Bavarian Industry Backs MUC’s 3rd Runway Plans

A rapid enlargement of Munich Airport’s runway systems is of utmost importance in order to enable further growth. If built according to plans submitted by the airport operator, a third runway will generate 20,000 new jobs and create 1 billion euros in annual added value; this is the finding of a study published by VBW, an association representing the interests of Bavaria’s business community. Cargo traffic would also greatly benefit from the prospected airport enlargement. However, despite these positive findings politicians remains reluctant in fear of losing critical voters.

Impression of Munich’s projected 3rd runway  -  courtesy MUC
Impression of Munich’s projected 3rd runway - courtesy MUC

According to the VBW market analysis the immediate construction of a 3rd runway will be vital for the future competitiveness of the Bavarian economy. This, because Munich Airport plays a key role for the economic development of many companies as generator of income and employment, its gateway function enabling fast connectivity to core markets and vacation destinations and as a source of progress, jobs and welfare in Southern Germany. 

Job machine
The authors underline their findings with the following figures:
 MUC currently secures more than 70,000 local jobs and accounts for 4.4 billion euros in value creation per year. In case the third runway will be implemented, an additional 20,000 jobs would be created throughout Germany driven by economic demand of which 15,000 will be generated with local Bavarian companies.
Added value of more than 1 billion euros each year is also a strong argument mentioned in the VBW analysis. 
According to MUC’s President and CEO Michael Kerkloh, “these figures clearly demonstrate that the airport expansion amounts to an economic stimulus program for all of Bavaria."

Disastrous consequences expected should R3 fail
Conversely, the authors of the study warn against opposing political campaigns aimed at preventing MUC’s enlargement, supported not only by environmentalists and left wingers but also a group of critics within Bavaria’s dominant Christian Social Union. In case the 3rd runway project fails, the authors warn of “disastrous consequences,” because the airport would inevitably lose its hub function rather sooner than later with significant disadvantages for the business and the competitiveness of Bavarian firms, leading to job cuts and tax reductions. Passenger and cargo flows would migrate to other airports, offering business-friendlier conditions, be it Vienna, Amsterdam, Cologne or Milan Malpensa.
The study is based on the assessment of many well-known Bavarian companies, business associations, aviation firms and views of a number of individual experts.

Generator of passenger and cargo growth
One manager who is well acquainted with the situation is Joachim Tietz, head of sales for Central and Eastern Europe at American Airlines.  Joachim states: "The third runway will support the continuing growth of American Airlines at Munich Airport in the medium to long term, which means offering more flights to destinations all over the world and stationing more aircraft here. That will enable us to create more jobs and help to continue the Munich Airport success story."
This does not only apply to the passenger segment but includes cargo volumes as well since additional flights will drive air freight tonnage further upwards, which is very much in the interest of Bavarian exporters.
Michael Bentele, the head of European operations for South African Airways, sums it up by saying: “Only a third runway offers South African Airways clear growth prospects."

Politicians are keeping their cards close
Dr. Michael Kerkloh, the President and CEO of Munich Airport, sees the overwhelming support from the business leaders as "a strong boost for the expansion project."
However, despite the many economic benefits resulting from the project once realized, the Bavarian state government still remains hesitant in fully supporting the plan. It is therefore to be feared that more time will elapse until they come up with a final decision.

Heiner Siegmund

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