Swiss Air Rescue

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Swiss Air Rescue
legal form Foundation, endowment
founding 1952
Seat airport Zurich
Action space International
Foundation capital 100,000 francs with a
balance sheet total of 574 million francs
Employees 405
Members 3.483 million
The AgustaWestland A109S Grand Da-Vinci mountain rescue helicopter launched in 2009 at the Erstfeld base
Rega helicopter type EC 145 from the Dübendorf base
Interior view of an Agusta A109SP “Da Vinci” from Rega

The Swiss Air Rescue (Rega ) ( French Garde Aérienne Suisse de Sauvetage (Rega) , Italian Guardia Aerea Svizzera di Soccorso (Rega) , Romansh Guardia aviatica svizra da salvament (Rega) , English Swiss Air-Rescue (Rega) ) is a non-profit organization private foundation for air rescue in Switzerland , which was founded in 1952 by members of the Swiss Lifesaving Society and is based at Zurich Airport . In Switzerland, Rega assistance can be requested on alarm number 1414 or by radio .

Rega is a member of the Rescue Switzerland (Swiss Rescue). It employs 405 people (as of 2018) and completed over 17,000 organized assignments in 2018. Its abbreviation "Rega" is an acronym from the words " Re ttungsflugwacht" and " Ga rde aérienne". From 1968 to 2013 Rega had the ZEWO seal of approval for non-profit organizations.

In 2018, Rega had 3.483 million patrons, which corresponds to over 40% of the population.




Hermann Geiger, presumably in 1958 when a young ibex was released in the Engadin area after being transported in the HB-XAU helicopter. This helicopter was a gift from the Swiss Consumer Association
  • 1951–1952: The St. Moritz hotelier Fredy Wissel and the Valais pilot Hermann Geiger began testing the glacier landing technique with ski planes.
  • On April 27, 1952, the members of the SLRG (Swiss Lifesaving Society) met at the “Hotel Bären” in Twann on Lake Biel for the annual meeting. The physician Rudolf Bucher advocated that a branch should be separated from the life-saving society, which should specialize in rescue from the air. With the approval of the assembly, the Swiss Air Rescue Service (SRFW) was founded and the modern, organized air rescue service was born. The first rescuers were trained as rescue parachutists in Abingdon ( England ) by the Royal Air Force . They jumped with rescue equipment and, if necessary, with avalanche dogs to the injured in impassable terrain.
  • In October 1952, Hermann Geiger landed the Piper Super Cub glacier aircraft equipped with retractable metal skis on the Blüemlisalp glacier.
  • In December 1952, the pilot Sepp Bauer flew the first helicopter rescue mission in Davos with a Hiller 360. The helicopter was used to transport the injured by means of a balloon basket mounted underneath. It was the world's first transport with underload.
  • In February 1957, the Swiss Consumer Association gave the SLRG / SRFW a Bell 47 J helicopter .


  • In 1960, Rega was reorganized under Fritz Bühler and separated from the SLRG. The first repatriation flights for Swiss sick abroad began in 1960 with a Piaggio P.166 .
  • On March 1, 1965, Rega was appointed the aid organization of the Swiss Red Cross in accordance with a Federal Council resolution.
  • August 26, 1966: Hermann Geiger had a fatal accident in the Sion traffic area in a collision with another aircraft.
  • In September 1966 the first international helicopter symposium of the air rescue service took place on the Eiger glacier . The rescue rope and the horizontal net for rescuing the injured in areas without landing facilities were introduced.
  • In 1968 Rega put its first helicopter into operation, which was powered by a turbine ; it was a Bell 206 A Jet Ranger.


