The operating licence awarded by the federal government authorises and commits the airport operator, Flughafen Zürich AG, to operate Zurich Airport until 2051.
The airport's flight operations are governed by the Swiss Federal Aviation Act, the airport's operating licence and the airport's operating regulations. Flights over southern German airspace are subject to German regulations.
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Current operating licence for Zurich Airport dated 31.05.2001
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220th DVO (unilateral ordinance issued by Germany)
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1st revision of 220th DVO
2nd revision of 220th DVO (german) (pdf, 0,12 MB)
2nd revision of 220th DVO
3rd revision of 220th DVO (german) (pdf, 0,06 MB)
3rd revision of 220th DVO
Airports in Switzerland are required to have a set of operating regulations detailing the rules governing the use of the airport. The operating regulations are based on the Sectoral Aviation Infrastructure Plan (SAIP).
Sectoral Aviation Infrastructure Plan (SAIP)
The Sectoral Aviation Infrastructure Plan is drawn up under the direction of the Federal Office of Civil Aviation in conjunction with the relevant cantons and subject to approval by the federal government.
SIL-Prozess Flughafen Zürich (german)
The operating regulations set out the basic rules governing the airport's operations. In particular, they lay down rules governing the airport's organisation, operating times, landing and take-off procedures, use of the airport premises by passengers, air and ground vehicles as well as other users.
Amendments to the operating regulations are subject to application by the airport operator and are approved in full or in part or rejected by the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA). Decisions can be contested.
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Current operating regulations dated 30.06.2011 (Update 1st February 2012)
The Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP Switzerland) contains information essential to secure aviation operations. The AIP Switzerland stipulates the prescribed flight paths and air space as well as binding procedures governing landing and take-off. The relevant publications are printed and issued by the flight control company Skyguide.
In addition to the operating regulations and operating licence, the airport's operations are also subject to other legislation, ordinances and rulings at cantonal, federal and international level.
Each takeoff and landing has an associated "security zone plan". The purpose of this plan is to prevent the emergence of new aviation obstacles. It also sets limits for the maximum permissible height for buildings and vegetation.
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Security zone plan - Overall view 2003