Air navigation service provider for Swiss airspace


Seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Skyguide air navigation services is responsible for safety in Swiss airspace and delegated areas in neighboring countries.

Around 1,400 employees at 14 locations are on duty every day. Boarding an aircraft without a second thought requires an enormous amount of work and coordination in the background.

In the kingdom of the air

Skyguide acts on behalf of the Swiss Confederation to ensure the safe, efficient and cost-effective management of air traffic over Switzerland. 

Its tasks include civil and military air navigation services, aeronautical information services, telecommunications services and technical services for the installation, operation and maintenance of air navigation systems.

Skyguide is active at 14 locations in Switzerland. At the national airports in Geneva and Zurich, at regional airports and at various military airfields. The air navigation service provider also ensures the maintenance of 240 facilities throughout the country. Skyguide's head office is located in Geneva.

Safe is safe

Safety is the top priority at skyguide. Coordination plays a central role in this. Whether in terms of personnel or technology - failures and unforeseen scenarios must always be expected. At any time of day or night. 

Staff and technical equipment must be on standby at all times in the event of an emergency.  In the tower in Zurich alone, at least 15 people are on duty every day, spread over three shifts. In addition, there are around forty people per shift at the radar consoles in the area control centre (ACC) in Zurich. 

This means that around 135 people are on duty every day to safeguard air traffic in Switzerland at the Zurich site alone.

Air traffic controller as a dream job

In addition to its main task of providing air traffic control in Switzerland, skyguide also offers air traffic controller training and other training courses in Switzerland and internationally. As one of the best-equipped training centres in the world, prospective air traffic controllers from all over Europe make use of it. 

The fascination of aviation and the desire to work in this profession is no longer just a "boy's dream". Thanks to the said multitasking ability, the profession of air traffic controller is also ideally suited to women. The number of female aviation enthusiasts who want to pursue this profession has increased enormously in recent years.

Skyguide recruits future air traffic controllers for Switzerland and other countries. 

Basic requirements, such as absolute physical and mental health, are mandatory. In addition, they must have qualities such as good and quick decision-making skills, strong and prolonged concentration, good receptiveness, efficient processing and the talent to keep everything in view and under control at all times.

All these qualities can be optimally tested in three precisely replicated simulation towers.  Skyguide makes it possible to simulate any scenario on a one-to-one basis.
Be it special weather conditions, emergencies - such as a fire, for example -, unforeseen incidents, simply anything. In the simulation tower, various airport environments are displayed congruently in an incredibly detailed 360° view.


The entire work situation is structured identically to the operational business. Communication with the pilots is also simulated in real life. In contrast to real everyday life, where the focus is on safety, the training centre focuses on coordination. 
Around 600 people a year complete training on the simulation facilities. 

These courses include basic and advanced training as well as retraining. To ensure that skyguide's training centre can be used optimally, the training sessions must run as planned. No consideration can be given to technical defects.

High demands on technology

Safety is also the top priority in air traffic control. Everything is built on redundancy. The demands on the technical equipment are therefore very high.

Skyguide has been using EIZO monitors since 2010. A certain age of the previous monitors led to an increasing loss of image quality. The contrast and brightness became increasingly poorer, which made it difficult to concentrate. As no compensation is possible in this area, Skyguide decided to purchase new equipment.


When asked whether Skyguide had noticed any differences when working with EIZO monitors, the response was very positive:

"The higher contrast, better brightness and precise image sharpness support the work enormously and allow full concentration without compromise. Another plus point when working with EIZO monitors is the flicker-free image, which reduces eye fatigue enormously. The seven-hour shift in air traffic control requires exceptional focussing on the screen, and the flicker-free LED backlight significantly increases work efficiency. The improved energy balance and the ease of maintenance of the colour structure round off the "EIZO" investment positively. Of course, our EIZO monitors have not been in use for very long, so we cannot yet draw a final balance. But we are very confident and satisfied." This was the response of Patrick Diezi, Project Manager at Skyguide, to EIZO AG.

And if a device does fail?

For such cases, skyguide has a number of replacement devices on site so that they can be replaced directly and without interruption at any time. This applies to all technical equipment - from computers to every cable. Nothing can be left to chance.

At the end, the question arose as to how training in air traffic control took place before the invention of the monitor. Almost unbelievably, the simulation used to go like this:

A large table with a map was prepared. A small aircraft was positioned on it and a headset was used to simulate communication between the pilot and air traffic controller. At this time, of course, the number of flights was much lower.

However, the feeling of safety when boarding an aircraft has certainly never been greater than it is today - thanks to Skyguide.

Air Traffic Control