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VIAS was awarded the BGF seal of approval for the Wir für uns project in St. Pölten on February 18, 2016 following successfully project work. This award was presented to VIAS by the Federal Minister for Health, Dr. Sabine Oberhauser in person. Other companies from Lower Austria also received the BGF seal of approval at this event.
The Wir für uns project was set up on 30.04.2012. In its more than 3- year duration, the project has been successfully implemented through a lot of detailed work, but also by larger projects.
Through the cooperation of our security control bodies, trainers, SKAs, service officers, coordinators, daily planners, service planners, duty officers, the training & recruitment department, security & service manager, the general management, the corporate management and works councils, we are supported by over 420 employees.
Our common goal of the operational health could be achieved through 16 health circles, 6 project groups, countless meetings and discussion. It was only through this unparalleled commitment of all employees that all 81 projects could be implemented.
Some of the 81 projects are listed here again:
Own E-Mail account for all staff
Equipment for common rooms
New microwaves, cook plates, kitchen parts, lockers and much more
Equipment for work places
Lighting at the B-bus gate, anti-glare protection for monitor operators, improved air humidity levels, and much more
Disinfectant dispensers in all areas, gloves, cleaning of work places and common rooms, incl. fridge, as required, and much more
Blue jackets, security epaulettes, SKA and trainer badges, tailoring, and much more
We would like to thank all VIAS staff and all VIE staff who have contributed to the Wir für uns project so tirelessly and with so much commitment.
This has led to our commitment to continue the project in the future.
Vienna Airport Among Top League of Airports: Skytrax Grants a 4-Star Ranking to Vienna Airport
A high recognition for Vienna International Airport: the renowned market research institute Skytrax has awarded Vienna Airport the title of 4-Star airport.
Today, 24 February 2016, the award was officially presented to Vienna International Airport during a ceremony. Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax, congratulated the Directors of the enterprise Flughafen Wien AG Dr Günther Ofner and Mag. Julian Jäger in the presence of Dr Erwin Pröll, Governor of the Province of Lower Austria and Mag. Renate Brauner, Executive City Councillor of the City of Vienna. Only ten airports in Europe carry this award, which places Vienna Airport in the top European league.
In his statement, Dr Erwin Pröll, Governor of the State of Lower Austria, emphasized his delight at the positive development of the airport and the important role of the airport as an employer: With 20,000 employees, the airport is an important economic engine that creates many new jobs in the region. The 4-star rating massively upgrades the location.
Mag. Renate Brauner, Executive City Councillor of the City of Vienna, comments on Vienna Airports central role for tourism and the business: The airport is the gate to the world for the Vienna business area and an important business card for domestic tourism. The 4-star rating is a reflection of the high quality Vienna Airport offers its travellers and hence our guests.
Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax, is very pleased to be able to welcome a new airport to the illustrious circle of the 4-star airports: Vienna Airport has convinced us with its excellent service delivery and modern infrastructure on site. We are delighted to be able to welcome Vienna Airport into the league of the European 4-star airports.
For Dr Günther Ofner and Mag. Julian Jäger, Directors of the Flughafen Wien AG, the assessment is a confirmation of the successful service strategy: The award of the 4-star rating is proof that our service initiative to passengers and international specialists is appreciated equally. We are extremely happy to receive this recognition and are constantly developing our strategy to improve the quality of our services even further.
Skytrax: internationally renowned market research institution for air travel
The Skytrax market research institution has been conducting quality rankings for international airports and airlines since 1990. These are mainly assessed for quality of service, comfort, security and many other criteria. The institutes annual surveys count as globally valid passenger studies in the field of air travel.
The basis for the 4-star assessment was an evaluation lasting several days by an international team of experts from Skytrax, in which the quality of the services at the airport, the terminal infrastructure, shops and restaurant facilities and practical services for passengers were examined and evaluated. Vienna Airport has achieved a lot in terms of service delivery over the last years up to the present time: a new guidance system and information screens suitable for the disabled, facilities for the family with the Family Fun Gate and family security control, special service desks and electronic waiting time displays at security control have recently been introduced and further services are constantly being developed.
Only ten 4-star airports in Europe
With its 4-star rating, Vienna Airport is on a par with nine other European airports when it comes to quality: Amsterdam Schiphol, Barcelona El Prat, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Helsinki, London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle und Zürich airports which all have the same ranking. Worldwide, there are 35 4-star airports, including those serving major cities, such as Abu Dhabi International Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport. There are only five holders worldwide of the next-highest distinction, the 5-star airport, and with Munich Airport, only one in Europe.
