Switzerland is located at the geographical centre of western Europe. It is bordered by Germany to the north, Austria to the east, Italy to the south and France to the west and northwest. The small Principality of Liechtenstein is located on one bank of the river Rhine, on the Swiss-Austrian border. It is closely allied to Switzerland, which handles its foreign relations and defence.
Switzerland consists of three different physical regions, the Jura mountains along the Swiss-French border, the Mitterlland – a hilly central plateau with large lakes – and the Alps to the south. The latter is a highly mountainous region which makes up 60% of the land area and includes the highest peaks in Europe. Several major European rivers originate in the Swiss mountains, including the Po, the Rhine, the Rhône and the Inn-Danube. The total land area is 39,770 sq km (15,355 sq miles).
Three quarters of the population of 7.3 million (2000 figure) live in the Mitterlland. 65% of the people are of German descent, 18% of French origin, 10% Italian, 1% Romansch and 6% other ethnic groups. 40% are Protestant, 46% Roman Catholic and 14% other religious faiths. The capital city is Berne (Bern).
Summary Narrative History
Timeline – Key Dates in Swiss History
Further National Information
BBC News Profile: Switzerland
Yahoo Switzerland page
wikipedia: History of Switzerland
History of Switzerland
Text to be added on the development of aviation in Switzerland.
Civil Aircraft Registrations
Swiss civil aircraft were initially allocated the series C-HAAA onwards, but no use is known. In 1929 the sequence changed to CH-xxx onwards (with the registration in numerical figures), but this changed to HB-AAA onwards in 1935. The sequence HB-BAA onwards is reserved for balloons, HB-IAA onwards is reserved for transport aircraft, HB-VAA is reserved for business jets, HB-Xxx is reserved for helicopters and HB-xxxx with numerical registrations is reserved for microlights. HB-LAA onwards has been used for aircraft from Liechtenstein since 1935.
FOCA Swiss Aircraft Register
An incomplete all-time Swiss civil aircraft register listing is here.
Military Air Arms
Air Force (Schweizer Luftwaffe)
Central Government Agencies
Public Service Aviation
Humanitarian Aviation (International Committee of the Red Cross)
Medical Aviation Swiss Air Rescue – REGA
Police Aviation – no police authority in Switzerland has a helicopter. Aviation support is provided by the Air Force as required. Controversially, the Kantonspolizei Graubunden hired EC135 HB-ZIZ from a private company during the 2011 Bilderberg Conference, with POLIZEI/POLIZIA service titles.
Crossair (not current)
Swiss International Air Lines
Swissair (not current)
Swiss World Airways
wikipedia: Airlines of Switzerland
The World’s Airlines: Switzerland
To be added
Aircraft Maintenance/Repair Depots
Civil Airports & Airfields
Airports in Switzerland
Military Air Bases & Airfields
Military Air Bases Listing – to be added.
Aviation Museum Locator
Key Airshow Dates
Magazines Guide for Switzerland
Swiss Aviation Bibliography – to be added
News, photos and registrations of Swiss civil and military helicopters
Swiss Helicopter Association
Details of helicopter operators in Switzerland