FRANKFURT, WEST GERMANY
INTRODUCTION: The fight by West German protest groups for a referendum on plans to extend Frankfurt international airport is to go to the constitutional courts.
FRANKFURT, WEST GERMANY
FRANKFURT, WEST GERMANY ( FILE NOVEMBER 1981 ) (REUTERS LIBRARY)
SV Airpost sign on motorway with slogan painted on. 0.03
GV Riot police on motorway, followed by water-cannon. 0.09
GV Demonstrators sitting on roadway, being doused with water. (3 SHOTS) 0.16
GVs Police removing demonstrators from roadway. (2 SHOTS) 0.22
Background: FRANKFURT, WEST GERMANY
INTRODUCTION: The fight by West German protest groups for a referendum on plans to extend Frankfurt international airport is to go to the constitutional courts. This follows refusal by the Hesse State Government on Wednesday (25 November) to accept a petition backed by 220-thousand signatures to legislature against the building of a third runway. The controversy has resulted in numerous clashes between demonstrators and police, as more and more people join the movement opposed to the project.
SYNOPSIS: This demonstration on the roadway leading to Frankfurt airport was typical of recent confrontations with riot police.
Protesters were doused by water cannon before police moved in to clear the autobahn. Several demonstrations have ended in violence, with both police and protesters suffering many casualties.
Frankfurt airport is the biggest in West Germany, handling more freight than any other European airport and second only to London's Heathrow in passenger movements. For several years, it has been operating at the limit of its capacity in peak traffic periods. The government says the third runway is needed to cope with an expected increase in flights. Conservationists argue the extension will cut through almost 400 hectares (900 acres) of woodland, resulting in the destruction of some 400-thousand trees.
Frankfurt airport began operations in 1936. During World War Two,the Luftwaffe used it as a staging area for the western front, launching raids by Junkers and Messerschmitts.
Now, the United States Air Force operates a Military Airlift Command unit providing support and services to more than 100 defence organisations within Europe. Its role includes the transportation of personnel.
The squadron, flying C-130 Hercules transport plane, gives a back-up-service to the giant American-based C-5 Galaxy aircraft.
Despite the protests, Frankfurt airport maintains its busy schedule.
Source: REUTERS LIBRARY & GUENTER LAHMANN