Corporate social responsibility
With 31.1 million passengers and 278,458 flight movements, Zurich Airport is by far the largest airport in Switzerland and is consequently an infrastructure of national importance. 77 airlines connect Switzerland directly to 206 destinations all over the world. On the one hand, operating infrastructure like this creates thousands of jobs and boosts the attractiveness of Switzerland as a business location (Study on economic importance). On the other hand, flight operations are also not without some negative impacts, especially in the immediate vicinity of the airport.
For over forty years, Zurich Airport has operated on the same runway system. Like individual road transport and other forms of public transport, aviation has also seen considerable growth during this time. Today, Zurich Airport handles more than double the number of flight movements and almost five times as many passengers as it did when the runway system was last extended in 1976. Measures will therefore be necessary in the medium term to increase capacity so that Zurich Airport can fulfil the Swiss government’s mandate to provide a safe and efficient transport hub to meet the demand for air transport. Such expansion will only be possible if the negative impacts of aviation operations can be further reduced and it can be successfully shown that the positive benefits of this transport infrastructure clearly outweigh the disadvantages. Flughafen Zürich AG engages in regular dialogue and discussions on such issues with its many stakeholders, fostering trust in its activities and laying the foundations for adapting its operational framework to meet growing demand. Zurich Airport will then be able to continue operating as Switzerland’s sole hub airport as mandated by the federal government and in the interests of the country as a whole.
Associations, interest groups and political dialogue
As in previous years, Flughafen Zürich AG regularly engaged in dialogue with political stakeholders during 2018. In addition to providing information at regular intervals (for example in its political newsletter), this included liaising with neighbouring municipalities and various public agencies. As well as a regular dialogue conducted in a spirit of partnership, the focus this year was on transparent and open communication on the proposed change to the operating regulations (BR 2017). At the beginning of the public consultation, Flughafen Zürich AG informed around 50 municipalities and public agencies about the background to this request in personal presentations and talks and discussed the medium- and long-term development plans with the relevant persons responsible.
During 2018, Flughafen Zürich AG also intensified its collaboration with various regional and national business and industry associations and, directly and indirectly through these associations, was in regular contact with representatives of the legislatures and executives at all three levels of government.