The second distinction by Skytrax already
The 4-star seal of approval is already Vienna Airports second distinction by Skytrax: Vienna Airport received the Best Airport Staff Europe award in spring 2015. Over 13 million passengers worldwide were questioned about the service delivery and service quality provided by all staff coming into contact with passengers, such as those working in the terminal, security control, information desks, shops and restaurants and many other places, and their replies were evaluated. Over 550 airports around the world were analysed in this way.
Staff from 52 nations work at Vienna Airport and a good dozen different faiths are represented on its 1,000 hectare territory. Hundreds of refugees were taken in as the Traiskirchen first reception centre was bursting at the seams during the summer. How does this diversity of people function? And above all: why?
Yes, we can, says Henry M. and grabs his baseball cap, laughing. The black fabric is adorned by the logo Obama Mr President. Well achieve this, he adds, citing Angela Merkel at the same time.
Unlike the German Federal Chancellor, M. is not just referring to the reception of refugees; the employee of Vienna Airport is convinced in general that immigration can work. And perhaps M. is right, at least as far as the microcosm in Vienna-Schwechat is concerned. What is causing uncertainty and bewilderment in the rest of the country and in other parts of the world seems to be functioning well here.
The staff at Vienna Airport has become increasingly more international over the last years. Liberal EU legislation and a global workforce that is becoming more and more mobile have contributed to the fact that people from all over the world are now working at Vienna Airport.
52 nationalities from the following countries are currently represented:
Afghanistan, Angola, Austria, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Belarus, Canada, China, Croatia, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, India, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Morocco, Mexico, Moldova, Nepal, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine and Venezuela. Depending on the method of counting, between ten and twelve religions/recognised faiths are represented: Anglican, Buddhist, Evangelist, Hindu, Islamic, Jehovahs Witnesses, Jewish, New Apostolic, Old Catholic, Orthodox, Roman Catholic and with no affiliation. There are Old Catholics and Jehovahs Witnesses, Hindus, Christians, Muslims and Jews.
Belief should be kept at home, says M., weve got work to do here. He himself moved from Ghana to his wife in Austria over ten years ago. His colleague Elvis P. fled Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1993 before the war. Raymundo S. left the Philippines with his parents 15 years ago. The three of them work together as a team on the apron, loading luggage and handling the aircraft before take-off and landing.
They were joined later by Anderson M., who is originally from the Caribbean state of Trinidad and Tobago and has been working at the airport for six years. The four of them agree: the interaction between so many people from different countries and with so many different world views is based on respect and rules. If youre untrustworthy, youll have problems with the team. If youre intolerant, all the more so.
An airport is an unusual international setting per se: 60,000 passengers on average pass through Vienna Airport every day, around 5,000 staff work for Flughafen Wien AG direct, and the place of work for more than 20,000 people in total is on the airport grounds.
The fact that, against so many different backgrounds, particularly in view of the strained political global situation, further conflicts do not arise among the staff should not be taken for granted. At one airport in Germany, for example, there were clashes between the various communities several years ago, the arguments turned into fist fights and threats against senior staff, says Christoph Lehr, Manager of the Personnel Department of Flughafen Wien AG. I dont want to paint a rosy picture but we dont get that here in Vienna, he says.
Development over recent years
Does integration at the airport really run as smoothly as the staff and management claim? And if so, why? When Personnel Manager Lehr started over 15 years ago, there were hardly any staff of overseas origin. Because of the security measures, most of the staff were Austrian citizens.
The security measures have remained stringent; every member of staff must be able to present a clearance certificate issued by the police, and in some areas of employment there are additional tests set by the Ministry of the Interior. The employment laws are more liberal today, however. And so the pool of employees was expanded to include several nationalities in just a few years.
The management were instructed and attended intercultural training courses. Lehr does not believe that this is the reason why it works so well. Its the social mix, believes the Personnel Manager. We dont, however, have any patent remedies. Recruitment staff are careful to ensure that no group is represented more strongly than others; even ethnicity lists at works council elections are frowned upon. Staff should be integrated, not polarised.
Chairman Günther Ofner calls the airport an integration melting pot. In an email he writes that even an additional workforce has to be fought for. We are living integration and it functions without fault. I think it is the responsibility of the economic community to make a conscious effort in this direction.
When Christoph Lehr is asked about the socio-political dimension to immigration, he falls into contemplation. He can understand the anxieties that accompany the news reports, the creation of images of the enemy. But on the other hand, the current situation is actually a huge opportunity. Its an enrichment for our department too when staff from other countries talk about their families, religious festivals and their homeland.
