Christoph Schnellmann is chief executive officer of Yamuna International Airport Private Limited, a subsidiary of Zurich Airport International established to design, build and operate Noida International Airport Limited. He is leading the team responsible for developing one of the most eagerly awaited airports in the country. His goal is to construct an efficient, user-friendly, and sustainable airport for Delhi-NCR by 2024.
Schnellmann has around two decades of experience. He has been associated with Zurich Airport since 2007. He was involved in the inauguration of India’s first PPP greenfield airport, Bangalore International Airport. Later, while working at Swissport International, the largest provider of ground handling and cargo handling services worldwide, he oversaw the group’s operations at over 100 airports in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
He considers it a privilege to have been associated with two airport projects, and to have had an opportunity to develop a landmark greenfield infrastructure project in North India. The Noida International Airport is currently under construction near Jewar in Gautam Buddha Nagar District, Uttar Pradesh. Schnellmann believes that he has an exceptional team of professionals working diligently to complete the project on time, on budget, and to the highest standards. He ensures that the work environment is conducive to everyone’s success, appropriate resources are available, timely decisions are made, and everyone working on the project is aligned and moving in the same direction.
Schnellmann has observed a trend in the demand for new aviation infrastructure, particularly in the Delhi-NCR region, to accommodate both passenger and cargo needs. He is confident that the government’s commitment to bolstering the country’s aviation infrastructure will lead to an increase in private sector participation, thereby accelerating growth.
The aviation industry has learnt a lot from the crises in the past few years. According to Schnellmann, the two things that stand out are the importance of having contingency plans in place, which involves considering potential crisis circumstances and reactions in advance, and the value of communicating openly with stakeholders in times of crisis.
Schnellmann holds a master’s degree in philosophy and mathematics from the University of Zurich. Outside of work, he enjoys swimming, reading history and spending time with his family.