  • In 1970 Rega bought a Cessna 414 with a pressurized cabin for repatriation flights. On the occasion of the 2nd International Helicopter Symposium, rescuers were lowered from the hovering helicopter in the wall of the Eiger north face by means of a winch.
  • In 1971 Rega received the first helicopter to be financed exclusively from donors' money, an SE 316 Alouette III . In the same year, for the first time, two German alpinists were rescued directly from the north face of the Eiger with the cable winch.
  • 1972: The “baby helicopter”, a Bölkow Bo 105 C, was stationed on the roof of the children's hospital in Zurich . The helicopter got this name because it was often used to transport high-risk newborns.
  • In 1973 the first civil ambulance jet , a Learjet 24 D, was purchased. He was baptized in the name of Henri Dunant .
  • In 1976, Rega placed the order to create the first private nationwide radio network.
  • In 1977 a western rescue organization was first active in the Eastern Bloc . Rega flew to Bucharest in March to rescue victims of the Vrancea earthquake . Also in 1977 the first direct rescue of two alpinists from the “ramp” of the Eiger north face was successful. This company was previously considered impossible.
  • In 1979 the Swiss Air Rescue Foundation was set up. This took over the assets and liabilities of the previous association.


  • In 1980 what was probably the most spectacular rescue operation in Rega's history took place over Yverdon airfield. A parachute jumper got caught in the tail wheel of the take-off plane. The crew of a Rega helicopter freed him during the flight. The parachutist can land safely with the emergency parachute.
  • The Swiss Red Cross accepted the air rescue service as a corporate member in 1981. Also this year, the Swiss Disaster Relief Corps, the Swiss Association for Disaster Dogs, the Federal Office for Air Defense Forces and Rega decided to jointly provide emergency aid to Switzerland as a rescue chain in the event of earthquake disasters .
  • The rescue chain mentioned was first used after an earthquake in North Yemen in 1982.
  • Rega was awarded the Lindbergh Diploma in New Delhi in 1984 .
  • Rega Director Bühler was awarded the Order of St. John in Glasgow in 1985 .
  • In the same year, Rega was able to raise the 1,000,000. Issue patronage card.
  • In 1987 Rega was the first civilian organization in the world to equip all helicopters with the ANVIS night vision device .


  • In 1993 the Board of Trustees decided to build the Rega Center on the airport site in Zurich-Kloten.
  • Fredy Wissel died in 1994 at the age of almost 90 in St. Moritz
  • In 1996, a Rega mission took the rescue team around the world for the first time. The flight lasted 43 hours. There were stopovers in Muscat , Bangkok , Khabarovsk , Anchorage , Reading , Faro and Valencia .
  • In 1997 Rega moved to the Rega Center in Kloten .


Rega EC-145 in action
Rega in front of Solothurn Hospital
Medical equipment (monitor, ventilator, emergency backpack) of the REGA helicopter based in St. Gallen Winkeln
  • 2002: The Search and Rescue control center was taken over by Rega from the Federal Office of Civil Aviation.
  • 50th anniversary in the Rega Center in Kloten
  • The fleet was fundamentally renewed with the procurement of three Bombardier Challenger 604 ambulance jets and five Eurocopter EC 145s .
  • In 2009 a new version of the Agusta, the "AgustaWestland A109S Grand Da-Vinci", was introduced. The 11 “Da Vincis” replaced the Agusta A 109 K2, which had been in use since 1992


Rega in action at the summit of the Stockhorn (2011)
  • On January 3, 2010, an emergency doctor died after an avalanche. He was taking care of an already rescued man. It was the first avalanche death of a Rega crew member.
  • After years of testing, since July 2011 Rega has been able to fly to the landing platform of Bern's Inselspital using a satellite. This opens up new possibilities in Swiss helicopter rescue: Rescue helicopters can now pierce closed clouds or fog from top to bottom and fly seriously injured or sick patients directly to a central hospital without wasting time.
  • In April 2019, REGA presented a newly developed drone . The two-meter-long mini helicopter is to be used from 2020 to search for people in difficult-to-access terrain or in poor visibility. The drone is u. a. equipped with a thermal imaging camera and mobile phone tracking.

Use in Switzerland

A Rega rescue helicopter is in the air five minutes after the alarm and within 15 minutes at the scene of the accident somewhere in Switzerland. The same applies to the canton of Valais, where air rescue is operated by Rega partners Air-Glaciers and Air Zermatt . The standard crew includes a pilot, a doctor and a qualified paramedic. The costs are borne by the accident or health insurances depending on the use . Rega pays the costs for its patrons that are not covered by insurance.

