Rivals Frankfurt and Heathrow airports are both resistant to more controls on noise

Heathrow is reluctant to agree to a proper ban on night flights – what it has offered is only on SCHEDULED flights, rather than any flights. It fears its airlines would lose money, and that rivals do not have such a ban. But Frankfurt has had, since 2012, a ban of flights between 11pm and 5am (and restriction of only 133 flights between 10pm and 11pm, and 5am to 6am per day). Airlines using Frankfurt also do not like the night flight ban, and complain it damages the competitiveness of Frankfurt.  The Hessian Ministry of Economy and Transport has presented plans for noise ceilings, including a limit on the number of takeoffs and landings if noise limits are not achieved for two years in a row. A spokesperson for BARIG (the airlines) described the proposals as incomprehensible. This all sounds so like Heathrow: “The plans regarding noise ceilings are jeopardising the role of Frankfurt and Germany as important aviation locations … The consequence of further restrictions would be that airlines have to evaluate more critically than before whether Frankfurt remains to be part of their network in the future.” And so on. So Heathrow and Frankfurt would be similar – but each is scared of the other airport doing better. 


Airlines warn that noise restrictions could damage the competitiveness of Frankfurt Airport


Airlines operating out of Europe’s busiest freight hub, Frankfurt, have warned that proposals for new noise restrictions could damage the airport’s competitiveness.

On Wednesday, the Hessian Ministry of Economy and Transport presented the plans for noise ceilings at the airport.

The Board of Airline Representatives in Germany (BARIG) described the proposals as incomprehensible.

“The plans regarding noise ceilings are jeopardising the role of Frankfurt and Germany as important aviation locations,” the airline group said.

“The consequence of further restrictions would be that airlines have to evaluate more critically than before whether Frankfurt remains to be part of their network in the future.

“In comparison with other European countries Germany already has to cope with expensive and disadvantageous framework conditions. Noise ceilings would further increase the pressure.

“The clear menace is that airlines might avoid Frankfurt in their plans for the future. Passenger flow and flow of goods would both change drastically – with obvious negative effects on jobs, companies and not least the profitability of the airport itself.

“Airports in neighbouring European countries would naturally benefit from such a development.”

BARIG added that airlines had already made moves to reduce the noise generated by flights through the use of modern and more quiet aircraft and the voluntary implementation of noise breaks.

It added that it was open to negotiations on an agreement on noise ceilings but said that any regulations not reached through discussion would be “legally problematic”.

“Further noise control measures must be developed and implemented jointly by politics and aviation industry, in the same way it has been conducted successfully on several past occasions,” BARIG said.

The proposals include a limit on the number of takeoffs and landings if noise limits are not achieved for two years in a row.

Airport operator Fraport argued that it had already made investments and made plans for a third terminal and that this had been approved by Germany’s highest court and already included noise protection measures.



Frankfurt airport’s website says: 

The Noise Respite model

It is the goal of noise respite periods to lengthen the neighbors’ nighttime rest by one hour. While this does not change the total number of aircraft movements, such alternating noise intermissions make sure that a part of the neighbors will not be bothered by flights between 22.00 PM and 05.00 AM, and the other part of the residents will be free from aircraft noises between 23.00 PM and 06.00 AM.


What is a night flight?

The European Union defines a night flight as an aircraft using an airport between  23.00 hours and 07.00 hours.

Frankfurt since April 2012  does not allow flights from 11 pm and 5 am and Heathrow does not have scheduled flights between 23.30 and 04.30 (but has many late ones after 23.30).

Night flights are only permitted at Frankfurt in cases where airlines and the airport authorities can prove there is a special need.

Lufthansa Cargo estimated in April 2012 that a night flight ban would cost it €40 million in earnings each year.   https://www.thelocal.de/20120404/41751

More details of what is allowed on the Boeing page  http://www.boeing.com/resources/boeingdotcom/commercial/noise/frankfurt.html

Frankfurt, Europe’s number one cargo hub by tonnage in 2015, recorded a 1.6% increase for the first ten months of 2016 to 1.8m tonnes.

Heathrow had an increase of 2.6% on the same time in 2015 with cargo throughput of 1.3m tonnes.

Stagnated had an increase in air freight of 7.8% for the first 10 months of 2016 to 208,000 tonnes.



Frankfurt night flight ban between 11pm and 5am upheld by higher court

A German court on Wednesday ruled in favor of a night flight ban at Frankfurt airport, Europe’s third busiest, dealing a blow to German flagship airline Lufthansa and airport operator Fraport.  Lufthansa says it needs Frankfurt night flights so its cargo operations can compete with fast-growing Gulf airports and it will be hit financially if there is a ban.  In 2009 the local government said  it would allow 17 flights between 11 pm and 5am from the end of October 2011 on economic grounds. Then residents under the flight paths took the case to court.  Their complaint was upheld in October by a local court just before the opening of the 4th runway. Now a judge at a higher court in Leipzig confirmed the ban and said the federal state of Hesse must make a new decision on whether to allow night flights.  Along with a total ban from 11 pm to 5 am, the Leipzig court also reduced the number of flights permitted in the period covering the so-called shoulder hours from 10 pm to 6 am to 133 from 150.  This will have implications for other European airports like Paris  Charles de Gaulle and Heathrow.  





Call for Germany to improve airfreight infrastructure or lose out to neighbours

17.10.2016 (Air Cargo News)

Germany’s airports must invest in infrastructure or they risk losing cargo volumes to their European rivals, according to the Board of Airline Representatives in Germany (Barig).

Speaking at a conference organised by the Federation of German Industry and the Federation of the German Aviation Industry, Barig secretary general Michael Hoppe said that Germany’s central location meant it had traditionally played an important role in European air cargo.

However, this was in danger of changing, he said, explaining that for freight forwarders it was of no concern whether goods are transported using a German airport of those in neighbouring countries.

He said the cost advantages of neighbouring countries combined with lower levels of bureaucracy meant it “seems to be economically attractive to transport goods to an airport in a neighbouring country by truck and further forward it from there as air cargo”.

“Without a perfectly working infrastructure air cargo has no future in Germany,” Hoppe said. “A rapid enhancement and optimisation of infrastructure is urgently required.

“Further obstacles shall not be placed in the path of airlines. New bans on night flights, additional noise intermissions or noise ceilings imply obvious and more operational restrictions for airlines harm the business location Germany.”

Cargo transiting through Germany to other destinations is also under threat because of improved infrastructure at international airports outside of Europe, he added.

Barig called for further improvements to German cargo infrastructure and said that large infrastructural projects at airports should not be delayed any longer.

“If we miss out on laying the [foundation] for a prosperous future today, Germany will continue to lose ground in international competition, thereby putting its important position in scheduled, charter and cargo flights at risk. This in return would have serious consequences for economy, jobs and consumers,” Hoppe concluded.

In September, Barig warned of the consequence of introducing noise restrictions at Frankfurt airport.