The greatest asset of international staff is surely linguistic competence. If necessary, all passengers can be provided with interpreters, and customs officers and the police rely on them too. Frenchman Philippe B., for instance, has been working as a Service Officer at the airport since 2013. He is in fact a qualified interpreter and speaks Spanish, Portuguese, German and English. Respect and understanding are prerequisites for cooperation. If society were to function in this way, the world would be a different place, he believes.
His colleague, Emra Y. is Duty Officer and is mainly concerned about work processes. She originally comes from Turkey and speaks Kurdish in addition to German and Turkish. She has always perceived Austria as open and tolerant. For this reason, she too was pleased to help when refugees were received spontaneously on the airport grounds during the summer.
Long-term asylum accommodation set up
Around 250 people were accommodated in an adapted equipment hangar. It was intended as emergency accommodation for the duration of the glaring lack of housing, when asylum seekers were forced to sleep outside in Traiskirchen. Y. and many more members of staff were given time off in order to assist in the construction or translation. It was an important, moving experience for her, says the young woman.
A long-term housing complex for around 400 asylum seekers was built by Flughafen Wien AG on the airport grounds in the winter. It is run by the Red Cross, and volunteer workers at the airport are also involved. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) praised the construction as one of the best service centres in the country.
Not all staff were enthusiastic. The project has also had a polarising effect on business, says Lehr. The opinions about refugees that can be read on internet forums are of course also shared by some people at the airport. The management have accepted that there is a possibility of unrest among the staff. We want to acknowledge our social responsibility. And, at the end of the day, also give a clear signal that its about action and not allocating responsibility, says Chairman Günther Ofner.
Since Monday, August 17, 2015, the North Equipment Hall at Vienna Airport has been available to people seeking for help as emergency accommodation. In this way, the company Flughafen Wien AG, in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of the Interior, has responded to the current refugee situation.
Within just a few hours, a comfortable initial accommodation was set up with the help of several departments from Flughafen Wien AG, VIAS and the Red Cross. The emergency shelter has a sufficient number of sanitary facilities, a large dining area, a children's play area and a small wash room.
VIAS, as the security and service provider of Flughafen Wien AG, ensures, among other things, the security of everyone involved during the entire deployment period. In addition, specialists from the VIAS service area were made available as translators, who are continuously available to the emergency services on site and make an extremely valuable contribution to intercultural communication.
German courses for our fellow human beings
The communication department of the training academy also offers German courses which are very popular. On Tuesdays and Fridays, courses are held for 4 hours in the VIAS training academy with the support of translators. Around 30 interested people have taken the opportunity to acquire basic knowledge of the German language in every teaching unit.
Also support from teachers
There are also teachers of English and Arabic among the asylum seekers. They immediately offered their help by supporting the company's internal communications department in setting up the range of courses.
Together with Flughafen Wien AG, VIAS was able to set an example of humanity - be it when serving food, setting up a play area, solving problems or simply talking to people looking for help.
We are happy about this important task.
Interior Minister Mag. Johanna Mikl-Leitner visited Vienna Airport on November 6, 2014 to attend the Security Conference.
Almost 22 million visitors frequented Vienna Airport in 2013. "Vienna International Airport is an important hub for millions of travellers around the world", emphasized Interior Minister Mag. Johanna Mikl-Leitner.
In order to be able to guarantee security, a constant dialogue between the city police command Schwechat, Flughafen Wien AG and VIAS GmbH is needed. International networking also plays an important role, especially the close and good cooperation with the airports of Munich and Zürich.
The Minister of the Interior explicitly mentioned and praised the excellent cooperation between the police, the airport and VIAS. An intensive dialogue between all departments and persons responsible for security is essential, continues Mrs Mag. Mikl-Leitner in order to maintain the excellent security standard at Vienna Airport in the future.
A new project by the Schwechat City Police Command with Flughafen Wien AG is to make the police more visible to passengers at first glance. Citizens should be able to come into direct contact with the police via telephones and so-called service points. In addition, uniform appearances and multilingual information signs should enable the service points to be found quickly.
On November 28, 2014, the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation filmed several advertising scenes at Vienna Airport for the SKI World Cup 2015. Elisabeth Görgl, Anna Fenninger, Nicole Hosp, Marcel Hirscher, Matthias Mayer and Mario Matt were part of the shooting at the airport.
The ASF Stars showed themselves very approachable to the people and accessible to our VIAS staff. Our colleagues at the security check used this unique opportunity to take photos together with the attractive stars.
VIAS Duty Officer Andreas Frommberger: "Anna Fenninger is even prettier in nature than on television". VIAS Duty Officer Fatmagül Saglam: "Marcel Hirscher is extremely friendly and it was exciting and special to be present for the filming".
VIAS keeps its fingers crossed for our ski celebrities in the coming season!