September 30, 2022
World’s First Airport Terminal Made of Wood
Airports Featured Interview

World’s First Airport Terminal Made of Wood

DALLAS – In a move toward a sustainable future, Zurich Airport (ZRH) is doing it differently. How so? In a major overhaul of its terminal, the so-called Dock A will be made of wood. Yes, an airport terminal made mostly of wood.

The Dock A apron and Zurich’s Tower form part of the same structure and have been in use for over 35 years, nearing their end of life, and aren’t the most sustainable option going forward. Hence, a much-needed makeover is in progress and is expected to open in 2032.

While there have been similar projects, such as the expansion of the Oslo Airport (OSL) or Mactan Cebu International Aiport (CEB), Philippines, which was the first airport terminal throughout the whole of Asia whose supporting and roof structure has been made completely from timber, the ZRH Dock A overhaul will be almost entirely built from the noble material.

Locally sourced timber will be used to make it the largest terminal at ZRH. Once the new Dock A is up and running, the existing one, located just south of the new one, will be dismantled.

In talking with ZRH, Airways‘ Sidharth Ganesh offers an insight into what passengers can expect from this unique terminal.

Dock A and Tower when Completed | Image Zurich Airport

SG: How would the new Dock A be designed and what passenger movement is it expected to handle?

ZRH: The new Dock A will be built largely from sustainable wood on the passenger levels—which is so far unique for a terminal building of this size. The whole surface of the new dock’s roof and the dock base will be used for photovoltaics, covering around two-thirds of the dock’s annual electricity requirement.

The new building will thus make a major contribution to Flughafen Zürich AG’s ambitious CO2 reduction strategy. With the corona pandemic, there was a sharp drop in passenger numbers. Flughafen Zürich AG assumes that the traffic figures for 2019 will probably be reached again in 2025. Thereafter, passenger numbers will continue to increase by 2% to 3% annually according to the traffic forecast.


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Featured image: Zurich Airport

Commercial pilot | Flight Instructor | Aviation Journalist & writer.

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