Objections to plans for a 3rd runway at Vienna airport

Vienna airport has plans for a third runway, saying it is necessary due to increasing numbers of passengers etc.  In July a consultation process started, on the environmental impact assessment. This has now closed, and there have been at least 25 appeals sent in.  The second phase of the decision process will be handled by the Department of the Environment.  Realistically, a final decision on the runway will not happen before 2014/15.  Expansion opponents fear that their objections will not be listened to. A spokesman for the initiative opposing the  runway plans said a few weeks ago that the construction of the road is already a foregone conclusion. The airport’s dialogue forum says residents groups are happy that more stringent noise and night flight regulations had been incorporated than provided by law.



Some years back the airport did a deal with the leader of the main opposition group, Suzanne Rynesch.  The airport agreed to make some concessions on night flights (including probably a ban for some of the night) and on noise levels (both for those under the existing flight paths and those who would be under the new flight paths) in return for the residents not opposing the third runway.  They spoke to residents at local meetings as part of what they call their Dialogue Forum.  A number of residents agreed, persuaded it was the best deal they were likely to get.  However, a number of residents from some of the areas that will be under the new flight path remain bitterly opposed, and it is likely that the deal has marginalised them.  They are very angry about the deal by Suzanne. The wider environmental movement in Austria does not seem to have become involved in the issue.

Click to enlarge


Vienna International Airport is located in Schwechat and 18 km southeast of central Vienna.  It is the busiest and biggest airport in Austria. It is often referred to as Schwechat, the name of the municipality it is in.

During 2011, the airport handled a total of 21,106,292 passengers and 246,157 aircraft movements, representing a respective 7.2% and 0.0% increase compared to 2010.



There is a local group for residents affected by noise from Vienna Airport.   ARGE


Association of Citizens’ Initiatives and Residents Associations on Vienna International Airport  ARGE


The location of third runway

The third runway – 11R/29L  – will be 2,400 metres south of the existing 11L/29R runway, with an effective runway length of 3,680 metres.

The company organising the public consultation says:
“The location of the planned third runway was determined following detailed mediated discussions. After in-depth consideration of the various development scenarios, the groups involved, including neighbouring communities and action groups, recognised that this was the most environmentally sensible solution.”

Third Runway at Vienna Airport: 25 objections

The deadline for appeals against the positive EIA decision expired on Friday at midnight.The number of appeals could also rise.

Since July the first tier of the approval process for the 3rd Runway at Vienna-Schwechat has been opened.  On Friday at midnight, the deadline for objections to the positive environmental impact assessment will expire. So far, 25 appeals have been received, as reported by the ORF Lower Austria on Saturday.  But the number could rise, because the date of the postmark is decisive, as per the ORF northeast of the Office of the Lower Austrian Government. The second tier of the decision process will be handled by the Department of the Environment.

This will decide the objections of opponents. Realistically, it will not happen before 2014.  Expansion opponents fear that their objections will not be listened to. A spokesman for the Initiative (of opposing the  runway plans) said a few weeks ago in the COURIER that the construction of the road is already a foregone conclusion.

The 16 citizen initiatives and nine surrounding area communities in Lower Austria, which had been involved in a dialogue with the airport ,raised no objections. said the managing director of the Dialogue Forum Wolfgang Hesina, ORF. The reason: In the dialogue, among other considerations, more stringent noise and night flight regulations had been incorporated than provided by law.

The  Board of Flughafen Wien expects in the years up to 2020 with 30 million passengers annually. Thus the two-runway capacity in Vienna would be completely exhausted . A third airstrip for landing and take-offs is therefore considered necessary. The board wants
assuming the positive approval by the final decision making bodies, – to make a final decision in 2014/2015 , whether to begin with the construction of a third runway.


From the original German:


3. Piste am Flughafen Wien: 25 Einsprüche

Die Frist für Berufungen gegen den positiven UVP-Bescheid ist am Freitag um Mitternacht abgelaufen. Die Zahl der Einsprüche könnte aber noch steigen.

