlichen Flughäfen
dürfen nicht weiter gegen einander ausgespielt werden.

Überall haben wir ein Recht auf Gesundheit, ein Recht auf Heimat
und Schutz des Eigentums und die Pflicht, unseren Kinder eine
lebenswerte, intakte Welt zu hinterlassen.

Daher organisieren wir uns in der Ersten Internationalen
Flughafenanwohnerkonferenz und stellen an unsere nationalen
Parlamente und des EU-Parlament folgende Forderungen:
• Achtstündiges Nachtflugverbot
• Abschaffung der Steuerprivilegien bei Umsatz- und
• Abbau der Subventionen im Luftverkehr
• Aktiver Schallschutz vor passivem Schallschutz
• Kein Kapazitätsausbau des Luftverkehrs
• Verlagerung der Kurzstreckenflüge auf die Schiene

Die Gesundheit, ein selbstbestimmtes Leben und eine intakte Umwelt
müssen höhere Priorität genießen als wirtschaftliche Interessen.
Gemeinsam kämpfen wir für unsere Rechte und ein Europa der
Bürgerinnen und Bürger.



European Conference Manifesto in English


Attachinger Manifesto

Everybody has the right to sleep at night

(In English)

Europe needs to have a proper debate about air travel.

The current policy of growth and expansion is causing climate change, air pollution and noise problems.  And its economic benefits are uncertain.  The policy is being resisted by as growing number of people across Europe.

It needs a Europe-wide solution.  Residents around one airport must not be played of against residents at other airports.

Everybody has the right to health, to live in a home free of constant noise and a duty to leave the planet in a fit state for their children.

We therefore organized an International Aviation Campaigners’ Conference in Attaching, just outside Munich.

We are calling on the European Parliament and our national parliaments to support:

  • an end to night flights, so that each airport has 8 hours free of planes;
  • an end to the tax-free fuel for airlines and an end to exemptions from sales taxes, such as Value Added Tax (VAT);
  • a reduction in all subsidies received by the aviation industry;
  • active measures to reduce the impact of noise on residents;
  • no additional airport capacity in Europe;
  • transfer of short-distance flights to rail.

The health and well-being of people and the planet must be given priority over economic interests.

Together, as citizens of Europe, we pledge to fight for our rights.


Relaxing Bavarian style

  1. Campaigners relaxing Bavarian-style

Airport residents connect their fight against the European lobby

  • 24 June 2013

“Attacking Hinger Manifesto” adopted

The first airport- residents-conference in Attaching near Munich ended at  23.06. with the group “Plane Stupid” campaigns carrying out training.  The conference was organised by , and other groups invited by, the Coalition for Action  “Aufgemuckt” ” which is fighting the construction of a third runway  at Munich Airport. The invitation was accepted by representatives of airport residents initiatives from the UK, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and several German cities. Attaching (Freising) was chosen as the venue for the conference because the intention of the Bavarian state government and the local airport operator is for the planned runway to go through the middle of the location.

The highlight of the conference was the day before the adoption of the ” Attac Hinger Manifesto “. Accompanied by “standing ovation”, participants called for under the slogan “Everybody has the right to sleep at night” a night flight ban at least eight hours at all European airports, the abolition of privileges for air transport in revenue and energy tax, the removal of all subsidies for the air transport industry, the primacy of active from passive noise protection, the waiver of the further expansion of airport capacity and the consequent shift from short-haul flights to rail.

The manifesto will be handed over to the national parliaments and governments and the European institutions.

Prior informed speakers including the dramatic consequences of nocturnal aircraft noise on the health of neighboring residents. So after Bremer epidemiologists would face affected with an increased risk for high blood pressure and heart attack and subsequently with a higher mortality Prof. Dr. Greiser.

Thoughtful participants also agreed to the remarks on the effects of aircraft noise on the health of children and adolescents.

In the ensuing discussions, the attendees were in agreement that a good night’s sleep at least eight hours was an undivided human right that it applies also continues to urge demand. In this context, criticism of the decision of the Federal Administrative Court was loud, which seems to display a five-hour night’s sleep than adequate in a number of decisions.

The London Anti-aircraft noise activists John Stewart appealed to all participants that the fight against the aviation lobby and inhuman politicians is to win through absolute unity.

It was agreed that the conference would be repeated in future on a regular basis at different locations.

The German delegates from Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Leipzig and Cologne / Bonn were in agreement with the representatives from neighboring countries, that this conference was an important first step to oppose the lobbying interests of networked aviation industry by an effective networked European counter-power.

Also that in future the aviation industry’s arguments can be effectively rebuffed, and the industry or politicians cannot play off affected populationd against each other.


Original version of this article in German at




Also article in German at




Stay connected and vigilant – Airport residents from six countries adopt the “Attac Hinger Manifesto”

23.6.2013  (

(Look in the hall): About 250 citizens groups from six European countries participated in the conference in the Attac Hinger sports hall on weekends.  (Photos: ara)

(In the hall): About 250 citizens groups from six European countries participated in the conference in the Attac Hinger sports hall  at the weekend.(Photos: ara)

Around 250 representatives of citizens’ groups from six European countries have met at the weekend in Attaching [ a village just north of Munich, and close to where a 3rd runway was planned]  at the first international airport residents’ conference. 
Better connected, they intend to fight for stricter night flight rules, stricter rules on aircraft noise and against the expansion of airports. The agreed goals for the aviation industry are summarized in the Attac Hinger Manifesto that should go to the national parliaments and the European Parliament.
The idea for closer cooperation between local initiatives emerged during a visit by John Stewart to Munich about a year ago. Stewart, best known activist in the successful fight against a third runway at London Heathrow, was also one of the speakers in the Attac Hinger gym – just a few hundred meters away from the fence of Munich airport. He looked back at the resistance to the expansion of the UK’s largest airport and made ​​it clear how important it is to forge a broad alliance of stakeholders, politicians and associations.

"One must always remain vigilant," warned John Stewart, best known activist against the third Stratbahn at London Heathrow.

“One must always remain vigilant,” warned John Stewart, best known activist against the third runway at London Heathrow.

 Stiegl Helga Meier,  spokesperson for the Coalition for Action,  hopes a message will go out from the conference,  “We want to signal that we are here, we adapt,” she says.In addition, the campaigners are agreed that they will not be part of attempts to play the various airports off against each other.  It was important to formulate common goals.