Figure 1. Vienna Airport runways (source: flugspuren.at)
Vienna Airport is the largest airport in Austria and acts as a hub for Austrian Airlines. In 2018 it served a total of 27 million people (representing annual growth of 10.84%) and managed over 240,000 aircraft movements. The airport has two runways that are able to operate with no restrictions in terms of aircraft size. The airport is surrounded mostly by rural areas, but there are a number of conurbations in the proximity of the airport, which are particularly relevant for the below-described case study.
Noise is a significant issue for Vienna Airport. The airport has a range of noise management actions, as outlined on their dedicated noise management website https://flugspuren.at/, including continuous descent approaches and night flight restrictions and land-use planning interventions including insulation and ‘winter gardens’ for certain households.
Additionally, local communities are involved in noise management matters through a Dialogue Forum. This Forum arose due to objections to the proposed construction of a third airport third runway. Communities felt they were not effectively consulted, resulting in mistrust between the airport and the surrounding population. A mediation process led to the change of the location of the proposed third runway (see Figure 1) (yet to be built), and the creation of the Dialogue Forum – a forum between communities’ representatives, relevant stakeholders and airport representatives, which ensures the established close working relationships to be maintained and that consultation with stakeholders would continue going forward.
Figure 2. Proposed new location of the third runway and additional infrastructure (Source: Vienna Airport)