Bavarian Administrative Court rules that building a 3rd runway at Munich airport is lawful

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.


Opponents of the 3rd runway after the verdict
In this simulation is to see how the third start and runway could look at Munich Airport.  Photo: ho

In this simulation is to see how the third start and runway could look at Munich Airport.  Photo: ho

Bg0zY8RIIAEhYcu Munich verdictAfter the court verdict 



Court supports third runway at Munich

Airport expansion at MUC back on the table

Court supports third runway at Munich

 19.2.2014 (ttg nordic)

A court in Munich has put its weight behind plans for a third runway at Germany’s second-biggest airport. Expansion would help airlines eager to expand capacity in Europe’s biggest economy.

A public vote on a third runway in Munich in 2012 went against expansion, a blow to airlines like Lufthansa and Air Berlin struggling under a ban on night flights in Frankfurt and endless delays in the opening of a new airport in Berlin. But this vote was legally binding only for one year.

Public opposition to expansion at MUC remains high, but there is hope that public opinion can be won round given the importance of growing demand for travel. The airport handled 38.36 million passengers in 2013.

“The ruling […] gives Munich Airport a chance to cope with the growth in traffic that is forecast for the coming years,” the airport’s chief executive, Michael Kerkloh, said.




Tumult in the court  – third runway should be built

19.2.2014 (B5 actuel – German news)

Thumbs up for the expansion of Munich Airport: The Bavarian Administrative Court ruled that the building permit for a third runway was lawful. The plaintiffs sang a verdict protest the Bayern anthem.

n purely legal terms, the third runway in the Erdinger Moos may thus be built.Judge Erwin Allesch rejected all 17 claims against the planning decision. An appeal was denied. That makes it the opponents almost impossible yet to take legal action against it. What now remains to them is a denial of leave to appeal on Bundesverwaltungsgerichtin Leipzig. In addition, the plaintiff should bear the costs of the proceedings.

Loud protest in court

At the sentencing hearing, the opponents were busload be indented. The hall in the Bavarian Administrative Court was hopelessly overcrowded. After the verdict was announced, they voted in the hall at the Bavaria anthem.Then it was turbulent: Some vented their displeasure, agreed to a chorus of whistles or shouting “mess”, “poor Germany”, in chants chanted several opponents: “We are the people”. Until it was too much Allesch judge and he let the room cleared. The Court secured a large contingent of police. Above all, the citizens Attac Hing do not want to give up the fight against the runway. In a statement they announced not to accept the decision today. The municipal area is directly adjacent to the Munich airport.

“Public interest outweighs”

In his short justification told Judge Allesch it speak nothing against the planning decision. Neither adverse environmental impacts, or to nature protection, yet issues of demand.Looking at the forecasts of future take-offs and landings he could see no serious defects. The load of the people were within the legal limits. Even against the conservation law will not violate.Although Allesch curtailed, the runway would mean a substantial intervention into a bird sanctuary, but there is sufficient compensatory measures. Overall outweighs the public interest.

Reactions to the runway judgement

The opponents of the project are horrified. “With the decision to start and third runway at Munich Airport is the 1224 years old Bavarian village Attaching and thus destroyed by almost 1000 Bavarian citizens home,” writes the local citizens’ initiative. The village community will continue to fight for their future, they say. One of their main arguments is: “If there were a third runway already, should Attaching, due to the severe stress from noise, wake vortices and pollutants in the applicable legislation, will no longer be built at this point.” The spokesman of all Bürgeriniativen, Hartmut Binner, called the state government to “take leave of money and waste of resources and of contempt of citizens Entscheides on behalf of the people”.

For the Greens in the parliament, the ruling is not a surprise, but state chair Sigi Hagl described the decision not to allow revision as a “strong piece.” Hagl renewed its criticism of the project: “” The road is bad for the residents and the environment and it is simply superfluous, because the growth forecasts smash regularly on reality. “She appealed to the policy in Munich, even after the local elections, the citizens vote to respect against the web.



Graphic illustrating the location of the proposed 3rd Munich runway


Startbahn-Urteil: Das sagen unsere User

Runway judgement – what our  users say

– from a German news report    19.2.2014

There are various comments from the opponents of the runway. They are, of course, all in German. Google translate makes a hash of the translation, but below are some extracts with the gist of the comments along these lines:

What counts here is the opinion of citizens only if they tick when choosing the option the CSU [the Christian Social Union in Bavaria] wants.

Interesting to see already how little binding the plebiscite (referendum) has been. The people of all of Munich voted on the issue of the 3rd runway, and they voted against it, but which had not been thought possible. And now there is a decision to allow the runway.

