In an article from Friedlnews, it appears that Vienna has received permission to proceed to the next step of the approval process to begin construction of a 3rd runway. According to the article, final approval is expected in 2014, construction would begin in 2016 and the Runway would be operational 4-5 years afterwards.

This comes as especially good news for Lufthansa Group’s Tyrolean Airways (formerly Austrian Airlines) as they navigate through a restructuring program.

Fortunately, we finally see a decision taken in the right direction that will help improve airport operations and help airlines expand to meet the growing demand for air travel.

Recently Munich had voted down a 3rd runway and Frankfurt has had its share of problems with the local community in terms of using its runways overnight. It may be turn out that Munich’s and Frankfurt’s loss may become Vienna’s gain. With the new Star Alliance Terminal now in operation (discussed here and here), Vienna is quickly becoming an airport to be reckoned with.

If you have been reading my scribble over the last several months you should know where I stand on airport expansion. I finally have something to be happy about as far as airport expansion plans go.

Here is a copy of the FriedlNews Release:

Vienna Airport to Build Third Landing Strip

Published: 5 minutes ago 18:31 · (FriedlNews)
Vienna International Airport is now entitled to start the construction works oft he third landing strip. The construction works will take two years.

After a proceedings of twelve years, board member Günther Ofner is happy to announce that Vienna International Airport will get a new landing strip in two years. Above all, the environment impact assess took a lot of time.

For Ofner, a third landing strip is an enormous competitive advantage for Vienna. In Europe, the capacities of airports are becoming increasingly scarce, he says. The construction costs are expected to reach about € 2.0bn.

Ofner does not think that a capital increase at Vienna International Airport is necessary. However, a capital injection would be no problems for the major shareholders, the province of Vienna and the province of Lower Austria, Ofner argues.

Nevertheless, board member Julian Jäger views the decision to be an „important step“ but no final decision yet. As a result, the final decision is expected for 2014. Construction works will not begin before 2016, he says. However, this would be sufficient to set up the new landing strip in 2020 or 2021.

This week, Vienna International Airport could announce another record in passengers. The number of passengers handled by Vienna Airport rose 7.1% year-on-year to 2,062,155 in June 2012. Flight movements and maximum take-off weight (MTOW) increased 2.2% and 0.9%, respectively, while cargo turnover declined 1.9%. The number of transfer passengers was 14.9% higher than in June 2011, and the number of local passengers rose by 3.6% during this same period.

Passenger traffic to Eastern Europe increased 17.3% in comparison with June of the previous year. The number of passengers travelling to Western Europe rose by 5.1%, and the Middle East recorded growth of 14.4% during June 2012.