Zurich Airport Will Spend $283 Million On Longer Runways


The airport emphasized that its runways’ extension will not increase its capacity but was rather a safety-related measure.

Zurich Airport (ZRH) has announced that following a successful vote by local residents, the airport will invest over $283 million to extend two out of three of its runways by several hundred meters, namely Runway 28 and Runway 32.

Construction completed in the next decade

However, the company’s announcement said that the project, for which the airport’s holding company is prepared to invest CHF250 million ($282.1 million), will only begin in 2030. According to ZRH, while the local voters’ approval was an important step, it now has to prepare its application, which could take up to several years until the federal government of Switzerland approves the runway extensions.

Lukas Brosi, the chief executive officer (CEO) of ZRH, said that the airport’s managing company was pleased with the result and that the voters approved the important safety project, extending the slopes of the two runways at ZRH.

“We would like to thank the Zurich electorate for their trust and for their votes for a safe and stable Zurich Airport – also in the future. It is important to us to further strengthen the public’s trust in the airport.”

Extending the runways’ slope
The Government Council of the Canton of Zurich approved the project to extend the slopes for Runway 28 and Runway 32 in 2021, while the Cantonal Council gave its stamp of approval in 2023, meaning that ZRH cleared the last hurdle with the local residents’ approval on March 5, 2024.

A SWISS plane in front of Zurich Airport
Photo: Flughafen Zürich AG

At the heart of the project were the extension of Runway 32 by 280 meters (918.6 feet) and Runway 28 by 400 meters (1,312 ft) while also adding supporting taxiways to both sides of the latter runway. However, in a statement published before the vote on March 3, ZRH emphasized that the extensions are not related to an expansion of capacity yet would ensure that the airport could welcome aircraft more reliably, independent of the weather or their size. The airport also admitted that the current situation regarding delays at the airport was not “satisfactory.” As such, extending the runway slopes will enable ZRH to increase its operational robustness.

Meanwhile, Brosi mentioned that the discussions leading up to the residents’ vote were also a good opportunity for ZRH and its management to connect with the locals and discuss their issues regarding the airport’s operations.
“Even after the vote, dialogue with all stakeholder groups is and remains important. We are continuing to work on making operations at Zurich Airport more robust.”

One of the benefits outlined by ZRH in the statement before the vote was that with a more robust operation in place with the runway slope extensions, there would be fewer nightly operations, enabling residents to catch more quality sleep.

SWISS Airbus A321-100 Landing In Zurich
Photo: Bjoern Wylezich | Shutterstock
As mentioned beforehand, the airport emphasized that the runway slope extension was not about increasing the capacity of ZRH but rather helping reduce infrastructure-related delays. Furthermore, the federal government decides any flight caps, not the airport.

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of GhanaNet.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button