Sectoral Aviation Infrastructure Plan (SAIP) at Zurich Airport
The Sectoral Aviation Infrastructure Plan is the long-term planning and coordination tool for the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA). The plan establishes Zurich Airport’s long-term operational and infrastructural framework.
The SAIP detailed plan is the foundation for the approval of the airport’s operating regulations and infrastructural systems, and is intended to contribute to legal and planning security for the region as well as Flughafen Zürich AG and its users. In Flughafen Zürich AG’s view, the present draft of the SAIP solves important current problems; however, it does not take account of long-term development opportunities for Zurich Airport.
Flughafen Zürich AG CEO Stephan Widrig talks about the SAIP
In this video, the Chief Executive Officer of Flughafen Zürich AG, Stephan Widrig, answers questions on the increasing demand for aviation, the lack of long-term perspectives in the draft SAIP and Zurich Airport’s long-term strategy, among other things.
Flughafen Zürich AG COO Stefan Conrad talks about the two adjustments planned in SAIP 2
The Chief Operations Officer of Flughafen Zürich AG, Stefan Conrad, describes the two most important elements of SAIP 2: the new bise (north-east wind) concept with southern start straight and runway changes.
Questions and answers on SAIP 2
Question: Are you satisfied with the SAIP, which is now moving into the inspection phase?
Answer: The updated SAIP solves important current problems and creates spatial planning foundations for implementing important additional measures from the safety review, and we welcome that. However, it does not take account of long-term developments. As a planning instrument the SAIP should actually present development opportunities for the next twenty years. In the LUPO, the Federal Council regards the limited infrastructure for scheduled and charter service as the biggest challenge of the future. Yet the SAIP presents no solutions for how the projected demand for aviation should be handled over the long term. That creates uncertainty among the population and makes it impossible for the airport operator to ensure qualitatively high flight operations over the long run.
Question: Why did the SAIP for Zurich Airport need updating?
Answer: It needed modernisation in order to create the foundations for implementing additional measures from the safety review of 2012. These measures mainly include reducing complexity and thus increasing the margin of safety. In addition, increasing security requirements have resulted in step-by-step reductions in flight operations capacities over the past few years. The foundations in the SAIP will now create the conditions for increasing the margin of security even more and regaining lost capacities, or at least returning them to their original level.
Question: What adjustments are foreseen in the SAIP?
Answer: The first important adjustment for Zurich Airport is a change in the “bise” wind concept. The report from the 2012 safety review named the adjustment of the operating concept for instances of “bise” or fog as an important measure in improving safety. The current “bise” concept is the concept with the greatest complexity, as the departure paths of aircraft taking off toward Kloten repeatedly cross the routes of any aircraft that are climbing and re-accelerating . The southern take-offs foreseen in the SAIP for “bise” and fog are a welcome change for safe operation at Zurich Airport.
Equally welcome are the planned changes to optimise the North Concept: The fanning out of western take-offs on runway 28 and the extended curve to the left after take-off on runway 16 will ensure safer flight operations while simultaneously reducing complexity and restoring part of the capacity lost during recent years.
Question: Runway extensions are foreseen in the SAIP. Why?
Answer: They are urgently needed to implement the state treaty, and operationally they make sense in any case. Under certain weather conditions, long-haul aircraft cannot currently land on our shortest runway, 28. An extension would create greater stability in the East Concept and thus reduce complexity. But ultimately, the Zurich voters will decide on runway extensions.
Question: What happens now?
Answer: The SAIP creates a foundation for preparing an application to amend the operating regulations. According to the Airport Act, applications for amendments to the operating regulations which have a substantial impact on aircraft noise levels can only be submitted to the Confederation with the approval of the Zurich Government Council.