Press article fom 09.11.2006
"Green light" for use of runway extension
Mainz / Hahn Airport, 9th November 2006. The federal environmental organisation, Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND) of Rhineland-Palatinate and Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (FFHG) have today signed an agreement before the Rhineland Palatinate Higher Administrative Court, which is intended to end the pending legal proceedings against the decision in favour of the plan for extending the airport runway.
Essentially, the agreement is directed towards putting the already completed runway extension into operation and, at the same time, taking into account the concerns of nature conservationists. "Our common goal is to preserve the habitat in the immediate environment of the airport, which is particularly worthy of protection. We have held many joint discussions to search for ways of achieving this and still implement the airport's expansion plans. The outcome is the present contract", explains Jörg Schumacher, Management Spokesman for Frankfurt-Hahn Airport.
The agreement provides for restricting the encroachment on nature to the absolutely essential. A reforestation concept has been developed, which meets the requirements of flight safety and, at the same time, ensures that natural habitats are maintained. Areas are only to be cleared where this is unavoidable in order to maintain freedom from obstructions. In addition, the existing forestation will be successively reconstructed. This will be carried out by removing trees of a critical height and thinning the undergrowth. The trees known from the monitoring that provide accommodation for the nurseries of barbastels and Bechstein's bats will be retained. Additional accommodation is to be provided by leaving dead wood in situ. And ecological supervision of the building work will be set up with the participation of the BUND, the Forestry Commission, the University of Mainz and the FFHG for implementing the concept.
In the interests of reducing the encroachment on habitat that is worthy of protection, both the BUND and the airport company will try to avoid the rerouting of the B 327 in the registered flora-fauna habitat area of Ahringsbachtal, which is laid down in the plan. A bypassing of Bärenbach would be considered as a route for non-local traffic. The airport company will endeavour to obtain the agreement of the authorities.
The airport company has also committed itself to implementing noise protection meas-ures in the Hundheim all-day nursery and in a senior citizens home in the unitary com-munity of Morbach.
Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH will agree a change to the plan with the responsible state authorities, which takes into account the contents of the agreement. "This could be in the form of a process declaration by the approval authorities, for example, or by an application on our part to change the decision in favour of the plan ", explains Schumacher.
Meanwhile, the BUND will not seek legal remedy against a changed decision in favour of the plan in accordance with the agreement.
"We are very pleased with the agreement reached. Together with the contract made earlier with the nature conservation association NABU, a lot has been achieved for nature overall", summarises Jörg Schumacher in conclusion. "We hope that we will now soon be able to start removing the obstructions."
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