Protesters against aircraft noise pollution – “Die Bahn muss weg”

During the Schweizer Straßenfest last Saturday, it was not all happy. Among the crowd was a small group of people dressed in uniform green and blue t-shirts from Bi-Sachsenhausen chanting “Die Bahn muss weg”. It took me a while to grasp an understanding of what it meant thanks to my inadequate German skills. They want the runway to go, quite literally.

Copyright A peaceful protest
A peaceful protest

Frankfurt am Main Airport is a major international airport in Germany (duh…). It is the busiest in Germany and the third busiest in Europe after London Heathrow and Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. One of the major reasons why I love Frankfurt is the convenience that comes along with it. It’s strategically located in the heart of Europe with excellent train services and most importantly has direct flights back to the UK and Singapore. I would hate to take a domestic flight to a major hub for an international flight to take us home (I salute those of you who have to do this).


The airport is located on the south side of the river (we live on the southern side too). Given its popularity, air traffic is pretty heavy. This sums up pretty much what the residents are unhappy about. Aircraft noise pollution.

The group claims that their core values are:

1 Reduction of flight movements to 380 000 per year

2 Night flight ban between 10pm and 6am

3 Closure of the Northwest runway.

We live in Sachsenhausen and we do see many planes taking off and coming into Frankfurt. When all the doors and windows are closed, I do hear a tiny bit of planes flying over us but not to the point for me to label them as a nuisance. They appear to fly really low at times though and I reckon for those living near the airport, that could very well be a problem. Oh, and should I mention that they do fly over the neighbourhood very frequently too? Here’s a video I took of a plane flying over the north of Sachsenhausen. It’s fairly high up in the sky but you will still be able to hear the aircraft considerably.

Aircraft noise pollution isn’t a problem for us but I can empathise with those who have to put up with it. In our case, our apartment is conveniently located near the S-bahn station. That’s great, isn’t it? On the downside, we’re able to hear the occasional cargo trains. They don’t go by frequently and if they do, they tend to slow down when passing through residential estates. I’m not too bothered when they go pass our station during the day but it can be a pain in the arse during the night. Who knows if there’s a group to protest against cargo trains running after 10pm. Thank goodness I pretty much a dead log once I’m asleep.

Source:  Frankfurter Rundschau
Source: Frankfurter Rundschau, Photo by Alex Kraus
A protest held on 24th Feb 2013 against aircraft noise pollution and further expansion of the airport. Participants held torches to imitate runway lights in Frankfurt.

Sachsenhausen is too beautiful for me to move out of it because of aircraft noise. Like I’ve said, I’m a heavy sleeper.


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