I went to the Mainz Messe today.....it's a all-in-one commercial show on the outskirts of Mainz that runs for a week. Renovation ideas, vacation places, leather goods, fancy tea, purses, etc.
Among the halls there.....there's two booths set up over a unique topic.
Both one is this anti-Frankfurt Flughafen....the regional airport here in Hessen. Various political parties and neighborhood groups have organized to take on the expansion efforts of the Frankfurt airport.
Years ago.....it was a simple complex on the south side of Frankfurt....built out in the late 1940s as a commercial airport. In the 1950s and 1960s.....it was small enough that no one really cared about their various expansion efforts. In the 1980s....they talked up the extra runway and business boomed....triggering more landings/take-off's. Noise increased, and folks got pesky about late night or early morning traffic.
The other runway added in the 1990s? That just got the neighborhood groups more hyped up. So a massive effort has caused limits to taking off or landing. The airport is basically shut-down for roughly six hours each evening. It can't be called a twenty-four operation like some locations. If you miss the window to land.....you get redirected to one of three or four optional airports where there's no limits. I know.....it's odd how this developed.
Both two? It's the pro-Frankfurt airport crowd. They talk up business, expansion and how things are being done to limit noise.
The planners to the messe knew that both groups dislike each other greatly. So while they had them in the same building.....they were on different rows.
Me personally? If I'd been the planner....I would have both them across from each other and let them gear up their campaigns within a couple of feet of each other.
If the regional airport planners of the 1950s had known how bad this whole thing would have developed.....they would have moved the airport another twenty miles further south, into the heart of farm territory and bought everything within miles of the runways. For some reason, I don't think they ever saw the airport expanding and taking on the business they currently have. Nor do I think the current crowd thinks much about the year 2050 and just how big the Frankfurt airport will be by that point.
As for two booths attracting anyone? Well....I passed by both twice, and each had two or three folks who they were chatting to. The pro and anti crowds take pleasure in how they support or dislike the airport. If you cornered the political folks....they'd all admit that there's 100,000 people who work in some capacity for the airport....pay taxes.....and influence the travel industry of Germany to a great degree. The same folks will chat on how noise is the number one problem within the approach of each runway, and detrimental to the health of thousands who live in the region.
Things are bad enough....that each group now works up commercial booths at region fairs....to gather their support. It's an odd part of local life.