(CN) – Germany can ban low-level flights leaving Zurich Airport to cut down on noise pollution, a European court ruled.
The airport lies northeast of the Swiss city, less than 10 miles from the German border.
Though the flight space was governed by a bilateral agreement from 1984 to 2001, in 2003 Germany changed its aviation rules for planes leaving the Zurich airport in order to prevent low nighttime flights over German towns.
The new rules required modification of some flight paths.
When Switzerland challenged the new rules, claiming they violated the principle of equal treatment, the European Commission backed Germany.
The Luxembourg-based General Court upheld the ruling, saying such measures are proportionate for reducing aircraft noise at night and on weekends.”The proximity of a tourist area, which as such is particularly sensitive to noise, constitutes an objective consideration for justifying the adoption of the measures,” the court wrote.