Commitment as concessionaire

As concessionaire, Flughafen Zürich AG is obliged to ensure orderly and safe operations, provide the necessary infrastructure for this purpose and carry out appropriate maintenance work.

Runway 10/28 was put into operation in 1948 with a length of 1,900 metres and extended in 1959 to 1960 to its current length of 2,500 metres. It was created with a concrete superstructure with a lifespan of approx. 30 years, depending on the intensity of use. As such, the 23-metre-wide centreline was completely renovated using conventional concrete in 1984/1985, during which time the runway was closed for several months. In summer 2000, runway 10/28 was closed for another three months for the construction of the road tunnel as part of the fifth expansion stage. However, comprehensive renovation work was not required at that time. The end of the renovated centreline's 30-year useful life came in 2015. As such, with the current renovation plans (major renovation work in 2022), the useful life has been exceeded by seven years. However, it is currently possible to guarantee the safety of the runway through increased maintenance work and costs.

The runway lighting, which was last completely renovated in 1985, has also exceeded its lifespan and is now no longer state-of-the-art. Maintaining the function and availability of the lighting incurs huge costs in the portfolio. The runway lighting will therefore also be completely renovated during the renovation of runway 10/28.


The "Renovation of runway 10/28" project comprises the civil engineering project (renovating the centreline) and the electrical project (constructing three new transformer stations, replacing runway and approach lighting with LED lighting). The construction of the new transformer station began in summer 2018 as a preliminary measure and was commissioned in autumn 2020. The preparatory electrical work took place between 2020 and 2021. The runway renovation (main project) is planned for summer 2022.

With regard to the planned civil engineering work, Zurich Airport can draw on its experiences from the last two runway renovations in 2008 (runway 16/34) and 2014 (runway 14/32). However, in contrast, the planned refurbishment of the existing halogen technology to the new LED technology represents a first.

As with runway renovations 16/34 (2008) and 14/32 (2014), the renovation work is scheduled to be carried out in around 70 to 80 night-time construction stages after flight operations have ceased.

Ecological innovation

The conversion of LED-lighting to smart connectivity and a parallel instead of the conventional series technology is a world premiere. On the one hand, the systems can thus be operated with a significantly lower electrical voltage, which increases safety. On the other hand, the lights can be controlled and monitored individually. The effects are also impressive in terms of energy consumption: Compared with the halogen technology used to date, the power requirement with LED is around 80% lower. The approximately 26'000 m3 of excavated material that is produced during the renovation of the centerline and will be completely recycled. 19’000 m3 concrete, 3'560 m3 stabilization material and 3'243 m3 foundation gravel are processed in a recycling facility and turned into raw material, for example for recycled concrete and recycled gravel products.

Project elements (sub-projects)

In addition to the renovation of the centreline of runway 10/28, the project also incorporates the construction of three new transformer stations and the replacement of the runway and approach lighting with LED technology for the first time. The total costs of upgrading the facilities and renovating runway 10/28 amount to some CHF 87.8 million according to current estimates. The entire construction project is currently scheduled for completion on 31 December 2023.

Renovation runway 28
Building investments CHF 87.8 million
Project start January 2016
Completion deadlines
  • Construction of three new transformer stations (2019-2020)
  • Civil engineering preparatory work (2019-2021)
  • Electrical services preparatory work (2020-2021) 
Main projects (centreline)
  • Start of construction (April 2022
  • Completion of main projects (October 2022
Completion of remaining work/project completion December 2023