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.


Bad translation from the German below.

The number of take-offs and landings at Munich Airport has been declining for years.



28.1.2015 (Sueddeutsche.de)
  • The verifier of the airport admits that the number of takeoffs and landings at the airport have not increased as expected.
  • Another expert considers there area “systematic errors” in the traffic forecasts by the appraiser company Intraplan
  • Opponents of the third runway hope this will get the policy changed..
From Marco Völklein

Christine Margraf observed exactly who said what about the planned third runway at the airport.  For over ten years, the biologist employed by the federal government Conservation body (BN) dealing with the planning in Erdinger Moos (the area where the new runway in planned).  Christine Margraf was one of those who followed the trial before the Bavarian Administrative Court (VGH) almost every day. Clear, therefore, that  Margraf watched the show “cross” on Bavarian television on Thursday night.  She  was paying attention when a representative of the Munich-based company Intraplan said the following sentence: “I agree Mr. Thiessen is right in the sense that the development of more flights is currently not taking place as expected in the forecasts.”

Now, you need to know three things to understand the dispute over the third runway.

First, the air traffic forecasts of Intraplan are one of the sticking points in the VGH (Court) process. The company commissioned by the airport had forecast that in 2025 the number of arrivals and departures in Erdinger Moos would rise to 590 000 each year. With this number of Airport justified the construction of the planned third runway.

Numbers have been declining for years

In fact, the numbers have been declining for years. Second, this development but the court considered this not to be relevant to the determination and therefore dismissed the opponents. And thirdly: That Mr. Thiessen, the Intraplan representative has now been vindicated, is an economics professor at the Technical University of Chemnitz, who has demonstrated in a study that Intraplan people regularly work, not only in Munich , but also other airports.


“The forecast values ​​do not scatter randomly around the true value,” judged Thiessen, “but systematic deviation by about four times upwards”. He assumed “systematic errors” in the Intraplan traffic forecasts. Thus, the evaluators had not previously seen a major strategy shift the airlines, among other things: namely, that the airlines might for quite some time use larger jets for the expected  increasing number of passengers.

Opponents of the third runway hope for the rise

The expansion opponents are hoping that this will all resonate in the next  higher court. They have appealed to the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig to overturn the decision of the VGH. “If the central expert says he has since made a mistake, this can not be easily hidden in court,” says Margraf. And she hopes to not only convince the judges in Leipzig, but also the majority of the Bavarian Landtag. Because next week there will be a vote in plenary on a mass petition the runway opponents.  In order to mobilize, the expansion opponents have turned this week sent a “policy letter” to the Member of Parliament listing their arguments again.

Intraplan as well as representatives of the airport always emphasize that although the number of passengers is currently lower than the forecast, but in the coming years, they say the number of takeoffs and landings will rise again. Already, in the current year, they see slight growth to draw from, on the horizon.  Airport CEO Michael Kerkloh had recently declared that he expected this year there to be an increase of 1 – 2% in arrivals and departures. Among other things, Asia’s air traffic is growing strongly. Sooner or later this will also be felt at Munich Airport. And the conversion of the airlines to larger planes would end sometime, Kerkloh always argued.

Expansion opponents doubt that: “A trend I do not see” the Freising member of parliament Christian Magerl (Green) says.  In addition Lufthansa, the most important customer at the Erdinger Moos Munich airport, recently ordered a lot of new aircraft, “the trend is therefore clearly towards larger aircraft,” said BN activist Margraf to derive  from there.  Airport CEO Kerkloh as well as the Lufthansa have always pointed out that especially at peak times when many feeder jets intrude into the Erdinger Moos airport to bring transfer passengers from other cities to the country, there would not be enough room in the Munich sky.  “We will also look carefully at this argument,” announced Helga Stiegl Meier of the anti-runway Alliance (Anti-Startbahn-Bündnis )”Aufgemuckt.”   And dealt with it with another political letter.