Zurich airport to push ahead with runway extension after vote passes

The Local Switzerland
The Local Switzerland - [email protected]
Zurich airport to push ahead with runway extension after vote passes
This picture taken on July 6, 2016, shows an Airbus A320 (L) parked and an Airbus A319 (C) of the Swiss International Airlines taxiing on the tarmac at the Zurich Airport in Zurich. (Photo by MICHAEL BUHOLZER / AFP)

Airport authorities in Zurich will push on with the extension of two runways at the city's airport after voters gave the green light in a public vote.


Some 61.7 percent of Zurich voters approved the extensions, with a turnout of 57.6 percent.

Authorities can now move ahead with a 400-metre extension to one runway and a 280m lengthening of another. 

It will come at a cost of 250 million francs, which Zurich airport will pay for.

Zurich airport is Switzerland's biggest and busiest hub. Those in favour of the runway extensions say the plan is not to increase airport traffic but improve safety.

Following a close call involving two Swissair aircraft almost colliding on take-off in March 2011, a review by the government found that lengthening the runways would result in improved safety outcomes.

The Board of Airline Representatives in Switzerland said that lengthening runways would allow the airport to operate its runways, "but rather at reducing the complexity of the runway system, thus enhancing safety."


"The entire airport community will have a better and saver infrastructure and environment," the board argues.

Opponents - including the Green Party - based their objections on the perception that construction work on the runway would cause environmental damage, heavier aircraft using the airport would create more pollution and more noise.



Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also