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Zurich airport receives go-ahead for expansion

The Swiss Transport Ministry has given the green light for controversial expansion plans at Zurich’s Kloten airport but additional conditions have been attached to safeguard the environment.

This content was published on November 8, 1999 - 08:22

The Swiss Transport Ministry has given the green light for controversial expansion plans at Zurich’s Kloten airport but additional conditions have been attached to safeguard the environment.

The key element of the plans is the construction of a dock at the centre of the present triangle of runways which can service up to 27 aircraft.

Voters in canton Zurich approved the fifth extension plans costing just over SFr2 billion in 1995 but the project has been delayed by numerous objections to construction.

There have been growing tensions between those who want to develop the airport to keep up to international standards and cope with increasing flight movements and those who live nearby.

The ministry said in a communiqué that it recognised the economic importance of the airport but also the need to protect local residents better.

Under the terms of the concession, the ban on night movements at the airport has been extended by half an hour. There are also tighter controls on evening charter departures.

But the ministry says there is no reason yet to impose a ceiling on the number of flight movements permitted.

Should emissions of nitrogen oxide exceed 2,400 tons a year, the ministry says it could intervene with flight restrictions.

Canton Zurich has had to revise its predictions about flight movements upwards. It reckoned with 250,000 a year at the time of the vote, a figure which has already been reached. A corrected study is now forecasting that there will be 400,000 flight movements by the year 2010.

An appeal against the ministry’s concession can be taken to the Swiss Federal Court in Lausanne.

From staff and wire reports







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