Swiss Air Force closes down bases

Swiss Air Force F/A-18C Hornet (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Swiss Air Force F/A-18C Hornet (Image © Dennis Spronk)

The Schweizer Luftwaffe (Swiss Air Force) announced its new basing concept on 26 November 2013, part of the army wide restructuring. If accepted by the people’s representative bodies it will mean the goodbye to two air fields, a taken away operational status for another and the decommissioning of several sublocations.

The air bases of Sion and Buochs will close as a military airbase. Buochs was already a so-called Sleeping Base, like Dübendorf. The latter will stay active, but only as a helicopter base. Moreover, weapons and ammunition depots at Fribour, Genf, Moudon, Lyss and St-Maurice will be disbanded, as well as the shooting ranges of Glaubenberg, Brigels and Gluringen.

For aviation spotters the loss of Dübendorf as a reserve base that was sometimes activated to full status for exercises will be most felt. But the good news is that it will remain an operating location for the current Air Transport Squadron 3 (Lufttransportgeschwader 3) with the Eurocopter AS532UL Cougar, AS332M-1 Super Puma and EC635P2. The closure of Sion will mean no more deployments for Payerne F/A-18 and F-5 fighter aircraft at that site.

The Swiss regional parliaments have until the end of January 2014 for their say. After that the new concept will be implemented as quickly as possible. About 300 jobs will be affected if the plan goes through.

Source: Schweizer Luftwaffe