Home » News » Airport opponents call for nationwide ban on night flights – airliners.de

Airport opponents call for nationwide ban on night flights – airliners.de

Landing of an airplane in the late evening

© dpa / Julian Stratenschulte


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Mainz’s “Initiative for the Protection of the Climate, the Environment and Air Traffic Noise” is calling for legal restrictions on night flights for the whole of Germany.

According to the airport’s opponents, a nationally legal night flight ban should apply between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., and thus be stricter than at Germany’s largest airport, Frankfurt.

Since 31 October 2011 no scheduled flight movements are permitted between 11pm and 5am. In August 2009, the administrative court in Kassel banned the remaining 17 night flights as part of the planning approval process. In individual cases, however, take-offs and landings are permitted until midnight if the airlines are not responsible for the delays, for example in bad weather.

“From the point of view of citizens’ initiatives in the Rhine-Main region, the protection achieved at night is far from sufficient to protect people’s health,” the initiative justified its request on the 11th anniversary of the introduction of the restrictions on night flights at Frankfurt Airport.

In the Rhine-Main region, however, scientists had intensively studied the effects of traffic noise in the years when restrictions on night flights had been introduced at the airport. In summary, the study shows that traffic noise causes lower overall health risks than previously thought.

Opponents of air traffic have felt even more disturbed than before after the introduction of restrictions on night flights in Frankfurt. According to the “Nora” study, the inner attitude towards air traffic obviously plays an important role when it comes to the subjective perception of noise. If you like flying, suffer less from aircraft noise and sleep better than an airport critic in the apartment next door.

Off-peak times important in global traffic

Extensive operating restrictions are now the norm in Germany. According to the aircraft noise portal, there are no night flight bans only in Hanover, Nuremberg and Cologne-Bonn. At all other airports there are significant restrictions, including outright bans on night flights.

Flights scheduled for the middle night from 0000 to 5000 hours are prohibited in many places. At many airports, not only have these nighttime hours been blocked for aircraft, but the adjacent off-peak daytime hours have also been severely restricted.

These off-peak times – 5:00 to 6:00 in the morning and 10:00 to midnight in the evening – are especially important for airlines. In the early hours of the morning, for example, almost exclusively long-haul planes from America or Asia land. Arriving long-distance travelers then fly to the hubs. Quite the opposite in the evening: With the last wave of plane landings from Europe, travelers can still catch up on numerous subsequent flights to overseas destinations.


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