Courtesy, Cologne/Bonn Airport

Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) state government has implemented a night-flight ban for passenger aircraft at Cologne/Bonn Airport (CGN) between midnight and 5 a.m. local time. Cargo flights are excluded.

The decision affects around 6,000 aircraft movements annually. CGN CEO Michael Garvens said in a statement that the ban is without a legal basis, will damage the aviation market in NRW and put jobs in danger. He added that the airport would appeal the ban to Germany’s transport ministry.

Cargo carriers are concerned they won’t be excluded from the ban indefinitely. Earlier this month, a German court upheld a night-flight ban at Frankfurt Airport (FRA) between 11 p.m. and 5 p.m., dealing a blow to cargo airlines operating at the busy airport (ATW Daily News, April 5).

According to Garvens, the situations—both related to complaints about aircraft noise around the airports—are not comparable. He accused the NRW government of “unlawful interference with an existing operating permit.” Garvens said the proposed noise relief at CGN will be “low” because “passenger [aircraft] are usually smaller [than cargo aircraft], more modern and [use] low-noise [engines].”

CGN is one of the largest commercial airports in Germany, serving more than 10 million passengers per year.