BER noise protection programme: Request for clarification submitted

19.04.12 14:19
Lack of clarity in the planning permission decision / Noise protection programme for Berlin Brandenburg Airport offers very good level of protection


Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH today submitted a request to the Brandenburg Ministry of Infrastructure calling for clarification on how often the maximum sound level of 55 dB(A) may be exceeded in the daytime protection zone. As already reported on several occasions in the past, the airport company takes a clear stance on this point:

The key objective of the planning permission decision is to prevent daytime interference in communication by observing an equivalent continuous sound level of 45 dB(A) inside closed buildings. According to the planning permission decision, this is achieved with speech intelligibility of 99 per cent. The airport's noise protection measures are designed to meet these specifications and ensure a continuous sound level of 45 dB(A). The term "regularly" is also specified in connection with exceeding the maximum sound level criteria of 55 dB(A) by introducing the NAT criteria 6 x 55 dB(A). This is in line with night-time noise protection specifications and puts daytime noise protection on a par with night-time noise protection in terms of the NAT criteria to be observed.

Prof. Dr. Rainer Schwarz, CEO of Berlin Airports: "Our noise protection programme offers BER neighbours a level of protection much higher than some airports. Our request for clarification is not a question of 'good or bad noise protection', it is about clarifying an obvious ambiguity in the planning permission decision." This lack of clarity in the planning permission decision will not affect the opening of the airport on 3 June 2012, as air traffic volumes are not expected to reach a level that would exceed the maximum sound level of 55 dB(A) more than once a day until 2015. It is now up to the Ministry of Infrastructure to review the request and reach a decision on how to proceed.

Background information

The planning permission decision contains various supplementary criteria on the maximum sound level: although the chapter on "General noise protection" states that "the maximum A-rated sound level should not exceed 55 dB(A)", this is not as clear-cut as it may sound. During the night, when particularly stringent conditions apply, the threshold may be exceeded six times, and in the case of special establishments such as schools, hospitals and churches, 16 times. The reasons given by the authorities for the planning permission decision for the daytime protection zone state that the maximum sound level of 55 dB(A) may not be "regularly" exceeded. The Higher Administrative Court in Münster confirmed when ruling in proceedings involving Düsseldorf Airport that the desired maximum sound level of 55 dB(A) within closed buildings is recognised by the court as being the accepted level of protection and this may be exceeded 16 times per day.
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