Rega 1: Oldest base in Zurich
Rega has operated a helicopter base in Zurich since 1968. The first helicopter - a turbine-powered Agusta Bell Jet Ranger 206A with the registration number HB-XCU - was based at Zurich-Kloten Airport.
Its successor, HB-XDP - a Jet Ranger 206B - was stationed, initially on a trial basis, on the flat roof of the Children's Hospital in Zurich. However, this did not yet constitute a Rega base in the current sense. The crew stayed in an apartment in the vicinity of the hospital and had to carry kerosene for the helicopter onto the roof in canisters. The helicopter was on stand-by day and night to respond above all to transfer flights for premature babies.
"Permanent" provisional facilities
In 1990, the crew moved into new accommodation on the roof of the Children's Hospital. For space reasons, the provisional modular building, comprising offices and living and sleeping quarters, as well as a kitchen and a bathroom, was not located on the same roof as the helicopter. An outside spiral staircase linked the rooms with the helipad. In February 1995, the Agusta A 109 K2 replaced the by then already dual-turbine helicopter, the Bölkow BO 105.
Operational base at Dübendorf Airport
After more than thirty years of operating from the "provisional" facilities on the flat roof of the Children's Hospital, the Zurich base was able to move into its new home at the military airport in Dübendorf on 1 May 2003. Four helicopter pilots and four paramedics are on duty here in shifts. Furthermore, there is also a physician from Zurich University Hospital on 24-hour stand-by at the base.
Since 23 October 2003, the Zurich helicopter crew have been flying a EC 145. The majority of its primary missions involve traffic accidents, followed by occupational accidents. However, most of its missions are spent transferring patients from one hospital to another. Nowadays, the Zurich base carries out some 900 missions every year.