It is a shame that it is not the people who are allowed to decide, but corporations and business enterprises in our country. This is why you should choose at the next municipal election the parties that will be against the runway in future. The CSU is only for electoral reasons for the runway. You never know what the SPD will do. . . that leaves only the Greens …

Whether this works out for good or bad, the fact is that has once again the business lobby has won, by promising more jobs. That is and has always been a sham. .




Third runway at Munich may be built

The Bavarian Administrative Court clears the way for the third runway at Munich Airport.         It rejected all 17 claims against the billion € project. Built still is not now. 

19.2.2014 (Die Welt)

A plane takes off from the airport in Munich.  A third runway has been controversial for years

Photo: APA plane takes off from the airport in Munich. A third runway has long been controversial

The controversial third runway at Munich Airport can be built from a legal perspective. The Bavarian Administrative Court (VGH) rejected all 17 claims against the billion project, which in 2012 is currently still on ice after a referendum held in Munich, however.

The years since competitive project conflicted with neither environmental nor noise reasons, said the presiding judge Erwin Allesch. “The planning authority has its powers and its discretion not exceeded.” The planning, to no defects.

However Allesch came almost 20 minutes is not to end his remarks. At the 300 runway opponents in the courtroom acknowledged their defeat with loud boos and the singing of the anthem Bavaria. There were tumultuous scenes.

Judge did admit hall

Long time no rest returned a, finally let the judge vacate the hall and was then still interrupted by “We are the people” calls. Gradually, the enemy finally left the room, only process participants and media representatives were allowed to stay.

The revision of the judgment did not permit the court, the costs must be borne by the applicants. But the tough years of struggle for the runway expected to continue in spite of the judgment for a while.

Previously, citizens’ groups were announced to take a so-called leave to appeal against it before the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig.

Airports Council welcomes judgment

Their spokesman, Hartmut Binner, announced to strengthen the resistance yet. He appealed to the state government, “to say goodbye to money and waste of resources and of contempt of citizens Entscheides on behalf of the people”.

The Airport Association ADV, however, welcomed the ruling. It was an important decision for the future development of Germany’s second largest airport. “At the same time it is a good sign for all airports in our country,” said ADV-chief executive Ralph Beisel.

Several municipalities, the Federal Nature Conservation in Bavaria (BN) and private citizens have appealed the authorization granted by the Free State in 2011 planning permission for the four-kilometer-long runway near Freising. On the slopes every hour can take off or land 30 aircraft. The process had attracted 46 days of negotiations for almost a year.

Referendum has one year validity

The runway opponents keep the project superfluous, because the number of take-offs and landings had declined continuously on Germany’s second largest airport in recent years. Indeed, there is less air movement, because the machines are becoming larger and are often full to the last seat.

Regardless of the process, the project is located since 2012 against a refusal citizens’ decision of the people of Munich on ice. The Bavarian capital as co-owner of the airport may thus disagree with the construction of a shareholders’ meeting.

There, however, unanimous decisions are necessary. The referendum has only valid for one year, but all of Munich city hall parties see themselves in the longer term tied to the vote. The state government and the economy, however, favor the construction of the runway.



Original German:

Die umstrittene dritte Startbahn am Münchner Flughafen darf aus rechtlicher Sicht gebaut werden. Der Bayerische Verwaltungsgerichtshof (VGH) wies alle 17 Klagen gegen das Milliardenprojekt ab, das nach einem Bürgerentscheid in München 2012 derzeit allerdings noch immer auf Eis liegt.

Dem seit Jahren umkämpften Projekt stünden weder Umweltschutz- noch Lärmgründe entgegen, sagte der Vorsitzende Richter Erwin Allesch. “Die Planungsbehörde hat ihre Befugnisse und ihren Ermessensspielraum nicht überschritten.” Die Planung weise keine Mängel auf.

Allerdings kam Allesch über fast 20 Minuten nicht dazu, seine Ausführungen zu beenden. An die 300 Startbahngegner im Gerichtssaal quittierten ihre Niederlage mit lauten Buhrufen und dem Absingen der Bayernhymne. Es kam zu tumultartigen Szenen.

Richter ließ Saal räumen

Lange Zeit kehrte keine Ruhe ein, schließlich ließ der Richter den Saal räumen und wurde auch danach noch von “Wir sind das Volk”-Rufen unterbrochen. Nach und nach verließen die Gegner schließlich den Saal, lediglich Prozessbeteiligte und Medienvertreter durften bleiben.

Die Revision des Urteils ließ das Gericht nicht zu, die Kosten des Verfahrens müssen die Kläger tragen. Doch das zähe jahrelange Ringen um die Startbahn dürfte auch trotz des Urteils noch eine Weile weitergehen.

