Rahel Kindermann, Manager Visitor Services & Events at Airport Zurich
The new observation deck at Zurich Airport opened its doors to the general public on schedule on 1 December. The wait has been worth it: hordes of visitors arrived on the first weekend.
As 1 December drew closer we were admittedly rather nervous, not only because passengers would pass through the new security checkpoint building and use the new Dock B for the first time but also because we would also be opening the new observation deck on the same day.
Two years of hard work were about to be presented to the travelling public – following abundant testing of the augmented reality telescopes ( a world’s first just like the accessible apron tower) and the flight information displays. A mini-airport complete with ATC tower serves as a play area for children, while roomy benches invite adults to stop for a while and take in the scene. An audio system allows visitors to listen to the radio contact between the air traffic control tower and pilots in the cockpit, and special information displays present data about docked aircraft.
Ahead of the opening at 09:00 on 1 December, numerous airport and aircraft enthusiasts were ready and waiting with their cameras at the entrance to Check-in 2. Their patience was rewarded with a good view of aircraft taking off. Visitors to the observation deck appeared in large numbers on Saturday and Sunday, topping 6,600 even though the weather on this first weekend was not always favourable. This figure certainly surpassed our expectations. For me personally, this was a wonderful one-time experience following the lengthy preparations and waiting to finally see the observation deck come to life. And although long waits were occasionally necessary en route to the security checkpoint , the mood on and around the observation deck remain good throughout.