A German court has upheld the provisional ban on night flights from Frankfurt airport, prohibiting flights between 11 pm and 5 am. The ban follows complaints by local residents.
The FT reported that local residents have held weekly protests against night flights since the addition of a fourth runway last year.
Although the ban only affects 17 flights it could be extended. The Local reported the administrative court in Leipzig ordered authorities to re-examine a further 133 flights which take off and land in the one hour either side of the ban.
German freight companies and travel firms will be affected by the ban. Klaus-Peter Siegloch, head of the BDL air industry federation complained that the ban is "a further step that will impede the competitiveness of German airlines and airports versus their international rivals." There are fears that Frankfurt will lose out to the Middle East as an attractive choice for connecting flights between Asia and North America.
According to the Wall Street Journal Lufthansa Cargo's Chief Executive Karl Ulrich Garnadt warned the ban could cost the company around Euro 40 million a year, and would threaten the airport's "position as the best and most attractive air freight hub in Europe."
Residents who had protested against excessive noise proclaimed the court ruling a victory.