The Zurich Airport Group has a large number of stakeholders, both in Switzerland and at the airports it operates abroad.
The Zurich Airport Group engages in dialogue with numerous stakeholders on a very wide range of matters. Stakeholders were last analysed in detail in 2021 in connection with the materiality analysis, when they were grouped according to their interests and expectations. The same internal experts from the divisions who conducted the materiality analysis were involved in this process. The results were then validated and discussed with an external consultant. In the reporting year, the list of stakeholders was simply reviewed. The following ten stakeholder groups were defined:
Stakeholder groups of Zurich Airport Group
The company engages in dialogue and seeks to maintain collaborative relationships with all these various stakeholder groups. The following sections set out how these groups are defined, the forms of communication used and the respective focal issues.
Transparent communication with people in neighbouring communities is important. In Zurich for instance, a variety of channels are used to communicate developments at the airport. In relation to noise specifically, the company actively exchanges information with public bodies such as the Zurich local residents’ protection association SBFZ. Flughafen Zürich AG provides information about changes and its development plans, and ensures its actions and intentions are communicated transparently through active participation in information events. Three matters that featured prominently in the year under review were the temporary closure of the noise protection hangar and the resulting need to test aircraft engines outdoors, the night-time renovation of runway 10/28, and the planned runway extensions. The company also liaises with citizens’ organisations in connection with specific projects. Local residents affected by noise can contact a 24/7 noise hotline. See the Noise section for further information.
The company's majority-owned subsidiaries in Latin America also maintain close contacts with their local communities. All the airports operate a general telephone hotline for residents to report their concerns. They all offer the facility to submit complaints online as well.
It is important to know the needs of individual customers, whether passengers or other visitors. A variety of contact options are available to customers. In Zurich, the company receives feedback via its contact desks at the airport, over the telephone or online. Customer satisfaction is systematically analysed and benchmarked against other comparable European airports. The resulting data are used to identify and implement improvements on an ongoing basis. During the year under review, communications with individual customers focused mainly on the challenges arising from demand returning after the Covid-19 pandemic. As well as Zurich Airport, the airports at Florianópolis and Vitória in Brazil again scored very highly in regular customer satisfaction surveys carried out by third parties (see also Awards).
Besides the operator companies, numerous other partner companies (around 300 in Zurich) are involved in providing the myriad of services required to run the airport complex. Almost all of these airport partners are in a direct contractual relationship, but for the most part they operate independently. Together with the operator companies they ensure the smooth operation of the airport and provide a wide range of amenities. Along with police, rescue services and border police, the airport partners include the airlines and the ground handling, maintenance, cleaning and security firms directly involved in flight operations. Further partners are retail businesses, hospitality establishments and a wide range of firms that provide services to companies and private individuals.
As the licence holder for Zurich Airport, Flughafen Zürich AG attaches great importance to a fair and transparent partnership with all its airport partners. It actively engages in dialogue with these partner companies, wishing to see them prosper to ensure high quality across the board. Evidence of this commitment is the large number of bodies that regularly meet, for example the Airline Operators Committee (AOC) and the Airport User Board (AUB), or the annual meeting of airport tenants. Numerous bilateral meetings are also held.
Research and education
Flughafen Zürich AG maintains close contacts with universities and organisations engaged in research and education. Both senior executives and experts from the company regularly participate in public events and lecture at various universities. In addition, the company has been an active partner in European Union research programmes for many years, for instance the SESAR and AVIATOR programmes. Flughafen Zürich AG regularly makes its personnel and infrastructure available for practice-centered research into new technologies. Additional information can be found in the Regional contribution section.
As a listed company, Flughafen Zürich AG is obliged to comply with clear requirements as regards transparency and reporting. In particular, shareholders and external capital providers have a need for information, along with analysts and rating agencies.
Flughafen Zürich AG regularly publishes relevant information about its business situation, such as annual and interim results, monthly traffic statistics and individual ad hoc investor news on its website or by e-mail (see Information policy for further information). Management and the Investor Relations department maintain a dialogue with these stakeholders through direct discussions or participation in conferences and roadshows.
