Dortmund Airport: Exceptions for overnight flights are illegal

North Rhine-Westphalia Dortmund Airport

Exceptional regulations for night flights for reasons of noise protection are illegal

Dortmund airport tower - the court has now revoked the night-flying pass Dortmund airport tower - the court has now revoked the night-flying pass

Dortmund Airport Tower

Source: dpa / Bernd Thissen

Permits for overnight flights at Dortmund Airport have now been rescinded by the Münster Higher Administrative Court – on noise protection grounds. Locals complained, so it continues now.

DrThe extraordinary regulations for take-off and landing at night at Dortmund Airport are illegal for reasons of noise protection. On Wednesday, the Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia (OVG) in Münster annulled the corresponding approvals from the provincial government of Münster on August 1, 2018.

As in 2015, residents from the vicinity of the airport succeeded in their lawsuits. The court did not allow an appeal to the Federal Administrative Court. Complaints against it are possible (Ref: 20 D 71/18.AK, 20 D 72/18.AK, 20 D 73/18.AK).

But: Until the verdict is final, controversial flights may take place in non-peak hours of the night. The contentious issues at the oral hearing were noise pollution in the late evening hours and air traffic forecasts. However, the court did not see any error here. All forecasts of the airline’s flight requirements at night have been convincingly presented on a scientific basis.

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The Senate could not understand the plaintiffs’ criticism of the numbers. The 20th Senate sees errors in approving the county government’s assessment of aircraft noise pollution. This was about the level of continuous noise at night for the residents, which was not included in the considerations.

The court did not cancel the permit. Deficiencies can be addressed in another procedure. The court rejected the lawsuit brought by the city of Una. Here the twentieth Senate lacked the necessary justification.

The airport currently has approved operating hours from 6am to 10pm. However, in exceptional cases, it is possible for four landings per day until 11 pm. In the event of a delay due to no fault of your own, the waiver is valid until 11:30 PM. For takeoffs, the pass states times up to 10:30 p.m.

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If the number of authorized take-offs and landings is exceeded after 10:00 pm, the Munster County Government’s Flight Control Department must approve. The exemption applies only to aircraft of a low-noise design.

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