Local news translated – Feb. 17, 2023

Graphic by U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Public Affairs Office

Host Nation Update, Feb. 17, 2023

Strike at Stuttgart Airport on Friday

Tens of thousands of airline passengers in Germany will have to brace themselves for
cancellations and delays on Friday. The trade union Verdi announced in the night to
Wednesday, then the airports in Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Dortmund,
Hanover and Bremen all day to paralyze – and thus extends the wage dispute in the
public service at airports. The employees of the operating companies are often paid
according to the collective agreements of the municipalities. The warning strike is
scheduled to begin early Friday morning and end Saturday night.
With the now continued warning strikes, employees want to lend weight to their
demands in the ongoing collective bargaining dispute of the federal and municipal public
service. Until the second round of collective bargaining on February 22 and 23, further
warning strikes have been announced in Hesse, Baden-Württemberg and North Rhine-
Westphalia, among other places. According to the union, the strike is expected to have
a major impact, especially on domestic air traffic in Germany – from delays and
cancellations to the partial shutdown of air traffic. The CEO of the German Airports
Association (ADV), Ralph Beisel, sharply criticized the announced warning strike. A few
days before the second round of collective bargaining, Verdi is exposing German air
traffic to unprecedented escalation, he said. If seven of the largest ten German airports
were to go on strike for the entire day on Friday, this would no longer have anything to
do with a warning strike, he said. “In an unreasonable manner, an entire country is to be
cut off from international air traffic.” The victims would be hundreds of thousands of
passengers, both private and business travelers, as well as parts of the air freight and
goods logistics sectors. Air traffic is extremely susceptible to strikes because of the
fragmented service providers, as many small, security-related groups are powerful
enough to strike to paralyze operations. Basically, all it takes is a strike by the airport
fire department to shut down the entire operation. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 16)

Tree cutting work in Böblingen
Elsa-Brandström-Straße closed on Friday and Saturday

Due to tree felling work, Elsa-Brandström-Strasse in Böblingen will have to be fully
closed between Building 10 and Waldburgstrasse on Friday, February 17, and probably
also on Saturday, February 18. A detour will be signposted via Waldburgstraße,
Panzerstraße and Bunsenstraße.. (BB.heute.de, Feb16)

Start of Fasching vacations in Baden-Württemberg – According to ADAC, these
routes pose a high risk of traffic jams

At the start of the carnival vacations in Baden-Württemberg, patience is called for
among travelers. From Friday to Sunday, ADAC Württemberg expects heavy traffic on
the routes to the ski resorts. In addition to Baden-Württemberg, federal states such as

Bavaria, Saarland and neighboring European countries such as the Netherlands will
also start their carnival and winter vacations.
In the direction of the Alps, the ADAC is expecting particularly heavy traffic, also due to
construction sites that pose a high risk of congestion. Drivers should definitely prepare
for traffic jams at the “Enztalquerung” construction site on the A8 near Pforzheim.
Further traffic jams can be expected on the following Autobahn sections:
– A5 Karlsruhe – Basel
– A6 Mannheim – Heilbronn – Nuremberg
– A7 Würzburg – Ulm – Füssen/Reutte
– A8 Stuttgart – Munich
– A81 Stuttgart – Singen
Friday from 1 to 7 p.m. and Saturday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. are likely to see the
longest traffic jams, according to the ADAC. Those who want to reduce the risk of traffic
jams “should set off early in the morning or not until the evening,” recommends Häußler.
For people with flexible schedules, Sunday is also a good day to travel, as it is said to
be much quieter on the roads here. The vacations are also starting in Upper Austria,
Carinthia and parts of Switzerland, so high traffic volumes are to be expected on the
“typical winter congestion routes”. These routes include, for example, the Gotthard
route, the access roads to the ski resorts in Graubünden and Valais, the Tauern, Inntal
and Brenner freeways in Austria, and the Fernpass route through the Tyrolean,
Salzburg and Vorarlberg federal highways.

The ADAC also gives motorists the following tips for the trip:

– “Allow for sufficient time buffers," advises Häußer of the ADAC, “and be prepared for
delays due to traffic jams." Those who are on the road without much time pressure have
been shown to drive with greater concentration and usually arrive safely at their
– Fill up before you leave so that the heater can run in the traffic jam and pack warm
blankets and drinks.
– Don’t forget snow chains. Those traveling on higher mountain roads and passes may
encounter thick blankets of snow on the road. “Before setting off, motorists should find
out on which routes snow chains are mandatory,” recommends the ADAC. (Stuttgarter
Nachrichten, Feb 17)