Press article fom 16.06.2006
Minister President Kurt Beck: Hahn Important Economic Engine
Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, June 16, 2006. "Hahn is the most important and most successful of the nearly six hundred conversion projects in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate," said Kurt Beck in front of around forty journalists. The visit to the former American military airfield in the Hunsrück region was one point in the itinerary of a two-day summer trip taken by the Minister President together with members of the press. After inspecting the airport, Beck said that Frankfurt-Hahn Airport had already acquired a respectable reputation. He paid tribute to the entire airport team for making this success possible.
The big news of the day was the result of the most recent job count at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. In May, Institut A & O Arbeitsmarkt- und Organisationsberatung Gettmann counted 2604 employees. That comes out to 173 more than three months previously. Compared to the May count, an increase of thirteen percent was recorded (2299 jobs).
Beck emphasized the close cooperation of the government of Rhineland-Palatinate with that of the state of Hesse in matters involving air traffic. Both states are shareholders in Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH. Beck personally supported the federal government's petition to the EU Commission in Brussels for approval of the Frankfurt and Hahn airport system. In this connection, Beck asserted that the expansion of the infrastructure was also of great significance, enlarging the B50 highway to four lanes, as well as reactivating the Hunsrück Railway. A good traffic connection between the two airports was a fundamental prerequisite for an airport system, he said. The costs for the Hunsrück Railway would run to about 70 to 80 million euros, ten percent of this being borne by the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The Minister-President had no doubts that its financing was secure.
Beck also expressed his views on ecological questions related to lengthening the runway. "The Hunsrück is an important area of unspoiled nature. However, we must be careful that our perceptions are not clouded by overestimation of nature and ecological concerns. I am convinced that the population of the Barbastelle Bat is so high here because the airport offers such an ideal hunting ground."
He pointed out that the growth of the airport is having immense effects on the region. "Deliberations concerning the type of development that the area around Frankfurt-Hahn Airport can and should be permitted to take are all being incorporated into a master plan that is currently being compiled." He said that the duty of a government is to come up with farsighted plans. It must be prepared for all future eventualities. "There is no harm in thinking over what could happen in the next ten years."
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