In the spring, construction was begun on the airfield in Saanen. The work is on schedule, according to Walter Egger, president of the airfield co-operative. Despite intense building activity, flight operations have been ensured and various events such as the polo have been carried out.
The Gstaad-Saanenland Airport Cooperative has invested approximately CHF 30 million towards the renewal and expansion of the airport. At the last general assembly there was a need for further funding, however this has been resolved.
"The financing is secured and there is a rental requirement for the third hangar," explains Egger.
The new building will be operational in the spring of 2018. However, there will be other challenges before the time comes: compliance with time and cost plans, implementation of the company in the new building, contract preparation with tenants and service providers of further controls of the authorities, negotiations, establishment of connections with users, etc., checking and where necessary improving the security, customer-oriented and cost-guiding operations, and consolidating the cooperation with all partners.
"The controls carried out by the FOCA in the fields of operation, construction and fire brigade did not raise any complaints or problems." Furthermore, organizational and administrative deficiencies were localized and remedied.
For the execution of the construction, environmental guidance was necessary and the corresponding conditions in the field of soil protection and contaminated sites had to be implemented. The planning was more complex than expected, as construction managers Urs Kunz and Armin Baumann informed.
“In bad weather, no work could be carried out on the upper or lower floors,” say Kunz and Baumann. “The contaminated flooring was removed in a separate operation and transported to a special dump.”
As the groundwater level is located below the airport soil at a depth of about 2.3 metres, a groundwater lowering was necessary to move the two tank systems.
"The groundwater has been lowered by about three meters within the two sheet pile walls," explains Baumann.
Five filter wells were drilled for this purpose. With the two sheet pile wall boxes, the range of the groundwater reduction could be reduced.
As reported in an earlier issue of Gstaad Life this year, Roger Trüb, managing director and flight director since 1 May, will leave Gstaad Airport AG on 31 October. A successor has already been found: Marc Steiner will assume the position of managing director and flight planner on 1 November. The 42-year-old is currently working as a pilot for Lufthansa and lives with his family of four in Reichenbach in the Kandertal.
"He knows the needs of an international clientele and is familiar with the local customs," stresses Egger. “Marc Steiner has his heart in our company."