SWISS to fight on for Lugano flights

29 October 2003

The formal objection lodged SWISS against the imposition of new approach regulations for Lugano Airport will not defer the introduction of the new provisions, the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications’ Appeals Commission has ruled. The Federal Office for Civil Aviation is, however, considering exempting SWISS flights from the new provisions for a limited period, during which a solution acceptable to all sides might be found. SWISS is still making every effort to retain Canton Ticino within Switzerland’s air transport network.

The Federal Office for Civil Aviation (FOCA) announced new approach regulations for Lugano Airport on August 21, 2003. Despite the submission of objections by SWISS and the Ticino cantonal authorities, the new provisions are scheduled to enter into effect on November 1: the Appeals Commission of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications has ruled that the objections lodged will not defer the introduction of the new provisions. The committee has yet to rule on the merits of the objections themselves.

If the new FOCA regulations for approaches to Lugano enter into effect as planned on November 1, SWISS will no longer be able to guarantee the provision of operationally and commercially viable air services to and from the airport.

The FOCA is currently considering exempting SWISS flights from the new provisions for a limited period of time, however, during which a procedure would be used which is viable from SWISS’s perspective. SWISS hopes that this temporary arrangement would give all the parties involved further time to agree on a new solution which would ensure that Lugano could continue to be served safely and in compliance with all international regulations.

SWISS will continue to do its utmost to retain Lugano in its route network and link Southern Switzerland with its international air services.