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Rega – Swiss Air-Rescue, to home page

70 years of total commitment.

Since 1952, Rega has been bringing medical assistance by air to people in distress. This is possible thanks to your support. We would like to say thank you and celebrate this milestone anniversary together with you.

Rega School Challenge

To mark our 70th anniversary, we invited primary school classes throughout Switzerland to take part in the Rega School Challenge. From all the numerous entries, we selected three winning classes.

Three different Rega crews visit the winning classes of the Rega School Challenge and are asked questions by the school children. See for yourself how the Rega helicopter lands near the winning class and creates unforgettable moments.

Anniversary video

From daring pilots and reckless parachutists to one of the most modern air rescue organisations in the world: discover how Rega has continually developed since it was founded 70 years ago and what it means to Rega to be able to count on the support of over 3.6 million patrons.

Key milestones in Rega's history

Click through the most important milestones in Rega’s 70-year-old history.

1952 – The foundation:
Swiss Air-Rescue is founded as a sub-section of the Schweizerische Lebensrettungs-Gesellschaft (SLRG).

1957 – The first helicopter of its own:
A countrywide collection by the Association of Swiss Consumers’ Cooperative Societies produces sufficient funds to purchase a Bell 47J.

1960 – The first repatriation:
A patient is repatriated from France back home to Switzerland in the private Piaggio 166 aircraft owned by Dr Armin Meyer.

1966 – Self-help by means of patronage:
No funds from the Swiss government. After a nationwide appeal for help, 25,000 patrons save Swiss Air-Rescue from financial ruin.

1979 – A non-profit foundation:
The Association sets up a Foundation. Fritz Bühler is appointed the first Chairman of the Foundation Board.

1987 – Helicopters with night vision goggles:
Rega is the first non-military organisation in the world to equip all of its helicopters with night vision goggles.

1996 – The first round the world flight:
In a 43-hour mission, the Challenger CL-600 transports three patients, a journey that takes it all the way round the world for the first time.

2009 – Mobile heart-lung machine:
For the first time, critically-ill patients can be hooked up to a heart-lung machine in the Rega helicopters and jets.

2011 – Flying blind to the Inselspital:
Thanks to satellite-based navigation, Rega flies to the Inselspital in Berne despite poor visibility, using the GPS-assisted approach procedure.

2019 – The Rega drone:
The newly developed drone system, which is to be used to search for missing or injured persons, is presented for the first time.

2021 – Support for Switzerland:
Rega supports the Confederation and the cantons in their efforts to deal with the coronavirus pandemic with its expertise and infrastructure.