By installing sound-insulating windows, Zurich Airport protects residents of properties in the vicinity of the airport who are exposed to excessive aircraft noise.
Sound insulation measures and reimbursement
In addition to reducing engine noise, the sound insulation programme is a key element of the airport’s efforts to minimise aircraft noise exposure. The programme includes and finances passive sound insulation measures in buildings of the neighbouring municipalities. As the airport’s operator, Flughafen Zürich AG is obliged by law to fund these protective measures. Owners of properties with noise-sensitive rooms which are located within a clearly defined perimeter, and which were not subject to any obligation to install sound insulation during building or conversion, are entitled to benefit from the programme. Property owners who have already taken the initiative of fitting sound-insulating windows themselves are reimbursed by Flughafen Zürich AG.
From 1999 through 2018, approximately CHF 249 million has been spent on sound insulation measures in around 6,200 buildings. Of approximately CHF 12.3 million expenditure in 2018, around CHF 0.6 million was spent on project planning, CHF 8.1 million on window upgrades and around CHF 3.6 million on reimbursements.
Overview of sound insulation measures in 2018 (Programme 2010, as at February 2018).
Expanded sound insulation programme
In connection with approved noise exposure levels and its 2014 operating regulations application, FOCA required Flughafen Zürich AG to submit an expanded sound insulation programme by the end of June 2015. Flughafen Zürich AG duly submitted its 2015 sound insulation programme by this deadline. In a Swiss Federal Supreme Court ruling on 11 May 2018, the pending objection was rejected. The thus legally valid 2015 sound insulation programme is to be implemented within ten years pursuant to the public consultation.
Sound insulation perimeter for purely residential zones for sensitivity level (SL) II.
South-side sound insulation concept
As part of its south-side sound insulation concept, Flughafen Zürich AG installed window-closing systems or sound-absorbing ventilators free of charge in bedrooms in numerous properties in Zurich, Opfikon, Wallisellen and Dubendorf.
A supplementary concept on the basis of a level of noise measurement (phase 2) was published for public consultation at the beginning of 2018. The corresponding decision by FOCA is expected in the course of 2019.