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New definition of current take-off routes from runway 16

Flughafen Zurich AG has asked the Federal Office for Civil Aviation (FOCA) to redefine the current take-off routes from runway 16. The new definition simplifies the take-off procedures and groups the take-off routes over areas that are not densely populated.

Today, two take-off procedures are set out in the operating regulations for departures on runway 16. For the take-off routes from runway 16 a distinction is made as to whether the flight is operated according to visual meteorological conditions or instrument meteorological conditions. Depending on the procedure, the initial left turn is defined differently in terms of height and distance from the take-off point. The pilots decide which procedure to follow.

This distinction for a take-off procedure is unusual and has been criticised by pilots for some time owing to the increased complexity. For this reason, the experts at Skyguide have worked together with Flughafen Zürich AG to define a new and uniform procedure for all take-off routes from runway 16 that will apply to all weather situations.

In future, a uniform initial turn point will apply once the aircraft reaches a height of 2,000 feet above sea level or around 200 metres above ground. This is earlier than the current latest initial turn point. In the left turn after take-off, the flight tracks are grouped above the forested area between Opfikon and Wallisellen. This also reduces the complexity of the take-off procedure.

FOCA approved the airport operator's request to redefine the current take-off routes from runway 16 on 21 March 2014. The new definition applies as of 26 June 2014. Aircraft noise measurements will be conducted at selected sites to test if the desired noise concentration can be reached.

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