Bereits zuvor hatten die Bürgerinitiativen angekündigt, vor dem Bundesverwaltungsgerichtshof in Leipzig eine sogenannte Nichtzulassungsbeschwerde dagegen einzulegen.

Flughafenverband begrüßt Urteil

Ihr Sprecher, Hartmut Binner, kündigte an, den Widerstand noch zu verstärken. Er appellierte an die Staatsregierung, “sich von Geld und Ressourcenverschwendung und von der Missachtung des Bürgerentscheides im Namen des Volkes zu verabschieden”.

Der Flughafenverband ADV begrüßte hingegen das Urteil. Es sei eine wichtige Weichenstellung für die künftige Entwicklung des zweitgrößten deutschen Airports. “Gleichzeitig ist es ein gutes Zeichen für alle Flughäfen in unserem Land”, sagte ADV-Hauptgeschäftsführer Ralph Beisel.

Mehrere Kommunen, der Bund Naturschutz in Bayern (BN) und Privatleute hatten gegen die vom Freistaat 2011 erteilte Baugenehmigung für die vier Kilometer lange Startbahn nahe Freising geklagt. Auf der Piste können stündlich 30 Flugzeuge starten oder landen. Der Prozess hatte sich mit 46 Verhandlungstagen fast ein Jahr lang hingezogen.

Bürgerentscheid hat ein Jahr Gültigkeit

Die Startbahngegner halten das Projekt für überflüssig, weil die Zahl der Starts und Landungen auf Deutschlands zweitgrößtem Airport in den vergangenen Jahren kontinuierlich zurückgegangen sei. Tatsächlich gibt es weniger Flugbewegungen, weil die Maschinen immer größer werden und oft bis auf den letzten Platz ausgelastet sind.

Unabhängig vom Prozess liegt das Projekt seit 2012 wegen eines ablehnenden Bürgerentscheids der Münchner Bevölkerung auf Eis. Die bayerische Landeshauptstadt als Miteigentümerin des Flughafens darf somit dem Bau in der Gesellschafterversammlung nicht zustimmen.

Dort sind aber einstimmige Beschlüsse notwendig. Der Bürgerentscheid hat zwar nur ein Jahr Gültigkeit, doch sehen sich alle Münchner Rathausparteien auch längerfristig an das Votum gebunden. Die Staatsregierung und die Wirtschaft befürworten hingegen den Bau der Startbahn.



Green light for Munich airport expansion

Green light for Munich airport expansionCapacity at Munich airport will increase by 30 flights a day. Photo: DPA
20 Feb 2014 (The Lccal – Germany’s news in English)

Bavarian authorities gave the green light on Wednesday for a much-disputed third runway to be built at Munich airport, rejecting the results of a city referendum.

The Bavarian Administrative Court turned down 17 cases filed against the building of the new runway, which will increase airport capacity by 30 flights an hour, in front of a courtroom filled with 300 angry protesters.

Shouting broke out when it was announced that despite a 2012 referendum voting against the runway, legally there was nothing to stop construction beginning.

Judge Erwin Allesch said that a third runway – plans for which have been in the pipeline for years – would not be detrimental enough to the environment nor disruptive enough for those living nearby, for it not to be built.

As soon as plans were announced in 2011, protesters joined forces in an attempt to stop them. It was, they said, a pointless venture as the number of flights taking off and landing at the airport had been dropping every year.

The new runway will be four kilometres long and stretch out to near the suburb of Freising.

Dr Michael Kerkloh, chairman and CEO of Munich Airport’s operating company, said: “This is an extremely important signal for the future development of Munich Airport.

“The ruling underscores the fact that our planning, including the extensive measures taken to protect people and nature, have stood up to an exacting review by an independent court.”

He added in a statement: “Munich Airport still has the opportunity to handle the projected traffic growth in the coming years and maintain its position among Europe’s major air transportation hubs.”

Airport union ADV welcomed the court’s decision to give construction the go-ahead. “It is a good sign for airports everywhere in the country,” said union head Ralph Beisel.




On 17th February:

Judgment on Wednesday

Munich Airport: Green light for 3 Runway?

Paul Winterer,  (Alendzeitung, Munchen)
On Wednesday, the verdict is the planned third runway. Photo: Sven Hoppe / dpa

On Wednesday, the ruling on billion project of the third runway in the Erdinger Moos falls – and it seems that proponents currently have the better cards.

Munich – For nearly a year the judges have rolled files to speech battles of the process involved and consulted on record. It’s about one of the largest German construction projects: the Bavarian Administrative Court (VGH) has to decide on the approval of the billion-dollar third runway at Munich Airport.


On Wednesday announced the 8th Senate the highly anticipated verdict.

