Momentum for Realizing Frankfurt Airport's Planned A380 Maintenance Base Grows: Hesse Administrative High Court Overrules Mörfelden-Walldorf's Attempt to Block New Superjumbo Facility
Darmstadt District Board Orders "Immediate Enforcement" of Changes Granted to the South Hesse Regional Plan for A380 Project
Frankfurt, Germany - Momentum for realizing Frankfurt Airport's planned A380 maintenance base continues to grow, following today's decision from the Hesse administrative high court in Kassel and last Friday's "immediate enforcement" decision from the Darmstadt district board. The Hesse administrative high court has overruled a law suit filed by the Town of Mörfelden-Walldorf (located directly south of FRA), which claimed Fraport (FSE:FRA) was legally bound not to expand into the buffer forest between FRA and the town. Most of the 20-hectare site proposed for the A380 maintenance base lies within the existing airport boundary. Fraport AG, the owner and manager of Frankfurt Airport (FRA), is optimistic about the timely realization of this strategic project by the autumn of 2007. The facility is necessary for the stationing and operation of Lufthansa's future A380 fleet at FRA, the first of which are scheduled to go into service in 2007. The final zoning decision on the A380 project - which provides the necessary building permit for the project - is expected soon.
"Today's court verdict also confirms the regional assembly of South Hesse's recent majority-vote decision that recognized the urgent need for building the A380 base on this proposed site," said Fraport AG executive board vice-chairman Prof. Manfred Schölch. "Once zoning approval has been granted, the A380 maintenance base project can be expeditiously implemented. Nevertheless, we will not proceed with irreversible construction before the Hesse administrative high court has had the opportunity adequately to examine urgent petitions expected to be filed against the Darmstadt district board's decision on immediate enforcement," Schölch explained. This, however, must not affect the right to conduct site inspection measures such as surveying, explosive ordinance disposal (EOD), and drilling bore samples to determine exact soil conditions.
Last Friday, with the consent of Hesse Ministry of Economics, Transportation and Regional Development, the Darmstadt district board ordered "immediate enforcement" of the granted changes to the South Hesse Regional Plan for construction of the A380 maintenance base. The district board said that construction of the A380 maintenance base was essential for ensuring Frankfurt Airport's competitiveness as well as the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main region's economic prominence and vitality. The A380 maintenance base is also a key element in Fraport's strategy for positioning Frankfurt Airport as one of the main intercontinental hubs for serving superjumbo traffic in the years to come.
The A380 will be vital for helping Fraport meet the growing demand for passenger and cargo capacity at continental Europe's busiest airport. With the mammoth A380, FRA will be able to achieve a higher average number of passengers per aircraft as well as an increase in MTOW tonnage (Maximum Takeoff Weights). The Airbus A380 is expected to carry some 555 passengers.