Rega not only transports injured people, but also, as part of its aid to mountain farmers, often injured or dead cows and animals that can no longer leave their alpine pastures themselves, for example due to snowfall.

Since the beginning of Rega, the fleet has constantly adapted to the state of the art: From 1955 a Hiller 12 and from 1957 a Bell 47 J were in use for Rega; later replaced by Bell Jet Ranger . From the 1970s, three Bölkow Bo 105s on flatland bases and 12 Alouette IIIs on mountain bases formed the Rega helicopter fleet for a long time . From 1992 both types were replaced by the Agusta A109 K2, a special further development of the Agusta A109 for rescue operations. At the end of 2003, the A109 K2s were replaced by the newer Eurocopter EC 145 helicopters on the lowland bases in Lausanne, Bern, Basel and Zurich, while the Agusta A109 K2s used on the bases in the Alpine region were replaced by the successor model of the AgustaWestland A109S Grand Da between 2008 and 2009 -Vinci replaced.

Use internationally

Rega jet in action after the Tōhoku earthquake in Japan (2011)

Any private person can ask Rega for help with medical problems abroad. In the operations center, a doctor then uses the information on site to obtain the most accurate picture possible and then decides whether and how the patient will be flown back to Switzerland. Poor medical care on site or an expected longer hospital stay are important decision criteria.

The so-called repatriation then takes place, depending on the decision, with a Rega ambulance aircraft or with a scheduled flight.

Initially, Lear Jet 24D ambulance aircraft were used for repatriations. Like the helicopter fleet, the aircraft fleet has also been continuously modernized: Bombardier Challenger CL-600, CL-601 and British Aerospace BAe 125-800B (Raytheon Hawker 800) followed. Thereafter, the ambulance fleet consisted of three modern Bombardier Challenger 604s , which were replaced by three new Bombardier Challenger 650s from 2018.


Current fleet

Bombardier Challenger 604 ambulance jet

The fleet currently consists of 21 helicopters and 5 ambulance jets


Former REGA aircraft

image Aircraft origin number version In use comment
Piaggio P. 166 ItalyItaly Italy 1 P166 1961-1968 from the possession of a REGA board member
Cessna 414 United StatesUnited States United States 1 C141 1970-1974 REGA contributed to the running costs of this private machine
Learjet 24 United StatesUnited States United States 1 LJ24D 1973-1977
Gates Learjet 35A, REGA - Swiss Air Ambulance JP5993648.jpg Learjet 35 United StatesUnited States United States 2 LJ35 1977-1988 these two Lear jets were sent to the Swiss Air Force sold
Bombardier Challenger 600 CanadaCanada Canada 1 CL60 1982-1991 First REGA long-haul jet
British Aerospace BAe 125-800B, Swiss Air-Ambulance JP6178472.jpg Hawker Siddeley HS.125 United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom 2 BAe125-800 1988-2002 replace the Learjets
Bombardier Challenger 601 CanadaCanada Canada 1 CL60 1992-2002
Canadair Challenger 604 Swiss Air-Ambulance, ZRH Zurich (Zurich-Kloten), Switzerland PP1265092154.jpg Bombardier Challenger 604 CanadaCanada Canada 3 CL60 2002-2019 2 to the Swiss Air Force, one to the Verkehrshaus

Rega locations

Rega Center LSZH

The so-called Rega Center, the headquarters of the Swiss Air Rescue, is located on the north-eastern edge of Zurich Airport . It includes the hangar for Rega's Challenger ambulance aircraft, the maintenance workshop, the operations center , administrative space and the infrastructure for training; Around 150 Rega employees work at the headquarters.

The base of operations in Zurich is not in Zurich-Kloten, but in Dübendorf. No helicopter operations are flown from Kloten Airport.

Rega helicopter bases

Swiss Air Rescue (Switzerland)
Rega 1
Rega 1
Rega 2
Rega 2
Rega 3
Rega 3
Rega 4
Rega 4
Rega 5
Rega 5
Rega 6
Rega 6
Rega 7
Rega 7
Rega 8
Rega 8
Rega 9
Rega 9
Rega 10
Rega 10
Rega 12
Rega 12
Rega 14
Rega 14
Rega 15
Rega 15
Map of Rega's helicopter bases

Dübendorf LSMD (Rega 1)

Rega 1, Rega's oldest base, is located in Dübendorf. From 1968 Rega flew missions from a base at Zurich Airport, from 1972 provisionally from the location at the Children's Hospital in the city ​​of Zurich . Since spring 2003 Rega 1 has had a modern base on the site of the Dübendorf military airfield . Rega flies around 1,000 missions a year from its Zurich base.

