The Frankfurt airport has been cleared for expansion by a German court after years of trying to get the expansion approved. As a result the airport can soon start building a fourth runway north of the current airport perimeter with an opening date of 2012. But Frankfurt’s operator, Fraport and the main operator Lufthansa, also have to deal with the court’s preliminary statement that the planned night flight restrictions are not far reaching enough. With Lufthansa’s growth rates constrained because of Frankfurt’s capacity limits, the carrier transferred a significant portion of its long-haul growth to Munich, now its second hub. The fourth runway will only be used for landings to take into account noise abatement, but the expansion will nevertheless enable the airport to increase hourly movements from around 80 to over 120. A final decision on the night curfew will be made separately, but the court indicated that it will likely not uphold the currently planned regulation. The regional government wanted to allow 17 movements between 11 pm and 5 am in spite of the fact that in a previous agreement with communities it had promised a total ban on night flights. Lufthansa has applied for a total of 41 nightly movements, mainly for its Lufthansa Cargo subsidiary.