Political and legal framework
Smooth and efficient operations at Zurich Airport are also of great importance to the Confederation, as it states in its role as legislator on aviation (see Art. 87 of the Federal Constitution).
The Federal Council emphasises the importance of this on several occasions in its Aviation Policy Report (Lupo), a white paper governing aviation in Switzerland. Canton Zurich is also aware of the significance of an efficient national airport on its territory. As part of the privatisation programme, Canton Zurich – as the former owner – passed an Airport Act, obliging it to retain at least 33.3% plus one share of the equity of Flughafen Zürich AG. In addition, the state of Zurich has been granted a blocking minority on the Board of Directors in the case of changes to the location and length of runways as well as changes to operating regulations that have a significant impact on aircraft noise emission.
In addition to the many positive factors associated with operating an airport, there are also a number of undesirable consequences. Noise and environmental issues are of particular concern to the public. Just like all other companies in Switzerland, Flughafen Zürich AG must adhere to the Confederation's noise and environmental protection legislation in such matters. Numerous measures at Zurich Airport go beyond the minimum legal requirements.