For those who fly regularly, living close to an airport might be convenient, but it’s also noisy.
To reduce noise, Basel-Mulhouse airport has decided to reduce the number of flights taking off between 11pm and midnight by half, according to a press release.
Unlike Geneva airport, which is located entirely on Swiss soil but still operates a French side, Basel-Mulhouse, Switzerland’s third major airport is on French territory, but run by the Swiss.
The history of the airport dates back to the 1940s, when, with only limited space to expand, the half-canton of Basel-City agreed to the creation of an international airport on the French side. In 1949, France made the land available for the airport.
The noise reduction plan aims to reduce tensions between local municipalities and the airport. Since 2014, the number of take-offs to the south between 11pm and midnight has doubled, largely due to delayed flights landing from the north preventing take off in this direction.
Part of the new plan rests on improved flight punctuality. The airport is also considering financial measures to compel airlines to use quieter aircraft.
The airport said that the plan would not put the economics of the airport at risk. The airport provides around 6,000 jobs of which around 70% are held by French residents.
In 2014, the airport ran into difficultly when the French government decided to impose French taxes and employment rules on it. Eventually, in November 2016, French and Swiss governments agreed a deal. Under the agreement, Swiss VAT is applied in the airport’s Swiss sector, and businesses in this sector are exempt from French tax. Taxes levied on the airport are shared between France and Switzerland.
Airport press release (in English)