Regarding the night flight restrictions published today for BBI:20.10.2009
According to the decision, extensive air traffic is permissible from 5.30–6 a.m. and from 10–11.30 p.m. – in the eyes of the authorities, public interest outweighs residents’ concerns over noise protection. The authorities have also introduced a regulation allowing delayed flights to land in the 30 minutes leading up to midnight. Flights arriving in Berlin early are allowed to land from 5 a.m. onwards, to avoid unnecessary kerosene consumption. Regular scheduled flights are banned during core night hours from midnight until 5 a.m. On average, 77 flight movements are expected during so-called off-peak times from 10 p.m. until midnight and from 5–6 a.m. “The airlines have clearly demonstrated the need for flights during off-peak times. When making their decision, the authorities took into account the fact that off-peak times are essential for profitable flight operations”, said Schwarz. “This view is currently taking hold more broadly in Europe.”
Berlin Airports’ CEO also criticised the decision made by the Potsdam authorities however: “Both we and the airlines can certainly live with this decision in the short to medium term, but the strict quota limitation from 5–6 a.m. and from 11–12 p.m. will prevent us from growing further.” The authorities allow a maximum of on average 31 flight movements in this time slot.
The authorities have also decided to expand the night protection zone and the zone for compensating outlying residential areas. Schwarz: “We have been preparing for this since the decision of the Federal Administrative Court in 2006. We are well aware of our responsibility to the region and will invest around €140 million in making sure that noise protection is as extensive as possible for our neighbours.”
Events leading up to the decision: in March 2006, the Federal Administrative Court finally authorised the expansion of Schoenefeld Airport into the Capital Airport BBI and in doing so, called for subsequent improvements to noise protection. As a result, the planning approval authorities decided to initiate a so-called supplementary planning procedure to complete the BBI planning documents. Berlin Airports started building BBI in September 2006. The topping-out ceremony for the BBI Terminal is already scheduled for spring 2010. The new Capital Airport will go into operation in October 2011.