Garrison Wiesbaden at Clay Kaserne
Garrison Wiesbaden at Clay Kaserne (Photo Credit: Ila Dermanoski) VIEW ORIGINAL

WIESBADEN, Germany – On Monday, Nov. 22, experts from the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, the German Bundeswehr and Wiesbaden Army Airfield discussed the 2021 Summer Night Flying Program with leaders of the Wiesbaden city government and the surrounding host nation districts in the annual meeting of the Noise Abatement Commission.

Wiesbaden Army Airfield Manager Michael Horne led the participants through the meeting and explained the SNFP, in which pilots are allowed to approach and land at the airfield after midnight on two nights per week between the months of May and August. Horne explained that these late flight movements are necessary to maintain proficiency and currency in the use of night vision goggles (NVG).

In order to compensate the surrounding communities for the additional noise during late summer nights, a compensation day is granted for every night with SNFP flight movements after midnight. On a compensation day between Monday through Friday, all airfield operations stop at 7 p.m. If the compensation day falls on a Friday, then all airfield operations stop at 3 p.m. However, a compensation day may not fall on a weekend or German holiday.

Horne highlighted that during the year 2021, Wiesbaden Army Airfield had granted a total of 18 compensation days, even though only 12 SNFP nights were used.

Additionally, Bundeswehr Aviation Officer, Oberstleutnant Wolfgang Lechner, reported that the number of flight movements and the number of noise complaints about U.S. Army flight movements had gone down. The Bundeswehr’s Aviation Office records all military flight movements in Germany and can assist in emergencies or after a flight noise complaint was made.

“The number of complaints went from 57 in 2018 to 31 complaints in 2021,” said Lechner. Additionally, Lechner reported that from those 31 complaints in 2021, 11 complaints - or 35% - came from the same person in a neighboring community.

In the end, Horne explained that the Wiesbaden Army Airfield works closely with the USAG Wiesbaden Public Affairs Office to inform the surrounding communities and the administration of the city of Wiesbaden of upcoming events where additional flight noise can be expected.

“We like to be good neighbors,” said Horne. “We are doing what we can to reduce the noise impact on the surrounding communities.”