Court: Vienna Airport must build third runway by 2030

Gangway at Vienna Airport (Photo: Robert Spohr).
Gangway at Vienna Airport (Photo: Robert Spohr).

Court: Vienna Airport must build third runway by 2030

Gangway at Vienna Airport (Photo: Robert Spohr).
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The Federal Administrative Court (BVwG) has decided that Vienna Airport only has until 2030 to realize the planned construction of its third runway. This is a reaction to the postponement granted by the state government of Lower Austria, which was seen as legitimate given the uncertainties caused by the corona pandemic for air traffic. However, the court-approved extension to 2033 has been criticized as being too long, leading to a dispute between the airport and the authorities.

The BVwG's decision poses challenges for Vienna Airport. The airport had originally applied for a deadline extension of 2023 years for the construction of the third runway in 9,5, which was approved for expansion stage 1. However, after an environmental organization and four citizens' initiatives lodged a complaint against this decision by the state government of Lower Austria, the Federal Administrative Court was confronted with the case.

The court justified its decision by saying that the originally granted period of 9,5 years was not appropriate. Even an expert opinion obtained by the authorities only assumed a period of 6,25 years. The BVwG therefore re-set the deadline to 6,5 years, taking into account the duration of the appeal proceedings before the court.

Vienna Airport's reaction to the decision was sharp. A company spokesman described the legal opinion of the BVwG as “factually and legally incomprehensible” and criticized the decision to grant environmental organizations party status in the one-party process to extend the construction period. Flughafen Wien AG announced that it would appeal to the highest courts to challenge the decision.

This court decision will not only have an impact on Vienna Airport, but also have potential consequences for other projects subject to environmental impact assessment. This case is expected to set a precedent for future developments in airport infrastructure and other large-scale construction projects in Austria.

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Editor of this article:

René Steuer is an editor at Aviation.Direct and specializes in tourism and regional aviation. Before that, he worked for AviationNetOnline (formerly Austrian Aviation Net), among others.
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About the editor

René Steuer is an editor at Aviation.Direct and specializes in tourism and regional aviation. Before that, he worked for AviationNetOnline (formerly Austrian Aviation Net), among others.
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Information should be free for everyone, but good journalism costs a lot of money.

If you enjoyed this article, you can check Aviation.Direct voluntary for a cup of coffee Coffee trail (for them it's free to use).

In doing so, you support the journalistic work of our independent specialist portal for aviation, travel and tourism with a focus on the DA-CH region voluntarily without a paywall requirement.

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