The Patrouille Suisse takes off. The Swiss Air Force is presenting its air show in the Zurich sky. On the ground, an exhibition presents thirty aircraft. Customs dogs show their skills. Concerts take place. When Zurich Airport commemorates its 75th anniversary this weekend, it promises a festive mood.
Up to 150,000 guests are expected. At the same time thousands of Kloten fly out to Madrid, Zagreb or Washington. How does the airport bring the major event and flight operations together?
Elaborate lockdowns for the festival
Fortunately, the airport has experience here, according to those responsible. “We also carry out construction projects during ongoing operations,” says Manuela Staub. She is responsible for communications at Flughafen Zürich AG.
Despite the routine: a lot of organization is needed for the three-day festival. The airport has closed certain outdoor areas. This includes a stand that is normally used by airplanes. “The fact that we exclude such areas naturally involves a lot of effort,” says Staub.
Why a celebration in September?
The first plane originally took off from Kloten on June 14, 1948. However, an anniversary celebration in the summer is inappropriate for the airport. Because during this time, the airport is very busy. Closing off outside areas would be unfavorable. Therefore, the anniversary will take place in September, when fewer passengers will fly.
Passengers do not have to be prepared for longer waiting times this weekend. “We don’t have any festival activities in the terminal,” says Manuela Staub. “So passengers can fly with peace of mind.”
Short break because of Patrouille Suisse
The festival only affects flight operations for a short time: during the Patrouille Suisse air show on Sunday. Other aircraft must not get in the way of the aerobatic team. “Here we have to pause for half an hour.” Take-offs and landings do not take place during this time.
The airport has recovered from the crisis
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In August, over 22,700 aircraft took off or landed at Zurich Airport. Flight movements are almost back to the level they were before the corona pandemic. Zurich Airport announced this on Friday.
Security is also taken care of at the festival. Employees continuously check the situation in a situation center. “This is how we see how many visitors are on site,” says Manuela Staub. And how the guests are distributed.
Barriers should also prevent dangerous situations. “You can’t get to the apron,” says Manuela Staub. This zone for vehicles and planes remains taboo for the public. Security personnel are present on the premises. There are spot checks at the entrance.
According to the airport, all of these measures lead to safe operations. For the revelers on the ground. And for the passengers in the air.
Berset praises Zurich Airport’s success
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The three-day airport festival in Kloten was opened by Federal President Alain Berset. In a humorous speech, he joked about the size of Zurich Airport, but more seriously praised its success and importance. His appearance has nothing to do with his resignation from the Federal Council, “I’m not applying to be a pilot here,” joked the Federal President in his speech. Berset praised the “fascinating microcosm” of the airport, with all the employees who would ensure that everything went as smoothly as possible. Today, Berset says, he would like to have the enthusiasm for the future of the post-war years when the airport was built.
The Zurich economics director, Carmen Walker Späh (FDP), had previously said that the “fifth national language in Switzerland was the objection”. (sda)
Regional journal Zurich Schaffhausen, 09/01/2023, 12:03 p.m.; fulu; stat;schc