BERN --- Between July and August, the various Swiss air bases will be closed alternately, reducing the activities of the Air Forces during the summer while ensuring the missions assigned to them. These summer breaks make it possible to carry out maintenance work on the tracks. They have been held every year for decades.
The Swiss Army must guarantee sovereignty in Swiss airspace throughout the year. In order to be able to carry out this mission in the long term, the air bases must be regularly maintained. This work has been taking place for years in summer. All year long, the combat jets are engaged from the air bases of Payerne, Meiringen and Emmen.
From 1 to 27 July 2019, the Emmen and Meiringen slopes will be closed. This annual closure will allow these two sites to carry out various work on the track (maintenance of the systems and repair of different surfaces of the tarmac). The F / A-18 Hornet and the F-5 Tiger will operate during this period exclusively from the Air Base Payerne as the Air Police Service, ready to take off in the space of 15 minutes daily from 6am to 22h. Sion Airport is used for technical or meteorological problems as an alternate aerodrome.
From July 31 to August 21, 2019, it will be the turn of Payerne to interrupt the flight service with combat aircraft. During this period, Emmen Air Force Base will be the main Air Force base for F / A-18 Hornet and F-5 Tiger engagements and training. The air police service is also moved to Emmen. Meiringen will then take the role of clearance aerodrome. The Payerne Air Base will use this period to perform maintenance work on the runway and runway systems that will be performed at night. On the other hand, the track will remain partly operational for civil companies operating from Payerne.
As for helicopter flight service, it will continue throughout the summer, ensuring training and commitments for the military and civilian authorities.
The alternating runway closures have been going on for decades. Indeed, it has always been necessary to regularly carry out heavy maintenance of runways, checks of emergency stop systems, fire systems and runway signaling.