25.08.2012, 11:59


Gegen die geplante dritte Piste am Flughafen Wien-Schwechat regt sich Protest. (Archivbild)

Gegen die geplante dritte Piste am Flughafen Wien-Schwechat regt sich Protest. (Archivbild)

Seit Juli liegt die erstinstanzliche Genehmigung der 3. Piste am Flughafen Wien-Schwechat vor. Am Freitag um Mitternacht ist die Frist für Einsprüche gegen den positiven UVP-Bescheid abgelaufen. Bisher sind 25 Berufungen eingegangen, berichtete der ORF Niederösterreich am Samstag. Die Zahl könnte aber noch steigen, weil das Datum des Poststempels entscheidend sei, hieß es laut ORF NÖ beim Amt der NÖ Landesregierung. Als zweite Instanz ist der Umweltsenat am Zug.

Dieser wird über die Einsprüche der Gegner entscheiden. Realistisch gesehen wird das aber nicht vor 2014 geschehen. Ausbau-Gegner fürchten, mit ihren Berufungen kein Gehör zu finden. Ein Initiativensprecher meinte vor einigen Wochen im KURIER, dass der Bau der Piste bereits eine ausgemachte Sache ist.

Die 16 Bürgerinitiativen und neun Umlandgemeinden in Niederösterreich, die in einen Dialog mit dem Flughafen eingebunden waren, brachten jedenfalls keine Berufung ein, sagte der Geschäftsführer des Dialogforums, Wolfgang Hesina, dem ORF. Der Grund: In dem Dialog waren unter anderem strengere Lärm- und Nachtflugbestimmungen festgelegt worden als gesetzlich vorgesehen.


Der Vorstand des Flughafen Wien rechnet bis zum Jahr 2020 mit 30 Millionen Passagieren jährlich. Damit wäre die Zwei-Pistenkapazität von Wien endgültig erschöpft. Eine dritte Start- und Landebahn wird daher als notwendig erachtet. Der Vorstand will – einen positiven letztinstanzlichen Bescheid vorausgesetzt – 2014/2015 endgültig entscheiden, ob mit dem Bau der dritten Piste begonnen wird.




This is what Vienna airport says of its plans for a third runway:

Future project of Vienna Airport 3rd runway

The third runway is of vital importance for the future of Vienna International Airport. The anticipated long-term developments in international aviation cannot be effectively handled with the current system of two intersecting runways nor would it be acceptable for local inhabitants.

 An additional take-off and landing runway would also reduce delays, fuel consumption and noise by doing away with holding patterns and queued aircraft during busy periods.
 Further details on the project can also be found in the information brochure on the third runway.

Two-runway system reaching its capacity limits

Vienna International Airport makes an important contribution to the economic development of the region. To ensure that this remains the case in future, the airport will need a third runway. At present there are two intersecting runways available for take-offs and landings. In terms of capacity, however, 1+1 does not equal 2 but only 1.6. It will not be possible to meet the anticipated demand for international flights with the existing two-runway system. The resultant bottlenecks threaten the future development of the airport and the region as a whole.

Download Third runway aerial picture plan (PDF, 7.959 KB)

Vienna International Airport as an economic driving force

There are currently around 18,000 people working at the airport, of whom 96 per cent live in Lower Austria, Burgenland and Vienna. A further 52,500 jobs depend indirectly on it. Vienna International Airport is a hub in the centre of Europe. This has quite specific advantages for the region’s economy. International concerns choose Vienna as their eastern European headquarters, and many local companies appreciate the good connections to global business. Upwards of 1,200 companies with a total of 600,000 employees and an extensive supplier structure are concerned. Airline companies benefit from the airport’s gateway function to eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Development will tail off without a third runway

With a third runway, Vienna International Airport will be able to continue to compete in Europe. The forecasts for 2020 are quite clear. With only two runways, the development curve will tail off in terms both of passengers and of employees. With a third runway, Vienna International Airport will be able to consolidate its role as an economic driving force in the future.
Link to Economic significance of Vienna Airport


Successful Environmental Impact Assessment for the 3rd Runway on the Vienna Airport


Austria’s largest environmental impact assessment ever, which is for the new third runway on the Vienna-Schwechat Airport, has been successfully completed with the positive confirmation of the authorities in first instance on July 7th 2012. After more than 10 years of planning and five years of preparations on behalf of the client  Flughafen Wien AG, Dorsch International Consultants GmbH, as general planner, is mainly responsible for the success of this large scale project.
…. and there is more …. http://www.dorsch.de/en/news/story/article/uvp-verfahren-fuer-die-3-piste-am-flughafen-wien-erfolgreich-abgeschlossen/