Skyguide (in full Schweizerische Aktiengesellschaft für zivile und militärische Flugsicherung, English Swiss Air Navigation Services Ltd. [" [http://www.skyguide.ch/en/MediaRelations/MediaReleases/ArchivedReleases/INMR2002_07_02M_UEBERLINGEN_SEQUENCE_OF_EVENTS.pdf Mid-air collision of July 1, 2002: sequence of events] ," "
Skyguide"] ) is the air navigation services company that controls Swiss airspace.It is a private law Swiss public limited company, responsible on behalf of the Confederation for safety in the whole of Swiss airspace and parts of the neighbouring countries of Germany, Austria, Franceand Italy. In Swiss airspace, this covers both civil and military air traffic control.
In 2001, its name was changed from Swisscontrol to Skyguide and its management was headed by
Alain Rossier. Skyguide is supervised by the Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications ( DETEC). The main shareholder, with 99.91 percent of the Skyguide share capitalis the Swiss Confederation, which is also represented on the board of directors. Around 1400 people work for Skyguide, about two-thirds of them in the provision of air navigation services, a quarter in technical services and the rest mainly in administration. Since 1 October 2007, Skyguide has been headed by Daniel Weder.
Skyguide’s most important partners are the
International Civil Aviation Organization(ICAO), Eurocontrol(European organisation for aviation safety) and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization(CANSO). Skyguide has had a subsidiary company in Belgiumsince the end of 2000called Skynav, which serves as a link to the European Union.
Skyguide in figures
Skyguide controls around 3200 IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) flights a day. In 2006, Skyguide counted 1,162,078 flights, of which 729,990 transited the airspace without landing or takeoff. Its income in 2006 was CHF 341.10 million and net profit was CHF 18.79 million.
The most important locations are the two
Area Control Centers(ACC) at Zurich Airportand Geneva Airport, which is also the location of the administrative headquarters of Skyguide. In 2008, it is planned to move the Terminal Control Center Zurich to new buildings at the Military airfield in Dübendorf. The UAC (Upper Area Control) in Geneva should have become operational in 2006, but this was suspended by the Federal Office for Civil Aviation (BAZL) because of inadequate safety documentation.
Other Skyguide locations are at
Berne Airport, Buochs airfield, Grenchen airfield, Lugano-Agnoairport and St Gallen-Altenrheinairport and several military airfields. The locations used primarily by the military are at Alpnach, Dübendorf, Emmen, Locarno, Meiringen, Payerneand Sion. At the Aéroport les Eplatures, air navigation services are delegated to the operator.
On 1 January
1931, the Confederation charged the then Radio Schweiz AG (RSAG) with the provision of air navigation services in Switzerland. RSAG was founded on 23 February 1922 as Marconi Radio AG for the development of wireless telegraphy, after the First World War had demonstrated the significance of this kind of telecommunication. On 10 May 1928, the name of Marconi Radio AG was changed to RSAG to emphasise its Swiss national character.
Until the end of the Second World War, RSAG was primarily engaged in serving the telegraphic communications needs of the Confederation. Only on 21 December 1948, after concluding an agreement with the Confederation under which the Confederation and the airports would bear the cost of air navigation services, did RSAG start to monitor the airspace.
On 1 January 1988, RSAG’s air navigation activities were restructured and brought into the new nationalised company, Swisscontrol, whose headquarters is in
Berne. Swisscontrol was converted into a public limited company in 1996 and the headquarters transferred to Meyrinnear Geneva, where it has had its own building at Geneva-Cointrin airport since 1998.
At the beginning of 2001, civil and military air navigation services, which had been separate until then, were united in a single company, called Skyguide. Skyguide thus became the first air navigation services provider in Europe to control the whole of its country’s airspace.
On 15 March 2006, BAZL prevented the air navigation services provider Skyguide from starting operations in the single control centre for Switzerland, its Upper Airspace Control Center Switzerland in Geneva. A detailed internal BAZL report was published on 3 April 2006, listing the serious omissions made by Skyguide:
* There was no conclusive evidence that the new system was safe.
