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When Gunther Auer, Salzburg W A Mozart's Airport Director, stepped up to present the airport's 1997 results in January, he was able to do so with a smile. Austria's second largest airport, passenger-wise, saw an increase of 4% to 1.1 million passengers last year.

"It was a good year for Salzburg W A Mozart," Auer told those at the presentation. "In spite of major change on the national and international levels -- remember the implementation of the large Austrian solution which created Austrian Airlines Group -- our company succeeded in continuing the healthy development it has experienced in past years.

"Aircraft movements increased by 3% to 26,756. The creation of the Tyrolean Regional Hub, one of the great events of 1997, as well as the return of Lufthansa to the airport, contributed to a two digit increase (13%), of international scheduled passenger numbers. This is an Austrian record."

The outlook for 1998 looks equally rosy. Scheduled traffic via European hubs such as Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt, Vienna and Zurich, is increasing. Another plus point is the expansion of the regional hub system of Tyrolean Airways that generated excellent results in what was only its first year of operation.

According to the airport, much of the leisure activity focuses on attracting traffic from new markets such as Russia and Poland, and on winning extra market share from established tourist countries such as the UK. Forecasts suggest a 5% increase in tourist traffic for 1998.

Salzburg is also stepping up its long-haul traffic, with an additional 100 flights more this year over last.

With a plan this year to upgrade from Cat 1 to Cat III operations, the airport will join the likes of Vienna, Graz and Linz in being able to operate in very low visibility conditions. According to the airport, most aircraft operating to and from Salzburg are equipped for ILS flights. The Canadair Regional jets operated by Tyrolean and Lauda, for example, are equipped with head-up displays to perform safe landings under Cat II or Cat III conditions.

Currently, Salzburg is certified for approaches to Cat I (60 metre decision height, 550m runway visibility range). After discussions with representatives from the airport authorities and the airlines using the airport, it became clear that Salzburg should be equipped for approaches to Cat III. The ILS for Runway 16 (for approaches from the north), operated by Austrocontrol, already meets the increased requirements. Now the airport can invest ATS80 million on upgrading its lighting system.

With today's aircraft engines offering greater performance, the decision level for landings can be reduced to the extent that a safe go-around procedure can be flown to the south. What this means for the airport is that runway centreline light distances must be reduced from 30m to 15m. Approach lights also need to be upgraded, and runway threshold lighting installed. Finally, part of the taxiway system needs to have centreline lights installed.
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Publication:Airports International
Geographic Code:4EUAU
Date:Apr 1, 1998
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