No relief from aircraft noise in Zurich

The Swiss aviation authorities have rejected a plan for Zurich airport which would have reduced the number of flights over densely populated areas.

This content was published on July 3, 2008 - 16:39

The Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) said in a statement on Thursday that the proposed northern approach to the airport did not meet the highest safety standards.

FOCA said pilots would have had to steer aircraft to the runway during the final approach without the aid of an instrument landing system.

The airport authorities and Zurich cantonal government expressed their disappointment at the decision, saying the use of the northern approach would have meant fewer early morning flights over more densely populated areas to the south of the airport.

The search for alternative approaches to Switzerland's largest airport began in 2003 when Germany banned night and weekend flights to Zurich over the southern part of its territory.

But many Swiss residents living under the new southern flight paths have complained that their quality of life has been damaged by the air traffic.

The rejected proposal foresaw planes following a route just south of and parallel to the German border, and making a sharp bend to the right for the final approach.

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