In a highly anticipated ruling, a German federal court has blocked night flights from Frankfurt airport.

The move could have wider consequences, with anti-noise campaigners in Munich and other locations expected to use the ruling to press their cases.

The local Hesse state government had authorized 17 night flights from Frankfurt. Now, that authorization will need to be reworked.

The move is a blow to airport operator Fraport and Lufthansa Cargo.

Transport minister Peter Ramsauer argues a more comprehensive on aviation noise needs to take place. He notes, though, that a functioning transport industry is needed to foster investments and secure jobs. He notes that a 2009 policy on airports will be updated and that he plans to consult with stakeholders on May 23.

Ramsauer rejects the notion of a country-wide night flight ban, though, adding that the issues are local and need to be treated accordingly.