Numerous municipalities, the federal government conservation (BN) and private people complain against the planned four kilometers of runway, could take off or land up to 30 aircraft on the hourly. Defendant is the Free State of Bavaria, who issued the building permit. The Airport Company (FMG) is joined as a party as a builder.

The course of the process according to it likely to be a defeat for the plaintiff. Even BN-county chairman and Greens Member of Parliament Christian Magerl expects a “not positive judgment.”

An indication for the dismissal of the claims could be the end of the process, the rejection of over 200 evidence submitted by the VGH. The 20 March 2013 evidence was begun after 46 days of the hearing on 15 January came to an end.

Applied for the Free State Land Attorney Anton Meyer, “the complaints all dismissed.” For the runway opponents, however, the third runway is superfluous, because the number of takeoffs and landings has declined steadily in recent years. Indeed, there is less air movement, because the machines are becoming larger and are often too busy to the last seat.

In addition to the judgment process participants expect with voltage if the VGH permits an appeal to the Federal Administrative Court. Then the losers could call the next instance directly.

Otherwise there is the possibility of leave to appeal. The Supreme Administrative Court in Leipzig would then have to decide whether to deal with the case or not.

But there is a third way. BN attorney Ulrich Egger cold does not rule out that the Munich judges ask their colleagues Luxembourg by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), before they make their decision. He wants to still consider several legal issues for conservation by the ECJ.

The referral to the ECJ would the judgment of 8 Senate delayed by about a year. But even without ECJ still take a long time before the judgment is final. A decision on the next instance falls before the autumn.

If the political level of the billion dollar project. In a referendum, the Munich rejected the runway construction in June 2012. The city could not approve the project in the shareholders’ meeting – so that the track was shelved.

The referendum has only valid for one year, but all Rathaus parties see themselves in the longer term tied to the vote.

It is also conceivable kind nationwide white and blue referendum. But for this is currently lacking even the foundation. Because referendums are only possible to draft legislation – so far at least.





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.     Click here to view full story…


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

25.6.2013Over 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 noise. The 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. There is an English version of the Manifesto at this link. 


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. Click here to view full story…




Munich votes against third runway

Munich votes against third runway

18 June 2012 (The Local – German news in English)

The people of Munich voted against the construction of a third runway in a referendum held on Sunday. The result is a sharp slap in the face for the leading parties in the Bavarian capital.

The latest results showed 54.3% of the people of Munich voting against the expansion of Germany’s second biggest airport, and 45.7% in favour. The result did not suit the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), and the Free Democratic Party (FDP), who all campaigned for a decision in favour.

As many as 32% of the 1.04 million eligible voters showed up at the polling booths – way over the 10% hurdle needed to make the referendum valid.

The result means that the city council is now obliged to vote against the new runway in its capacity as part of the airport’s operating company. The airport is co-run by the federal government, the Bavarian state government, and the city of Munich – the council’s vote will effectively block construction.

According to CSU head Horst Seehofer and Munich mayor Christian Ude of the SPD, the third runway would have increased the airport’s capacity from 90 to 120 departures and arrivals per hour.

The ‘Yes’ campaigners said this was necessary, since the airport will soon reach the limit of its current capacity. While some 40 million passengers are expected to pass through Munich airport this year, some 58 million are projected to be using the airport annually by 2025.



New AirportWatch BLOG.  The German Spring Takes Off

15th June 2012    On the weekend that campaigners occupy the centre of Munich, John Stewart outlines the story of the nationwide protests against airport expansion taking place in Germany, at Frankfurt, Berlin and Munich.  And the implications this has for aviation policy in the UK.  At a time when the industry is pressing once again for a third runway at Heathrow, it likes to give the impression there is little real opposition to expansion in the rest of Europe.  The German experience tells a very different story. “It is impossible at this stage to predict what will happen in Germany.  Or in France.  But the protests have almost certainly changed the landscape forever.  It is becoming increasingly difficult to expand airports anywhere in Western Europe.  That is the new reality that governments and the aviation industry have got to face up to.”  Read the blog


Opponents of the third runway climb Siegestor (Victory Tower) in Munich

8.6.2012 (de Bild)

Action against third runway at Munich

Environmentalists have with a spectacular action on Friday in Munich protested against the planned third runway at the airport.  They fixed banners reading “Stop the third runway madness!” on the Victory Tower. And “No on 17.6.». The organization Robin Wood appealed to the electorate, to vote against the construction of the runway in Erdinger Moos in the referendum on 17 June.  The activists were supported by Germany Plane Stupid, a community of action against the airport expansion. Their common demand: Their common demand: A statement by Mayor Christian UDE (SPD), on how he is able to justify supporting the expansion of the airport, as well as the Festival for the environment and sustainable mobility ,as patron of Streetlife. Link to article