Strengthening noise protection in the national aviation plan

Close review of need for night flying in Germany

airplane is landing in the duskClick to enlarge
Night flying in particular is a source of stress on health.
Source: Jürgen Effner /

There is a debate in progress about the requirements of a national noise protection plan for Germany. The Federal Environment Agency (UBA) believes that such a national plan must help to greatly reduce the public’s exposure to aviation noise. Aviation noise, and that of night flying in particular, is associated with significant human health risks. Thomas Holzmann, Acting President of the Federal Environment Agency, says, “A national scheme concerning aviation must do something to better protect people against exposure to aviation noise. Since night flying in particular is a source of stress on health, such a plan must closely examine the need for it. Ultimately, noise exposure in Germany must be further reduced.” The Federal Environment Agency has recommended a ban on night flights between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

In 2013 representatives of Federal Government, Länder and industry in the so-called Posch Commission spoke out in favour of drafting a national aviation plan for Germany. This group of experts had defined a few key points for the plan which, however, do not reflect a position that has been agreed upon by the Federal Government and the Länder. The members of the Posch Commission have advocated a reduction of the public’s aviation noise exposure and to pursue a comprehensive noise reduction strategy. Efforts to draft a plan must also include a critical review of whether there is an actual need in Germany for night flights. Should a well-founded need be determined as a national plan is drawn up, night flights must be distributed in the interest of health protection in such a way as to restrict the level of noise exposure of the population. Scientific studies provide proof that the health effects of aviation noise and night-time flying in particular are significant. For the sake of protecting the public the Federal Environment Agency therefore recommends that regular air traffic be stopped between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

Umweltbundesamt Headquarters

Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau-Roßlau

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 aviation noise  night flight  night flight restriction