Vienna: Constitutional court lifts construction ban on the third runwayNighttime flight ban: Action by the city of Mainz dismissedDoha: Lufthansa has to terminate routeEssen and Bonn: Clear commitments to North-Rhine Westphalia
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Constitutional court lifts construction ban on the third runway
For many years, the Austrian economy has been fighting for the extension of the hub in Vienna, which is already running at full capacity during peak times. In late June, the Austrian Constitutional Court announced a new ruling in response to the ruling by the Federal Administrative Court. It clearly set aside the previous ruling of the Federal Administrative Court as being unconstitutional. “The Federal Administrative Court, in its weighing of interests, incorporated in particular climate protection and land consumption in an unconstitutional manner (…) The Federal Administrative Court also made faulty calculations with regard to the carbon dioxide emissions associated with the project. Put simply: according to a legally sworn expert, only such emissions should be taken into account that occur during take-off and landing (“LTO emissions”). The Senate of the BVwG, by contrast, also took into account emissions that occur during the entire flight (“cruise emissions”) in its forecast for 2025.”
Action by the city of Mainz dismissed
The Aircraft Noise Protection Act is keeping its promise. Thus, in mid-July, the Hessen Higher Administrative Court (VGH) confirmed that the legally anchored thresholds sufficiently reflect the health-related consequences of aircraft noise. With this justification, the VGH rejected in-full a claim by the city of Mainz for further limitation of nighttime air traffic.
The Court intensively addressed the latest flight noise research studies, notably the Frankfurt NORAH Study. This is considered the most comprehensive study on the topic worldwide. The judges argued that the NORAH Study did not offer any new indications of a threat to health long before the noise levels reached in the Aircraft Noise Protection Act. In early 2017, scientists at the Berlin Charité also found that “with the Aircraft Noise Protection Act of 2007, a set of regulations is in place that fully and adequately takes into account the noise protection concerns of the population, also in light of the findings of noise effect research obtained since 2007.”
Lufthansa has to terminate route
At the end of October, Lufthansa will terminate its daily connection between Frankfurt and Doha. The reason is that Qatar Airways is also systematically undermining sustainable air traffic in Germany between the two cities with dumping prices. In order to transport European passengers to Asia and Africa via the Doha hub, the state-owned airline has expanded its capacities between Frankfurt and Doha by an incredible 117 percent over the past ten years. In this competition, which is aimed at displacing competitors, Lufthansa – as a private company – will now be forced to terminate the route. It is the fourth connection going to the Gulf that the German airline has had to terminate for this reason over the past three years.
Clear commitment to the location of North-Rhine Westphalia
In mid-September, a Lufthansa Airbus A350 was christened with the name of the largest Ruhr-area city of Essen. The “Flying Ambassador” currently flies to Mumbai, Boston, Delhi and Hong Kong. Another A350 was christened with the name “Bonn” on October 20. These examples underline that North-Rhine Westphalia plays a crucial role in the growth strategy of the Lufthansa Group. Accordingly, the number of employees is expected to increase from 5,000 to 6,500.
Thomas Kufen, Lord Mayor of the city of Essen, christens the Airbus A350-900 D-AIXE with the name “Essen”.
In mid-July, the Hessen Higher Administrative Court dismissed the entire suit by the city of Mainz against the planning permission resolution of the federal state of Hessen on the expansion of Frankfurt Main Airport. The justification and arguments are available online.
In late June, the VfGH set aside a ruling by the Austrian Federal Administrative Court. The justification and arguments are available online.