Expansion of the third runway at Vienna Airport has been postponed for years

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Climate Minister Gewessler: In the future there will be fewer flights, the third runway will no longer be needed.

Expansion of the third runway at Vienna Airport has been postponed for years

One of the largest infrastructure projects in Austria will at least be delayed. The construction of the third runway at Vienna Airport, which is planned for 2024/25 before Corona, will be “postponed by a few years,” said airport bosses Günther Ofner and Julian Jäger on Thursday.

Not useful

The third runway has not been canceled, but no preparatory work is currently being carried out. Other investments would also be postponed. Should the airport reach its capacity limits again, the project could be accelerated again.

Climate Minister Leonore Gewessler, on the other hand, assumes that the runway will no longer be needed: “We will fly significantly less in the future than we do today.” said the green politician.

Avoid dismissals

Even if the airport boards are confident that air traffic will start in the second half of 2021, the forecasts are cautious. For this year, the airport expects 12.5 million passengers and a small profit of four million euros. For 2022, 70 percent and for the following year 80 percent of the passenger volume is forecast from before the crisis.

In the previous year, Flughafen Wien AG made a loss for the first time, probably 70 million. Shareholders will have to forego a dividend for 2021 as well.

Ofner & Jäger are pushing for an extension of the short-time working for all 5,300 employees since March 2020 until the end of 2021. This is the only way to avoid layoffs. In addition to short-time working, the airport is calculating government aid this year with around EUR 20 million.

De facto mandatory vaccination

In the opinion of the airport managers, the easiest solution to get the aviation going again would be a digital vaccination certificate recognized worldwide. For flying there will be de facto an obligation to vaccinate, “in many countries you will only be allowed to travel vaccinated”.

The near blackout in the European power grid two weeks ago did not endanger security at the airport, but damaged hundreds of hardware parts and caused several hundred thousand euros in damage.

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