Basel LFSB (Rega 2)

Rega has operated a base at Basel-Mulhouse Airport since 1975 . More than half of the missions are in southern Baden ( Germany ), around ten percent in Alsace . In Switzerland, the Basler base covers northwestern Switzerland , the southern foot of the Jura and the canton of Jura .

Bern LSZB (Rega 3)

In Bern , Rega is on since 1976 Bern-Belpmoos stationed. Bern is a so-called lowland base; Their activities consist primarily of deployments in traffic accidents and secondary transfers from hospital to hospital.

Lausanne LSGL (Rega 4)

Rega has been flying its operations in the Lake Geneva area from a base in Lausanne since 1981 . Every year around 1,000 missions take place from Lausanne, around a third of them at least partially at night .

Untervaz LSXU (Rega 5)

One of the younger Rega bases has been located in Untervaz in the north of the canton of Graubünden since 1992, after Rega had previously used Bad Ragaz airfield from 1976 . From Untervaz, Rega flies around 900 missions a year, around 300 of which are for winter sports.

Locarno LSZL (Rega 6)

Rega has been present at Aeroporto Cantonale di Locarno on the Magadino plain in the center of the Canton of Ticino since 1980 . The operational area includes the entire canton of Ticino as well as parts of the canton of Graubünden and the Misox . In addition, there are always assignments in neighboring Italy.

St. Gallen LSXO ( Rega 7 )

Rega has had a base in St. Gallen-Winkeln (between Gossau and St. Gallen) since 1984 for operations in the canton of St. Gallen , in the canton of Thurgau as well as in the two Appenzell cantons and in the Principality of Liechtenstein . Often deployments in Germany and Austria take place from there.

Erstfeld LSXE (Rega 8)

Rega has been active in the canton of Uri since 1966 , with its own base in Erstfeld since 1978. Erstfeld is a so-called mountain base ; In summer, mountain accidents are in the foreground; in winter, missions for winter sports enthusiasts. In addition, there is animal rescue as part of summer alpine farming.

Samedan LSZS (Rega 9)

In the Engadin the Rega flying missions since 1957, since 1977 with its own infrastructure on the airport of Samedan . Rega 9 is a highland base with a wide range of missions, most of which are so-called primary missions in which an emergency doctor and paramedic are flown to an accident site for first aid.

The Swiss-German feature film Heldin der Lüfte was shot in Samedan with the support of Rega, premiered on December 3, 2008 at the Rega Center in Kloten and was first broadcast on December 14, 2008 on SF 1 .

Wilderswil / Interlaken LSXI (Rega 10)

In the Bernese Oberland , Rega since 1971 is active, originally at Interlaken airfield and since 1982 with its own base on the Gsteigwiler Heliport . Rega 10 is a mountain base and, among other things, specializes in demanding rescue missions in the high mountains . At the beginning of May 2008, the company moved from the Gsteigwiler site to the new base site in Wilderswil. The Rega EBBO base moved into its new premises here and started flight operations from the new location on May 10, 2008.

Mollis LSMF (Rega 12)

The Mollis base was operated for many years by Heli-Linth in a contractual relationship with Rega on the former Mollis military airfield . Rega has been operating its own AW109SP helicopter from its base in Mollis since 2010.

Zweisimmen (Rega 14)

The Zweisimmen base was operated for over 20 years by the private helicopter operator Bohag in a contractual relationship with Rega. Rega has been stationing its own Agusta AW109SP helicopter at Zweisimmen airfield since 2009 .

In October 2012, the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new, shared helicopter base took place in Zweisimmen (Rega / Bohag). Both parties started flight operations from the new base at Zweisimmen Airfield in autumn 2013.

