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Airport Munich: citizens against third runway

Airport Munich: citizens against third runway


On Sunday 17 June one third of Munich’s residents participated in the decision whether a third runway should be built at the airport of Bavaria’s capital. According to the preliminary final result 54,3 % opposed the infrastructure project while 45,7% voted in favour.

The decision held at local level is a clear sign that citizens’ direct participation in political decisions is necessary in order to avoid long-lasting controversy as the case of building the train station in Stuttgart – “Stuttgart 21” – had shown.

In particular, voters had two questions to answer at the ballot box: The city of Munich, which owns 23 % of the airport, asked its residents whether it should support the construction of the third runway through its vote in the company board. This vote was opposed by a citizens’ initiative at local level (“Bürgerentscheid”) which pled for not extending the airport.

Arguments by supporters were job creation of 11.000 additional jobs and more than 10 million extra passengers. However, these arguments could not convince the opponents who questioned the costs of €1,2 billion and the general need of the project.

To become effective more than 10 % of Munich’s roughly one million residents had to participate in the decision. This threshold was already reached by postal voting.

Text by Cora Pfafferott

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