In yet another set back for Lufthansa’s expansion opportunities, residents of Munich went to the polls and voted against the construction of a 3rd runway for Munich’s Airport (MUC).

According to reports from Germany, 54 percent of voters opposed the idea of adding the 3rd runway that would facilitate the expansion of air traffic to Munich. Even though the government approved the construction last year, voters decided that they would not want the additional air traffic in their “backyard”. The project is estimated to cost €1.2 billion.

Lufthansa and Munich Aiport recently broke ground on a new expansion project designed to expand the annual capacity of Terminal 2 from 40 million passengers to 50 million passengers when the project is completed in 2015.

In their response, Lufthansa indicated that this decision could force them to rethink their capital expenditures at the aiport on future projects and take their efforts elsewhere. However it seems like the Terminal 2 expansion project will be unaffected.

This refusal comes on the heels of a recent court order banning late night and overnight air traffic in Frankfurt which threatens Lufthansa’s ability to operate its Cargo flights.

Personally, I do not live near an airport (although I think I would love it), so perhaps I do not fully appreciate the nuisance of constant air traffic. On the other hand, I also do not understand why public works projects like these have recently been met with resistance. In another example, London’s Heathrow has been looking to expand, but has been met with resistance by the British government.

Strictly in my opinion, I would think that projects like these would be popular. After all, increasing air traffic means increased tourism and revenue, not to mention the new jobs and stimulus that a project like this brings to the local communities. In an environment where people are looking to their leaders and government, asking for economic stimulus and opportunity, shouldn’t projects like this be in high demand?

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