To mark the 100th anniversary of Swiss air navigation services, Skyguide today presented its special stamp together with Swiss Post. The stamp shows a modern passenger aircraft with a snapshot of aircraft positions as seen on the monitors of the air traffic controllers.
The year 2022 marks the 100th anniversary of Swiss air navigation services. Swiss Post is honouring the anniversary with a special stamp. The 210-centime stamp is an expression of a historic milestone in the history of Swiss air navigation services. Graphic artist Angelo Boog has deliberately kept the design of the stamp sober. The colouring of the passenger aircraft and the vectorised aircraft positions are intended to inspire philatelists and aviators. "With the stamp in honour of the anniversary of air navigation services in Switzerland, we want to inspire not only collectors but also aviation enthusiasts," says Thomas Baur, Head of PostalNetwork and Member of Executive Management.
100 years ago, Marconi Radio Station AG, based in the main post office building in Bern, was founded to develop wireless telegraphy - the birth of Swiss air traffic control. In 1928, the company name was changed to Radio Schweiz AG. In 1931, the Swiss Aviation Office entrusted Radio Schweiz AG with air traffic control in Switzerland. Since then, aviation has undergone a great development. In June 1948, a new intercontinental airport for civil aviation was opened in Zurich-Kloten. In the second half of the last century, the airplane was able to establish itself worldwide as an efficient means of mass transport for passengers and freight.
In the years that followed, radar technology made it possible to see aircraft on a screen even over long distances, thus fundamentally revolutionising air traffic control. Between 1960 and 1970, the number of air traffic control staff at Radio Schweiz AG rose from 300 to over 650. The reason for this was the advent of jet aircraft. In 1988, Switzerland's air navigation services were merged into a new company: Swisscontrol. In 1996, Swisscontrol became financially independent of the Swiss Confederation. The headquarter was moved from Bern to Geneva and moved into a new building in 1996. In 2001, Switzerland's military and civil air navigation services were united in a single entity, which controls and manages all of Switzerland's as well as parts of the neighbouring countries airspace and henceforth calls itself Skyguide.
Today, Skyguide operates at 14 locations in Switzerland. Skyguide provides air navigation services at the national airports in Geneva and Zurich, at regional aerodromes and at various military airfields. It also maintains 240 air navigation facilities throughout the country.
Skyguide is currently pressing ahead with its pioneering "Virtual Centre" project. The aim is to modernise and harmonise both the technology on the ground and the operational procedures. The goal is to overcome the present division of Swiss airspace into East (Dübendorf) and West (Geneva) and to cover all of Switzerland's airspace from a single virtual centre, irrespective of location. The project is now in the third and final phase of the programme, which is expected to be completed in 2028.
"A stamp stays on the envelope until the letter has reached its destination. The same applies figuratively to Skyguide: We not only look back nostalgically on the 100-year history of Swiss air navigation services, but also dare to look to the future. We will stick to our goals until we reach them, shaping together the aviation of tomorrow and the next hundred years," says Klaus Meier, CTO and Deputy CEO of Skyguide at the presentation of the special stamp in Zurich.
The anniversary stamp will be available from 8 September 2022 at all Swiss Post branches for CHF 2.10 each.