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Yes! to the runway extension on March 3 / Ja! zur Pistenverlängerung am 3. März

By Warwick Brady, President and CEO, Swissport

Safety is the top priority in aviation – be it in the air or on the ground. At Swissport, too, the safety of our operation in accordance with Standard Operating Procedures, and the safety of our people and our partners stands above all else.

In the complex aviation eco-system, every partner plays a vital role in making the overall system as safe as it can be. Safety in aviation is an objective which requires constant attention, but also the regular fine-tuning and adjustment of procedures, trainings, equipment – and sometimes infrastructures. It is the only way to protect and maintain the high safety standards which we are used to in Switzerland.

With this in mind, Swissport supports the measured extensions of two runways at Zurich Airport. As a former commercial pilot, I understand the challenges of airports which have to ensure a safe operation under complex operating regimes, even in the most challenging weather conditions and during peak volumes. I have myself flown small private aircraft into Zurich Airport, and from these visits as a pilot I am aware of the high professionalism at this airport and in fact across Switzerland. I am also familiar with the complex airspace around Zurich and the associated restrictions and challenges for the planning of flight routes for air traffic control as well as the flight navigation for pilots – especially when there is any type of irregularity.

Longer runways at Zurich Airport will provide pilots from around the world and air traffic controllers here in Switzerland with improved safety margins in a highly complex environment. Beyond safety, this will contribute towards a higher reliability, more robust flight schedules – and a better punctuality.

As the global leader in aviation ground services and a reliable partner of SWISS at their home base here in Zurich we put a safe and reliable ground operation first. For us this means that we have to assign the right number of people with the right skills and the right ground support equipment to handle the right flight at the right time.

For the aviation system in Zurich it also means that infrastructure improvements that serve the overall robustness and safety of the airport should be supported. If the system can be more reliable and more robust in critical operational situations, we all have an obligation to do everything we can to make it happen, for passengers, for the workers at the airport, for the city of Zurich, for the gateway to Switzerland.