I used to live not too far from Katterbach (at another helicopter base, in fact). Ansbach/Katterbach is a lovely place, and for the most part, the residents were nice people, and it was a good area to visit, or live in.
More than 500 complaints have been received by the city of Ansbach in Middle Franconia already this year – more than ever before – about the helicopter noise, which routinely goes until midnight, daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.
Katterbach houses the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, which consists of 3,100 military personnel and more than 100 Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters.
When the Katterbach base was established in the 1970s, the commander supposedly made a “gentleman’s agreement” with the then mayor of Ansbach: the helicopters would fly as little as possible over populated areas and never at night.
But after a while, the Americans began to ignore the agreement, residents told Süddeutsche Zeitung. The city has pleaded with the Americans.
“And absolutely nothing has happened,” Mayor Carda Seidel told the paper.
A couple of thoughts…
As far as a “gentlemen’s agreement”- no way. The US forces stationed in Germany are under a Satus of Forces Agreement, or SOFA, that details the terms of the stationing of US troops in infinite detail. As for the operational side if flying helicopters, the German airspace is some of the most highly regulated in the world. Maybe Outlaw13 can swing by and give us a primer.