Key regional development project on the right path – BBI cuts noise pollution considerably

07.04.11 15:35
Regarding today’s hearing on off-peak flights: resident-friendly compromise found back in 2009 / Flight ban at off-peak times would reduce 15 years of airport planning to absurdity, creating an exceptional case throughout Europe / Optimisation of flight paths well under way
“BBI is the most significant development project for the Berlin-Brandenburg region. Only by being fully functional and offering additional long-haul routes and flights in off-peak times can BBI deliver on its promise to create new jobs, be an attractive location for companies, and bring further growth to the region. Noise pollution in the region will also be considerably lower than current levels at Schoenefeld and Tegel Airport, and planning permission forecasts”, said Airport CEO Prof. Dr. Rainer Schwarz during today’s hearing by the Brandenburg Committee for Infrastructure and Agriculture.

No scheduled night flights and only limited flights during off-peak times: compromise already found in supplementary planning permission decision.

A resident-friendly compromise regarding flights between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. has long since been found: in 2009, in line with the provisions of the Federal Administrative Court in its final approval of BBI in 2006, Brandenburg’s Ministry of Infrastructure and Agriculture imposed restrictions which clearly state that when BBI opens:

  • Regular scheduled flights will not be permitted during core night time hours from 12 p.m. to 5 a.m. – unlike at Schoenefeld, which has been given 24h approval.
  • Only 77 flight movements will be permitted during off-peak times between 10–12 p.m. and 5–6 a.m., despite airlines reporting the need for significantly more during the approval process.
  • Between 5–6 a.m. and 11–12 p.m. the authorities will allow a maximum average of 31 flight movements, clearly capping the airport’s mid- and long-term growth. • No scheduled flights may be operated between 11.30–12 p.m. and 5–5.30 a.m. These times are exclusively available for delays or early arrivals.

Schwarz: “A compromise has long since been found for BBI. Restricting these regulations even further would reduce 15 years of joint airport planning in our region to absurdity and go far beyond the normal jurisdiction of the Federal Administrative Court.”

Competitiveness must be maintained

Although night flights are permitted at international airports such as those in Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris, similar rules apply to the airports Frankfurt, Munich and Düsseldorf as to BBI: basically, no flights may be operated during core night time hours and flight restrictions apply during off-peak hours.

During the hearing, Schwarz also referred to a report in the approval process by Cologne transport engineer Prof. Herbert Baum. According to the report, banning flights during off-peak hours would put around 18,000 jobs in Berlin and Brandenburg at risk. The region would lose hundreds of millions of euros in revenue and value creation.

BBI cuts noise pollution considerably in the region / Optimisation of flight paths on the right path

Since the consensus decision in 1996, Berlin-Brandenburg’s aviation policy has been to pursue a clear strategy: to close the inner-city airports Tegel and Tempelhof and expand Schoenefeld into one airport, namely Berlin-Brandenburg International (BBI). Strong passenger growth and the great deal of interest shown by airlines such as airberlin, Lufthansa and easyJet in stepping up their activities in Berlin-Brandenburg prove that the decision to concentrate air traffic on the outskirts of Berlin was right.

The closure of the inner-city airports Tegel and Tempelhof and the concentration of traffic at BBI are also regional milestones in terms of reducing noise pollution:

In 2004, 225,800 people in our region were affected by 55 dB(A) of noise from 15 million daytime passengers. In 2023, this figure will drop to 59,600 from twice as many passengers (source: 2006 State Development Plan on the Development of the Airport Location). A €140 million noise protection programme will offer local residents extensive protection.

The proceedings of the Noise Abatement Commission are also on the right path: on 28 March 2011, the Commission voted to recommend that Deutsche Flugsicherung check all routes that would generate even less noise pollution at BBI than assumed in the airport approval process. While take-offs from the north runway would continue to be linear – as assumed –aircraft taking off from the south runway would turn during take-off – as preferred – thus cutting noise pollution considerably, especially for those in neighbouring communities such as Blankenfelde, Schulzendorf and Eichwalde.

Hannes Stefan Hönemann

Hannes Stefan Hönemann Head of Corporate

+49 30 6091-70100

Daniel Tolksdorf

Daniel Tolksdorf Spokesperson

+49 30 6091-70100

Kathrin Westhölter

Kathrin Westhölter Spokesperson

+49 30 6091-70100