The latest results showed 54.3 percent of the people of Munich voting against the expansion of Germany’s second biggest airport, and 45.7 percent in favour. The result did not suit the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), and the Free Democratic Party (FDP), who all campaigned for a decision in favour.
As many as 32 percent of the 1.04 million eligible voters showed up at the polling booths – way over the 10 percent hurdle needed to make the referendum valid.
The result means that the city council is now obliged to vote against the new runway in its capacity as part of the airport’s operating company. The airport is co-run by the federal government, the Bavarian state government, and the city of Munich – the council’s vote will effectively block construction.
According to CSU head Horst Seehofer and Munich mayor Christian Ude of the SPD, the third runway would have increased the airport’s capacity from 90 to 120 departures and arrivals per hour.
The ‘Yes’ campaigners said this was necessary, since the airport will soon reach the limit of its current capacity. While some 40 million passengers are expected to pass through Munich airport this year, some 58 million are projected to be using the airport annually by 2025.