BERN --- From November 12 to December 7, 2018, Swiss Air Force personnel will train at night with up to ten F / A-18 fighter jets from Royal Air Force Lossiemouth, located in the north of Scotland. This exercise, known as SCOTNIGHT, is considered an essential part of the night flying training of the Swiss Air Force which, for various reasons, can only be performed irregularly in Switzerland. A total of 40 pilots and a hundred ground staff divided into two shifts will make the trip to Scotland.
The objectives of this training module are Intensive Night Flight Training (Night Air Police Service) as well as the deepening and consolidation of night engagement tactics for advanced pilots. Indeed, in every modern conflict, especially in the current context, overnight commitments are of great importance.
Due to various restrictions, the Air Force cannot achieve the desired level of requirements for night training flights on Swiss territory. These restrictions include the size and number of training areas, altitude and speed limits (few supersonic training flights), flight duty schedules, and number of movements. The intensity of civil air traffic over Switzerland as well as the high density of the population and, consequently, its substantial exposure to noise pollution are other reasons.
In the north of Scotland, however, the Swiss Air Force can enjoy ideal conditions for training. Indeed, Royal Air Force's Lossiemouth base provides the necessary infrastructure for both aircraft support and flight servicing.
The areas allocated for training are located above the North Sea, at a sufficient distance from the coast. It is therefore possible to practice practically without restrictions tactical night flights, including supersonic flights.
An agreement between the United Kingdom and Switzerland is the legal basis for exercise SCOTNIGHT.