* Skyguide applied none of the methods common throughout the industry in the design, development, testing and start-up of its software systems.
* It could not be proven that the training of its personnel – in particular, air traffic controllers – was adequate.
* From the start, the project was driven forward under excessive time-pressure, which had a negative effect on the quality of the work – especially in respect of safety management.
* There was no plan to cover the failure of the project or delays to its implementation.
Bashkirian Airlines Flight 2937: On 1 July 2002, a Tupolev 154of the Russian Bashkirian Airlines(Republic of Bashkortostan) and a Boeing 757of DHL Express Worldwidecollided at a height of 12,000 meters in southern German airspace over Überlingenon Lake Constance, controlled by Skyguide. 71 people died. In February 2004, Peter Nielsen, the air traffic controller on duty for Skyguide on the night of the accident, was stabbed by Vitaly Kaloyev, an Ossetian relative of victims of the collision. [Skyguide media communiqué (24 February 2004): [http://www.skyguide.ch/en/MediaRelations/MediaReleases/ArchivedReleases/INMR2004_02_24M_DEATH_PN.pdf Air traffic controller in Kloten murdered] (PDF)] In May 2004, an air accident investigation report by the German air accident investigation office (BFU), said that, as well as the errors made by the air traffic controller, the pilots of the Russian aircraft, the management of Skyguide and the Swiss aviation authorities also bore significant levels of responsibility for the accident.
* On 8 February 2007, a critical incident known as an airprox occurred over the Lac d'Annecy in the airspace south of Geneva. [ BFU media communiqué (19 February 2007): Airprox on 8 February 2007 south of Geneva (German) [http://www.bfu.admin.ch/de/dokumentation_medienmitteilungen.htm?msg-lang=de&msg-id=12692] (PDF)] [ Skyguide media communiqué (19. Februar 2007): Incident south of Geneva: [http://www.skyguide.ch/en/MediaRelations/MediaReleases/ArchivedReleases/19_02_2007_airprox_en.pdf] (PDF)] A Hercules of the Algerian air force and a Tupolev of the Kazakh State Air Company Berkut undercut the minimum prescribed separation distance and, according to radar records, came within 30 meters of each other vertically and 740 meters laterally. The Tupolev had earlier received permission to climb from 7300 meters (FL 240) to approximately 7900 Meter (FL 260) while the Hercules flew at a constant height of7600 meters (FL 250). A trainee air traffic controller was on duty during the incident, supervised by an instructor. When the warning system reported the conflict at FL 250 to the air navigation service, the instructor order the Tupolev to climb at the highest possible rate to FL 300.
Swiss air defense
* [http://www.skyguide.ch/ Web presence of Skyguide]
* [http://www.skyguide.ch/en/MediaRelations/MediaReleases/ArchivedReleases/INMR2004_05_19D_UEBERLINGEN_FACTSHEET.pdf Skyguide activities in connection with the air accident over Überlingen] (PDF)
* [http://www.skyguide.ch/en/Jobs/Training/Your_application/index.xml Description of the Air Traffic Controller job at skyguide, Switzerland.]
* [http://www.skyguide.ch/en/Jobs/Training/Your_application/index.xml Air Traffic Controller recruiting page at skyguide, Switzerland.]
* [http://nzz.ch/2006/04/09/il/articleDQPAI.html Nacktes Chaos bei Skyguide] , BAZL criticises the management of the Swiss air navigation service massively, NZZ on Sunday, 9 April 2006 (German)
* [http://dasmagazin.ch/index.php/Nacht_der_Kollision Nacht der Kollision] , Night of the collision, What happened on the night of the crash? A record based on exclusive investigation dossiers,
Das Magazin, 12 May 2007 (German)
This text is a translation from German ( [http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skyguide] )
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