- About us
- Our job
- Security Control
- Ombudsman Team
VIAS was awarded the BGF seal of approval in St. Pölten on 18 February 2016 in a festive setting after successfully completing work on the project We For Us. 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 We For Us project was set up on 30.04.2012. In the three years or so of its duration, the project has been successfully implemented by a lot of detailed work, but also by larger projects.
Through the collaboration of our security control bodies, trainers, SKAs, service officers, coordinators, daily planners, service planners, duty officers, the training & recruitment controller, security & service manager, the general management, the corporate management and works councils, we are supported by over 420 employees in 16 health circles, 6 project groups and innumerable meetings and discussions, enabling us attain our common goal of promoting health at work.
It was only through the exemplary efforts of all staff that the 81 projects were able to be implemented. Some of the 81 projects are listed here again:
Own E-Mail account for all staff
Equipment for common rooms
New microwaves, hobs, 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 are grateful to all VIAS staff and all VIE staff who have contributed to the We For Us project so tirelessly and with so much commitment.
This has led to our commitment to continue with the We For Us project in the future.
VIE in the top league of airports
Vienna Airport in the top league of airports: Skytrax grants a 4-star rating
A high recognition for Vienna Airport; the renowned market research institute Skytrax has given Vienna Airport a rating of 4-star airport. The distinction was officially awarded at a festivity at Vienna Airport today, 24 February 2016. Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax, congratuled the Directors of 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 hold this distinction, hence Vienna Airport ranks amongst the European top league.
In his statement, Dr Erwin Pröll, Governer of the Province of Lower Austria, expressed how happy he was about the positive development of the airport and the airports important role as an employer: With 20,000 employees, the airport is an essential driver of the economy, creating many new work places in the region. The four-star rating makes it a hugely attractive place to work.
Mag. Renate Brauner, Executive City Councillor of the City of Vienna, comments on Vienna Airports central role for tourism and the economy: The airport is the gate to the world for the Vienna economic area and an important visiting 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 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 delivery to passengers and international specialists is valued equally. We are extremely happy to receive this recognition and are constantly developing our strategy to improve the quality of our services even further.
Different quality factors were analysed
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, shopping 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, and other facilities 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 all have the same ranking. World-wide, 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 world-wide 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 as early as in spring 2015. Over 13 million passengers world-wide 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.
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.
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?
Text: Julia Herrnböck; Video and photos: Lukas Wagner
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.
From Monday 17 August 2015 the equipment hall north of Vienna Airport will be available to those in need as emergency accommodation. Flughafen Wien AG, in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of the Interior, has taken action to relieve the present very tense refugee situation.
With the help of several sections of Vienna Airport, the Red Cross and VIAS, a comfortable temporary housing centre was able to be set up in a matter of minutes. The accommodation has ample toilets and shower facilities, a large eating area, a childrens play area as well as small wash room.
VIAS, as the security and service provider of Flughafen Wien AG, takes care of the security of everyone concerned throughout the entire period of use. In addition, a number of interpreters have been provided from the service staff of VIAS, who are constantly available for the emergency personnel on site and make a valuable contribution to intercultural communication.
German courses for our fellow human beings
German courses are also being offered by the Communications Section of the Training Academy, which are enjoying huge popularity. Courses lasting around 4 hours are held in the VIAS Training Academy every Tuesday and Friday with the support of interpreters. About 30 interested persons take the opportunity to learn the basics of the German language in each teaching unit.
Support for teachers too
Among the asylum seekers there are also teachers of English and Arabic. They immediately offered their help and provided support for the in-house Communications Section in the structuring of the course. Together with Flughafen Wien AG, VIAS was able to make a gesture of humanity - whether by providing food, solving problems or simply in dialogue with those seeking help.
We are delighted to make such an important contribution.
Minister of the Interior Mag. Johanna Mikl-Leitner visited Vienna Airport on 6 November 2014 to attend the Security Conference at Vienna-Schwechat Airport.
There were almost 22 million visitors to the airport in 2013. Vienna-Schwechat Airport is an important hub and pivotal point for millions of travellers around the world, as Minister of the Interior, Mag. Johanna Mikl-Leitner emphasises.
Above all, continuous dialogue is needed between the Chief of Police of the City of Schwechat, Flughafen Wien AG and Vienna International Airport Security Services Ges.m.b.H. for security to be provided. International networking also play an important role, for instance, the close and strong cooperation with the airports of Munich and Zürich.
The excellent cooperation between the police, the airport and VIAS received particular mention and praise from the Minister of the Interior. An intensive dialogue between all persons and departments responsible for security is essential, continues Mrs Mag. Mikl-Leitner, to maintain the excellent standard of security at Vienna Airport in the future.
The police will be making a new project between the Chief of Police of the City of Schwechat with Flughafen Wien AG visible to passengers at first glance. The public will be able to get in direct contact with the police through intercom terminals, so-called service points. A uniform visual appearance and signage in several languages should enable the service points to be located quickly.
On 28.11.2014 Marcel Hirscher, Matthias Mayer, Nicole Hosp, Mario Matt, Elisabeth Görgl and Anna Fenninger were at Vienna Airport for a film shot. The Austrian Broadcasting Corporation were shooting a few advertising scenes at Vienna International Airport for SKI WM 2015.
The ASF celebrities made themselves very popular and approachable when talking to the VIAS staff. Our colleagues were grateful to take advantage of this once-only opportunity to have their photo taken together with the very attractive skiing stars.
Andreas Frommberger (VIAS Duty Officer): Anna Fenninger is even more beautiful in real life than on television.
Fatmagül Saglam (VIAS Duty Officer): Marcel Hirscher is remarkably friendly and it was an exciting and special experience to be present during the shooting.
VIAS will be keeping their fingers crossed for the ski celebrities in the coming season!