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Safety principles


The field of safety covers all the issues and factors that combine to ensure safe flight operations at Zurich Airport. The paramount objective of safety is to prevent incidents and accidents. This is achieved by identifying and mitigating dangers and risks. And it is with these aims in mind that Flughafen Zürich AG has developed and adopted its Safety Management System.

Safety and Security

The Safety Management System or SMS is primarily designed to provide a systematic and comprehensive approach to handling those dangers and risks at Zurich Airport that derive from the airport’s flight operations. 
Flughafen Zürich’s Safety Office is responsible, among other things, for: 

  • identifying, assessing and mitigating risks in terms of the top risks (risk management) and in terms of the safety-relevant dangers that may arise from a project (safety assessments) or a construction site (danger and risk assessments)
  • regularly appraising the due and full observance of external and internal standards and requirements (compliance management and auditing)
  • analyzing safety-relevant events and the safety-relevant reports that can be  submitted, also in anonymous form (reporting)
  • offering and conducting SMS training (basic and further training)
  • conducting regular campaigns to raise and maintain safety and SMS awareness
  • ensuring that the Flughafen Zürich Safety Policy is well known and observed companywide and 
  • ensuring that all safety-relevant processes and procedures are duly and fully documented (the Aerodrome Manual).

Zurich Airport’s Safety Management System is a systematic, comprehensive process for managing safety risks. The aim of the SMS is to identify and as far as possible minimise events, incidents or accidents in the operational zones of Zurich Airport. This is achieved by following standardised operational and safety processes.

These are documented in the Aerodrome Manual. The SMS comprises four main elements: safety policy and objectives, safety risk management, monitoring safety and promoting safety.

The Safety Office is headed by the Safety Manager. The Safety Manager is the Nominated Person under EASA regulations, and ensures that safety-relevant issues are neutrally presented where appropriate to the Chief Operating Officer (COO), independently of line structures and operational functions.

Alongside the Safety Manager, the Head of Flight Operations serves as the Nominated Person Operational Services, while the Head of Airfield Maintenance serves as the Nominated Person Maintenance. Both these officers are responsible for actual or potential risks in their respective areas, and also report to the COO.

Zurich Airport is certificated in accordance with EU Regulation 139/2014. Its safety-relevant processes are regularly reappraised by the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) to ensure that they continue to comply with all this certification’s requirements. In those areas in which EASA has not yet issued any valid norms, the provisions and requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) are applied.

All the airport’s safety-relevant processes, procedures and organization units are described in the Aerodrome Manual.

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