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Zurich Airport News Flash No. 12 / Extension of night-time curfew at Zurich Airport

As of July 29, 2010 the night-time curfew at Zurich Airport will be extended by one hour. The new night-time curfew at Zurich Airport will last from 11.00pm - plus half an hour for delayed departures and arrivals - until 06.00am. Flughafen Zürich AG applied for this extension in the provisional operating regulations.

During April 2010, the Swiss Federal Court affirmed a judgment of the Federal Administration Court regarding the provisional operating regulations. Other complaints to individual questions, such as the flexible use of runways, are still pending at the court. As agreed with the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA), the implementation of the extended night-time curfew starts on July 29, 2010. This is the earliest possible date for an ordinary worldwide publication in the Aeronautical Information Publications (AIP). Already today with the current regulation, no flights are planned after 10.45pm. Therefore, no major timetable changes are expected due to this new regulation. Up to the implementation of the extended night-time curfew on July 29, 2010,
delayed departures and arrivals are still possible until 00.30am.

Airport wants to relieve population
Flughafen Zürich AG intends to accommodate the local residents’ need for a quiet environment with the extension of the night-time curfew. CEO Thomas Kern: “A quiet night-time sleep of our neighbors is important to us. With the new regulation we exhaust the limits of flight operations and will have the strictest night-ban regulation as against comparable European airports.”

Flexible runway use
In combination with the application for an extended night-time curfew, Flughafen Zürich AG also applied for a more flexible use of the runway system during certain operating hours (06.00am-07.00am, 09.00pm-10.00pm). The purpose of this was a compensation for the extended night-time curfew and it’s linked reduction of flight operation time. The aim is to allow take-offs on the East-West runway 28 during the mentioned time frames in order to eliminate potential delays by no later than 11.30pm. The use of this main take-off runway during this time frame is currently not possible.

With the approval of the Canton of Zurich, Flughafen Zürich AG applied for the extension of the night-time curfew and a more flexible use of runways at the FOCA. The FOCA approved this application. However, several complaints were raised against it. Flughafen Zürich AG is now awaiting the decision of the Swiss Federal Court on the flexible use of runways.

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