Helicopter bases from Rega partners


In addition to the emergency services police, fire brigade and medical services, Rega has other organizations with which it works. Rega works closely with the Swiss Alpine Club SAC for alpine rescue and recovery operations . For large-scale search and rescue missions, Rega can request helicopter resources from the FOCA and SUST if necessary . On the other hand, the Rega alarm center also serves as the SUST reporting point. A special partner of Rega is the Swiss Air Force , which supports Rega with helicopters and personnel if necessary. For search flights and rescue missions in difficult meteorological conditions, the Air Force always has a helicopter equipped with a FLIR (usually Aérospatiale AS 332 Super Puma or Cougar) on standby. The Air Force constantly monitors the airspace and immediately forwards emergency signals to Rega. All Air Force resources are also used for quick and precise location so that the Rega helicopter can be informed of the exact position at an early stage.

REGA radio network (Regacom)

Handheld radio for the emergency channel

Rega operates its own radio network in Switzerland. The REGA radio network (Regacom) is a Switzerland-wide radio network optimized for helicopters with 42 radio stations (as of 2018).

Emergency channel

In Switzerland it is possible to make an emergency call in the 2-meter band on the frequency 161.300 MHz ("E-channel", "Emergency" or "Notrufkanal") . This emergency call is received by a radio station in the Rega radio network (Regacom) and forwarded to the Rega operations center. In Valais , the emergency call received on the emergency call channel is forwarded to the Cantonal Valais Rescue Organization (KWRO). KWRO operates several radio stations for the emergency call channel in Valais.

The “emergency call channel” is available to everyone throughout Switzerland (population, offices and authorities) exclusively for alerting in emergencies. Help in emergencies can be requested via the emergency or emergency radio channel using a radio device approved by the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM). An emergency call should only be made via the emergency or emergency radio channel if there is no cellular reception and no telephone is available in the vicinity.

The Regacom radio network allows Rega to be reliably alerted via the "emergency call channel" with a handheld radio if there is a line of sight to a Regacom radio station. If the 1st Fresnel zone is free of any obstacles, such as bushes, trees, rocks, house and hut walls, a handheld radio can reliably send an emergency call over the "emergency call channel" to the Regacom radio station, which is in line of sight.


See also

Web links

Commons : Swiss Air Rescue  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Consolidated financial statements 2018 (PDF)
  2. a b Consolidated Financial Statements 2018 (PDF), page 26
  3. a b c Annual Report 2018 (PDF) page 5
  5. Rega is losing its quality mark. In: Die Weltwoche , edition 32/2013.
  6. ( Memento of the original from October 20, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. Rega media release of January 3, 2010 , accessed on January 3, 2012
  8. Rega news from July 27, 2011, accessed on August 29, 2011
  9. The new Rega helicopter is a drone In: Der Bund from April 12, 2019
  10. annual media conference (PDF)
  11. 1414 The Rega Magazine, No. 87, November 2016, pages 7 and 17
  12. Aircraft register search term Schweizerische Luft-Ambulanz AG
  13. Milestone: Rega procures three all-weather rescue helicopters of the type AW169-FIPS Rega media release dated December 1, 2015
  14. New rescue helicopters for Rega - Rega news from June 21, 2018.
  15. Rega 9: “Highland Base” in the Engadine , accessed on December 15, 2008
  16. Tages-Anzeiger online (December 3, 2008): Melanie Winiger saves lives in Bündnerland , accessed on December 4, 2008
  17. The competence of the Luftwaffe is maintained in cooperation with REGA  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  18. Einsatz/Merkblatt_Notfunk_de_2014.pdf REGA - Notfunk information sheet
  19. Einsatz/wektiven-dienstleistungen/ notfunk.aspx Rega - Notfunk
  20. 300-mhz - as well as-the-use-of-pl.html OFCOM - emergency radio in Switzerland (161,300 MHz) and the use of PLB
  21. KWRO - communication means
  22. Haute-Savoie (SDIS 74) - information brochure - Canal Emergency 161.300 MHz
  23. Haute-Savoie (SDIS 74) - information page emergency channel 161.300 MHz
  24. Aostatal - information page emergency channel 161.300 MHz