No Operation Restrictions for Frankfurt Airport: Last claims rejected by Higher Administrative Court of Hesse

Berlin, 9 October 2017. The Higher Administrative Court of Hesse on 12 September 2017 fully rejected all claims brought by homeowners from the city of Flörsheim am Main against the State of Hesse for permitting the extension of Frankfurt Airport (9 C 1498/12.T). This ruling is the latest in a series of judgments and the last claim still pending before the Higher Administrative Court of Hesse, which is acting as court of first instance for proceedings against the extension of Germany’s largest passenger airport.

After major parts of the claims had already been rejected in earlier rulings, the court now also dismissed the remaining parts before it. Therein, claimants had asked the court to shut down the newly‐built runway Northwest for all aircraft pertaining to the category “heavy”, as well as the Boeing B 757, when approaching the airport from the west. Claimants argued that these operation restrictions were necessary in order to protect the local population against the risk of vortexes, which could dislodge roof tiles. The Court disagreed and confirmed that the latest protective measures, as imposed and amended by the State of Hesse, were adequate and sufficient. The latter grant homeowners situated in a predefined area on either side of the runway a right against the airport operator to protect their roofs against potential vortex damage – by securing the roof tiles with special clips – or pay for all necessary costs.

Redeker Sellner Dahs (Dr Tobias Masing and Dr Christian Eckart, LL.M. (Cornell)) represented the State of Hesse in the proceedings. “The measures adopted at Frankfurt Airport to protect the local population against vortex damage by far exceed those adopted at other German or international airports. The Higher Administrative Court of Hesse now confirmed that these measures are both well‐balanced and sufficient. It has consequently ruled out any operation restrictions for Germany’s biggest passenger airport”, says Dr Tobias Masing.

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