Switzerland officially joined the Schengen zone on the 12th December of last year even though my home country is (still) not part of the EU. The original Schengen agreement was signed in 1985 and it provided for the removal of systematic border controls between the participating countries.
With the Swiss joining the club now, this means you will no longer see systematic passport controls between it and the other member countries. This is straight forward with Switzerland’s neighbouring countries as they are all members themselves, but it’s a bit more complex for an airport as flights, obviously, will leave to both, member and non-member countries. Zurich airport will therefore undergo a change to accommodate for the new system. On their website they write
The most noticeable changes for passengers is that they will no longer have to pass through passport control within the Schengen area, and some transit passengers at Zurich Airport will even be able to transfer to their onward flight without having to undergo another security check.
These changes are becoming effective on 29th March 2009. More information can be found on the airport’s website. I’m scheduled to go back there in May and will report on the changes. Let’s hope Zurich remains as reliable as it was and that my favourite “Luxemburgerli” are available in both zones.