Stratégies aéroportuaires en Suisse

Airport operation in Switzerland is confided to companies with private law status. The Federal Ministry has drawn up a sectoral Plan of air infrastructure, which is an instrument both of regional policy and of planning. It does not create new rights but fixes directions. National airports respond to commercial demand, which has changed greatly during the last five years. The three national airports are Zürich, with 17.5 millions passengers a year; Geneva, with 9.5 millions; and Basle-Mulhouse - located in French territory- with 3.5 millions. There are another 10 regional airports (Berne, Sion, Lugano, St. Gallen, etc.) and further local airports providing access to alpine zones. The Federal Government is proposing a better coordination of airport policies, as well as a systematic connection of airports to the rail network. Zürich and Geneva have been the object of a 50 year concession. The bankruptcy of SAir Group, which included Swissair, strongly destabilised Zürich airport. The actual level of traffic is thus lower than it was in 1997. In addition, future growth is restricted because of noise problems; the air corridors even had to be shifted from the neighbouring German region to the Swiss territory. Geneva was hurt earlier by the part-withdrawal of Swissair, but has already found alternative solutions and is now in a better position. Geneva airport is close to the city and well-served by train (an undertaking has been made that, by 2020, 45% of airport users will be using surface public transport), air traffic increases and the airport is profitable. It is home notably to Easyjet airline. Its strategy consists of encouraging the airlines already present to remain there, and to segment the offer according to the airline (by creating a terminal dedicated to "low cost"). Basel-Mulhouse hopes to boost its capacity to 8 million passengers a year, thanks to a similar strategy and an electronic automatic approach system.

Ref. CNT –OPSTE – 8-2005. CDM Working Papers Series. Publ. in : Stratégies aéroportuaires en Europe, Dossier 8 de l'Observatoire des Politiques et Stratégies de Transport en Europe, Conseil national des Transports, Mars 2007, Paris.

 Record created 2007-01-09, last modified 2018-03-17

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