Impediment of airfreight dampens growth prospects

“Rejection of the third runway at Vienna Airport affected the entire business Location!”

Impediment of airfreight dampens growth prospects

Even the decision of the Federal Administrative Court shows that there is need for a third runway at Vienna Airport. Nevertheless the adverse decision handed down by the Federal Administrative Court on the 3rd runway project, was negatively affecting the entire business location, warned Mag. Alexander Klacska, Chairman of the transport division of the Austrian Economic Chamber (WKÖ), Dr. Erik Wolf, WKO Division Manager and Günther Ofner, Member of the Management Board of Flughafen Wien AG at a joint press conference on March 6.

“The court argued that the public interest in climate protection was more important than the other public interests such as jobs, infrastructure or location. This is not only incomprehensible but also dangerous. We must not become a country that only manages and does not develop its infrastructure. We must go for the future and invest in the future, so we can stay connected to Europe and the world, which create jobs,” emphasised Alexander Klacska.

To oust the growing air cargo segment from Vienna by preventing an expansion of the airport, will inevitably lead to more truck traffic, said Günther Ofner. In addition, there was a risk of company locations and production sites leaving Austria.

“The judgment puts at risk the growth of the entire business location”, underlined Günther Ofner. There are currently around 20,000 employees at Vienna-Schwechat – with a multiplier effect of 1: 2, that is, for each job at the airport, there are another two jobs with suppliers.

Günther Ofner: “Assuming that a third runway would increase our capacity by 40 percent, that would mean some 30,000 additional jobs. To waste this potential, while half a million people in the country are unemployed, can not be ignored by the argument that the runway would not be in the public interest.”

In legal terms, this decision was a high risk because potential investors would be unsettled massively while NGOs were trying to incorporate the reasoning of the court in pending proceedings. Here the policy was required to very quickly clarify the conditions in Austria as a business location. Günther Ofner: “And, the faster the better, because this decision will lead to a delay of three to five years”