The opponents of further improvements and construction activities at Zurich airport faced a crushing defeat in a referendum held last Sunday.
Exactly 58.8 percent of the electorate at Canton Zurich voted in favor of the future development of the airport, thus rejecting the initiative of neighboring communities and dwellers to freeze all expansion and modernization plans at ZRH at once.
In total, 214,000 people supported ongoing or upcoming airport enhancements while 150,750 opted for stopping all activities entirely.
In a release, Zurich’s airport management welcomed the outcome of the referendum, stating:“A blockade of future airport developments is obviously not wanted by a clear majority of Canton Zurich’s inhabitants.”
Prior to the decision at a meeting in Hamburg, CEO Harry Hohmeister of Swiss Airlines told members of the German Association of Aviation Journalists that a negative outcome of the plebiscite would lead to a standstill at Zurich airport.
A stalemate, however, leads to regression, since other airports and competing carriers continue growing. Profits then diminish, leaving an airline with no real future.
“If our hub should be crippled by a majority of voters, our intercontinental flights will have to shrink continuously from 2015 on.
“Ten years from now, we will only be able to offer four, five or at most six intercontinental flights out of Zurich.”
Currently the airport reports 280,000 movements annually. This number can be upped to 350,000 by optimizing the existing runway system, but only if the apron is enlarged to offer airlines additional parking positions for their aircraft. In addition, both runways would be moderately extended.
The hurdle for getting improvements done was eliminated last Sunday due to the referendum by Zurich’s electorate.
Gravity always wins!