BARIG criticizes plans regarding the introduction of noise ceilings at Germany’s Frankfurt airport

Frankfurt, 29th September 2016. The Board of Airline Representatives in Germany (BARIG), the joint representation of interests of around 100 national and international airlines, has reacted with incomprehension to the plans on noise ceilings at Frankfurt airport presented on September 27 by the Hessian Ministry of Economy and Transport. If the plans were implemented as currently proposed, BARIG apprehends a massive endangerment of the international competitiveness of Germany’s largest air traffic hub – leading to long-term negative effects also on economic power, jobs and mobility in the Rhine-Main area and Germany as a whole.

The initiative of the Hessian Ministry encounters incomprehension from the airline side especially in view of the fact that quite recently the cooperation with politics concerning the topic noise control, which is of great importance to many citizens, was very constructive and target-aimed. In this context multiple noticeable reliefs were achieved, for example through the usage of modern and more quiet aircraft or the voluntary implementation of noise breaks at Frankfurt airport; measures which already afford immense efforts from the aviation industry. Airlines are prepared to continue this path of consensus and therefore appreciate the Ministry’s general willingness to negotiate.

„In its current form the plans for noise ceilings at the Frankfurt airport present a massive intervention. From our point of view it is not understandable that economic power and jobs are obviously put at risk,” states BARIG Secretary General Michael Hoppe. “We advocate compliance with the existing plan approval procedure for the expansion of Frankfurt airport. We consider the possible restriction by law brought into play by the Ministry, should an agreement on noise ceilings not be reached via negotiations, as legally problematic. We are open to negotiations. 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.”

Political plans endanger aviation locations Frankfurt and Germany

In BARIG’s opinion, the plans regarding noise ceilings are jeopardizing 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. 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.

Michael Hoppe: „Airlines need long-term economic prospects and planning security. Should a location such as Frankfurt be burdened with additional restrictions, airlines could increasingly start looking out for alternatives abroad. This depicted development cannot lie in the interest of foresightedly acting political players.”