Unique News Flash No. 24 / First court rulings taken in regard of noise compensation
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First court rulings taken concerning 18 „pilot“ cases in the municipality of Opfikon in regard of compensations for aircraft noise (formal expropriations)
Today, the first-instance court (Eidgenössische Schätzungskommission) has released its rulings in regard of the 18 “pilot” cases. Theses cases are the first ones for the airport of Zurich to be decided upon, no compensation has been paid out so far. The court has ruled that Unique (Flughafen Zürich AG) has to pay compensation to the house owners in 3 out of the 18 cases.
The court had to decide on open legal questions as well as to specify an amount to be paid as compensation. Unique (Flughafen Zürich AG) will analyse the detailed rulings in the coming days and weeks before deciding whether to appeal to the Swiss Federal Court as court of last instance. If Unique (Flughafen Zürich AG) is not going to appeal it is more than likely the house owners will do so.
On the basis of a first rough evaluation of the rulings – and under the assumption that the Swiss Federal Court would come to the same conclusion as the first-instance court – it is fair to say that the company should be in a position to revise downwards the current estimate of potential cost for such compensations of up to 1,2 billion Swiss Francs.
From the point of view of an investor we would like to remind of two points:
- The total amount of compensation does not have a direct impact on the profitability of the company but will decide on the size of the future noise charges. The lower the charges, the better the competitive position of the Zurich airport.
- The ruling will not have an impact on the current accounting of the company. The company will recognise the future potential cost for compensations as intangible assets and as provisions once the Swiss Federal Court will have decided on these “pilot” cases. Such final decisions are not to be expected before the end of next year.