German-Swiss air space negotiations look to summer deal

Zurich Airport and airline Swiss will be part of the team that looks at Zurich flight issues

Zurich Airport, close to southern German airspace

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Swiss-German negotiations over southern Germany’s airspace are ready to take off, Switzerland said Wednesday, 15 February, announcing its team. Peter Mueller, who heads the federal civil aviation office, will lead Swiss negotiations for a bilateral treaty with Germany that will lead, the Swiss expect, to an agreement by the summer of  2012.

Noise from planes using Zurich Airport, which is just a few kilometres from the German border, has been a difficult issue for a number of years.

The Swiss government says that in light of the negotiations it is asking the European Court of Justice to suspend until summer a complaint Switzerland filed against Germany for restricting the use of German air space,

Swiss Federal Councilor Doris Leuthard, who heads Detec, the federal department for energy, transport and communications, and her German counterpart, Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer, agreed on the main elements of the treaty when they met at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January. The negotiations will follow these lines to work out details, says Bern.

Canton Zurich, the city, the airport and Skyguide will be part of the negotiations group but a second team that will follow this closely and be involved where necessary will include neighbouring cantons and the airline Swiss.