At the Zurich site, Flughafen Zürich AG purchases goods and services from almost 3000 different suppliers ranging in size from large multinationals down to small local firms. For many of them, Flughafen Zürich AG is a major customer. Suppliers and Flughafen Zürich AG expect mutual fairness and transparency, and are interested in long-term cooperation. Flughafen Zürich AG is in regular contact with many of its suppliers about products and services, including their impact on the environment and society. Additional information about local suppliers and tendering requirements can be found in the Regional contribution section.
Flughafen Zürich AG also maintains partnership relationships with suppliers in its international business too.
Airports attract a great deal of interest from the public across a wide range of issues. Here the media play a dual role of both intermediaries and disseminators. Open, proactive and transparent information is important to the Zurich Airport Group. Its media work has been recognised: in October 2022, Flughafen Zürich AG's media office was the recipient of the award for best Swiss media team for the fourth year running, and for the eighth time altogether.
The staff representation council (PeV) represents the company's Zurich-based employees at a collective level. See the Responsible employer section for further information on employees and their right to be consulted.
The company has an open and transparent culture of communication. This is cultivated via a wide range of channels at Zurich Airport, ranging from a staff magazine to the intranet and personal e-mails from the CEO. In addition, regular events are held to enable the Management Board to meet senior executives and employees in person. During the year under review, great efforts were made to reactivate internal networks after the pandemic, with various gatherings for example.
The areas on which the company is focusing and key developments during the financial year are communicated when the annual and interim results are announced. Employees are able to put questions directly to the Management Board during such events. The “GL im Gespräch” meet-the-management sessions facilitate regular dialogue with the workforce and enable all interested Zurich-based employees (including expats) to gain insights into strategic objectives and developments. During the reporting year these discussions took place either online or in a hybrid format. Members of the Management Board are also available for informal and one-on-one conversations throughout the year. Significant topics for the workforce during the reporting year were the economic growth of the sector, the company's revised values, and the difficult labour situation across the board at Zurich Airport.
A similarly open and transparent culture of communication is encouraged at the company's locations abroad as well. The communication channels used vary from airport to airport.
The Zurich Airport Group communicates with numerous non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Owing to the wide-ranging nature of issues that arise at Zurich Airport, these include organisations from all spheres of society but in particular ones that are involved in business and commerce generally, labour organisations, or bodies concerned with matters of environmental protection, disability-friendly construction and light aircraft.
The group also actively engages with NGOs in Latin America on a wide range of issues. In particular these include business and trade interest groups predominantly interested in economic development.
Governments and public authorities
Engaging in dialogue with legislators, administrative authorities and government agencies is very important. Airport operation is a highly regulated business in all countries and is subject to both national and international regulations. At the same time, regional (cantonal in Switzerland) and municipal authorities are responsible for certain matters.
At the Zurich site, a community event with representatives from the administrations of all five neighbouring municipalities is held every year. In addition, meetings on technical matters are organised with municipal authorities and agencies as and when required, usually in relation to building projects and to noise arising from aircraft, construction or operations generally. Regular exchanges also take place with representatives of neighbouring districts in Germany.
At the cantonal level, regular or ad hoc meetings take place with members of the Government Council, the Cantonal Parliament or the competent authorities, in particular with the Office for Mobility of the Canton of Zurich. Similarly, dialogue is conducted at the federal level with the Federal Council, with commissions of the Federal Assembly or individual members of parliament, or in particular with the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA). Flughafen Zürich AG addresses political issues in a “Political Newsletter” aimed at politicians and officials which is issued at least four times a year. The company also takes an active interest in legislative matters, primarily in relation to infrastructure, transport, spatial planning and environmental policy issues.
The company's airports abroad also communicated regularly with governments and local authorities, among other things with regard to further development of the concession models and specific airport development projects.
The Zurich Airport Group is a member of various industrial associations, chambers of commerce and local organisations. Some of the associations and organisations to which the company either contributes personnel or funding are: Aerosuisse, economiesuisse, Zurich Chamber of Commerce, Flughafenregion Zurich, the freiwillig@Kloten association, German Airports Association (ADV), and Airports Council International (ACI) Europe/LAC (Latin America and Caribbean)/APAC (Asia Pacific).
Flughafen Zürich AG is also a member of the Swiss Business Council for Sustainable Development (Öbu) and of the UN Global Compact.