The most extensive mediation process in Europe
In planning the third runway, Flughafen Wien AG has consistently pursued the path it embarked on several years ago, paying the greatest attention to environmental protection and earnest dialogue with local inhabitants.The declared aim is to elaborate a plan that is accepted by the majority and that will provide the best possible solutions for people, the environment and the economy.
Flughafen Wien AG is proud of what it has achieved. The most extensive mediation procedure in Europe to date took place between 2000 and 2005. Around fifty interested parties (action groups, neighbourhood communities, Austrian, Flugsicherung Austro Control, etc.) invested thousands of hours together in search of solutions that would be acceptable for all concerned.
The process concluded with a binding mediation agreement under civil law, the creation of a Dialogue Forum and the setting up of an environment fund. Flughafen Wien AG has assumed responsibilities in the interests of local inhabitants that go far beyond its legal requirements.
Fifty per cent reduction in night flights
It was decided during the mediation procedure that flight movements between 23.30 and 05.30 would be gradually reduced by the time the third runway starts up to 3,000 movements a year, half of the 2006 level. Should the building of the third runway be delayed or if it is not built at all, the reduction in flight movements between 23.30 and 05.30 was to be frozen from the year 2010.
As a decision concerning the construction of a third runway has not yet been made, the number of flight movements in the core night period was frozen in 2010 at 4,700 movements. According to the mediation agreement, if the runway is built, the number of take-offs and landings during the core night period is to be reduced to 3,000 a year by the time it becomes operational.
Controlled airport growth through noise zone ceiling
A noise reduction ceiling will limit the absolute number of people affected by aircraft noise when the third runway becomes operational. This will have benefits for the communities and for the airport. The local communities have undertaken not to allocate any new land for housing in the noise zone over 54 dB. In return they have been assured by Vienna International Airport that the noise zones around the airport will not become any larger.
Noise protection programme for local residents
The noise protection programme by Flughafen Wien AG is designed to protect health and increase the quality of life of the people living near the airport.
In the area with a permanent noise level of 54 dB by day and 45 dB at night or higher, the airport will pay 50 to 100 per cent of the costs for the installation of soundproof windows and doors. Under certain circumstances the construction of winter gardens will also be subsidised.
At the instigation of the ARGE action groups in the Dialogue Forum and the mayors of the neighbouring communities, the noise protection programme was considerably enlarged in November 2007 to include residents who can expect relief through the three-runway system but will still suffer a considerable nuisance until then from the two-runway system. The cost of extending the noise protection programme is being covered by the Flughafen Wien AG environmental fund.
The noise protection programme goes much further than the legally required limits. According to the Federal Environmental Noise Protection Regulation, thresholds for the drafting of action plans at night, for example, are set at 55 dB, whereas the airport noise protection programme starts at 45 dB.